Firestone Walker “is putting the final touches” on $15 mil expansion to Paso Robles facility that doubles capacity to 600K bbls/yr (see CBN Vol 6, No 87) and revamps visitor center, reported The Tribune. Outsized growth of 805 Blonde is “the reason behind all this,” said co-founder David Walker, and expansion includes a 200-bbl tank “dedicated entirely to brewing 805,” paper noted. Indeed, 805 continues to grow at an impressive double-digit clip this yr; $$ up 40% YTD thru May 14 in IRI multi-outlet + convenience data. That makes it 12th largest natl craft brand in scan data, representing over 1 share of total craft $$ (and volume) while still mainly sold in California. And now brand makes up nearly 3/4 of Firestone’s total sales in IRI MULC.
All in, “we finally have some breathing room and a long-term foundation for brewing in Paso Robles,” said co-founder Adam Firestone. Last “major brewhouse investment” co made was maxed out “within four years,” he reminded. Yet Firestone Walker grew total shipments 30%+ to 354K bbls in 2016 and was up 22% thru Q1 this yr. If pace continues, Firestone will blow past 400K bbls-mark in 2017. And if growth trajectory continues for next few years, co could find itself brushing up against max capacity in similar time frame.