Last updated on February 2nd, 2023 at 05:58 pm
To say that Eagle Park Brewing & Distilling Company’s growth has been rapid might be an understatement. So, it should come as no surprise that the company found itself in need of additional space, even before its acquisition of Milwaukee Brewing Company’s intellectual property, recipes and branding last fall.
Eagle Park has added 30,000 square feet of space to its Muskego facility at S64 W15640 Commerce Center Parkway. The company is leasing the space, which is in the same building but located directly to the west of Eagle Park’s original footprint. This additional 30,000 square feet is combined with the brewery’s existing 25,000-square-foot space in the Muskego building.
“By the end of 2022 we ended up growing our production volume by 15%,” said Jake Schinker, co-founder and brand director of Eagle Park. “Granted that wasn’t the full year. It’s definitely been quite hectic around here. We essentially doubled production overnight and went from having a nice headwind to pretty much (being) at capacity. That’s kind of the big reason for this expansion and addition of equipment.”
Before expanding to the west, Eagle Park was using a 25,000-square-foot space across the street from the main Muskego facility to temporarily sate the need for more room.
The space adjacent to the Eagle Park Muskego facility became available about a year ago. Throughout that time, the space has mostly been used as a warehouse area holding packaging materials. Now, the team is looking at better utilizing the space.
“Its main function until recently has been storage of our packaging materials,” said Schinker. “We installed more cold storage, so now we have two separate coolers. The original cooler now holds our ingredients and the beer for our taprooms. Now, the new cooler is for our distributed beer. It’s right next to our shipping and receiving and provides a good workflow.”
That’s not the only change slated for the Muskego facility. Construction begins next week as the company relocates the entirety of its packaging operations to the new space, freeing up room in the brewery itself for more fermentation tanks. An expansion of the packaging line is also planned. A rickhouse – a temperature-controlled storage area — will also be built for the company’s whiskey barrels.
Several new pieces of equipment will arrive in the coming months as Eagle Park completely replaces its brewhouse. Right now, the company has a 20-barrel system that will be replaced with a quicker version.
“We’re adding equipment to basically double the speed of our current canning line,” said Schinker.
This year, Eagle Park expects to produce around 14,000 barrels. The company has already met its earlier estimate of hiring seven additional employees to help sustain its growth. In the coming months, the unveiling of Milwaukee Brewing Company spirits will also happen. The line will include a Milwaukee Brewing Company brand of vodka and several flavors of brandy.
As for the search for a new Milwaukee location, Schinker said Eagle Park is still on the hunt.
“We’re definitely taking our time and we have a lot of irons in the fire,” said Schinker. “We’ve got to make sure the beer is good first.”