Posted on December 22nd, 2016

Big, Big Tanks

Minneapolis Brewery

Why did we add eight new tanks at our destination brewery this week? We can give you a long, corporate answer about strategic goals and key markets and year-over-year sales, or we can give you this very real, very terrifying answer (you may want to be sitting down):

We ran out of Furious.

This summer, with both our Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center facilities running at full capacity, there was a 7-10 day span where we were scrambling to keep our flagship beer on tap in the Beer Hall. We made it through that stretch, but the writing was on the brewhouse wall: We gotta make more beer. And that meant we had to get more tanks. Big, big tanks. And a boat. And some trucks. And some cranes.

Some things you might want to know about the (big, big) tanks:

  • They are 600bbl, 39 ft x 14 ft. fermentation tanks. In basketball terms, this is about 4.5 Karl-Anthony Towns tall by 2 Karl-Anthony Towns wide. We do not have our conversion charts for the amount of Karl-Anthony Townses per barrel. But it’s a lot.
  • They will be used to make Furious, Hell, and our seasonals (Surlyfest, #Merica, Xtra-Citra, etc.).
  • This also gives us the flexibility to stretch our brewing brains with clever new concoctions at the Brooklyn Center facility.
  • The tanks are literally the product of precision German engineering.

Cool thing about that last nugget: these tanks, like the eight original tanks, left port in Europe  from Omar’s mother’s hometown of Bremen, Germany. Small world, huh?

From there, they get on a (big, big) boat and are shipped to Texas, where they get on eight (big, big) trucks and head north. If they get through Wisconsin (buy us a beer and we’ll tell you about it), we call up some of our friends with cranes. They drop them through a hole in the roof, we hook up the electrical and the plumbing and the cooling and all the unsexy* stuff you need to do to make award-winning beer, and start brewing. Per head brewer Ben Smith, the goal is to have them online in March.

*We will have to tear down a wall so the new tanks can be in the same room as the original ones. That’s kind of sexy, we admit.

Last week, we brewed our 200th batch of beer at the MSP facility. That’s almost 26 million pints. And now we’re doubling our capacity there. None of this happens without you, Surly Nation. Cheers!

View more pics: CLICK HERE

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