ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Beer Co. started construction on its $2.5 million expansion Thursday, which will more than double the size of the current brewery.
The new 24,000 square-foot space will be added on to the current 17,000 square-foot brewery and taphouse/restaurant, said marketing director Gregg Stacy.
— Ithaca Beer Co. (@ithacabeer) July 17, 2015
The space will mostly be used for offices, loading, packaging and bottling — essentials for the new automated bottling and packaging equipment the company will start using, Stacy said.
“Right now we’re still, for a brewery our size, pretty primitive,” he said, adding that there are currently 8 to 10 employees who assemble and pack beer boxes by hand.
The company makes about 7,750 gallons of beer a day, but could brew more if production flowed more smoothly on the assembly side of the operations, which is what the new additions will enable.
“We’re really just poising ourselves for the next level of growth,” he said. “We’re at or beyond what the industry growth is.”
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Stacy said the company produced about 30 percent more beer from 2013 to 2014 and will likely increase another 15 to 18 percent this year.
He clarified that no jobs will be lost because of the new equipment. Employees working in the assembly area will be reassigned to other parts of the brewery.
When construction is completed in February, the company will likely hire 10 to 15 more employees to work in the space.
The brewery, which was founded in 1998, is starting its new construction just three years after completing its new brewery and restaurant on at 122 Ithaca Beer Drive, Stacy said.
The new location replaced the original brewery, located in a much smaller space on Route 13, according to Syracuse.com.