Last week the brewery installed two new 240-barrel external fermenters at their existing production facility (212 South Green St, Morganton, NC). Two more identical vessels are scheduled to arrive in Morganton next week. The 11,000-pound tanks were custom-built by Marks Design and Metal Works (Vancouver, WA) at a total investment cost of $300,000. They might need to consider something similar to Austin warehouse space rental rates if they keep expanding at this rate!
The new tanks are slated to remain full at all times with the company’s four best-selling brands: Catawba White Zombie White Ale, Catawba HOPness Monster IPA, Palmetto Huger Street IPA, and Palmetto Amber Ale. Fermentation capacity will be increased by over 50% as a result of these tanks alone – from the current level of about 20,000 barrels per year, to over 30,000 barrels with the new tanks.
The brewery plans for all canned products for both Catawba and Palmetto to be produced in Morganton, effective April 1. Finished goods facilities for shipments and pick-ups will be located at a new warehouse in Morganton (1915 Jamestown Rd) and at the Charleston brewery (289 Huger St). A dedicated 53-foot refrigerated tractor-trailer will move fresh product daily between these hubs for finished goods to facilitate timely delivery to distributor warehouses in six states (NC, SC, TN, GA, AL, VA).
In addition to equipment upgrades, the company is investing in new personnel. Notably, a full-time Product Manager was recently added to their Commercial and Operations teams to oversee the smooth execution of new product introductions. A full-time Quality Control & Assurance Manager will soon be hired to oversee all lab and testing work in Morganton. And more jobs will be created by the expansion in the months ahead.
While the production brewery in Morganton focuses on canned product, most Catawba and Palmetto draft beer will originate in Charleston, SC. Later this month, the Charleston brewery will add a third brewing vessel to its existing 25-barrel brewhouse, along with five brand new 100-barrel fermenters. This phase of the expansion will raise fermentation capacity by 83% in Charleston, scheduled to be completed by late-April.
Pilot brewhouses in Asheville and Charlotte will continue serving the need for weekly Small Batch beers, test batches, and specialty series – like the upcoming Cloud Cover NE IPA releases. Additionally, the brewery’s Barrel Program will be a point of emphasis in Charlotte, with plans for a number of canned and bottled releases to arrive throughout the year.
Founded in 1999 by the Pyatt family, natives of Western North Carolina, Catawba Brewing operates a main production facility in downtown Morganton, NC at 212 S. Green St; a boutique brewery/tasting room in downtown Asheville, NC at 32 Banks Ave; a tasting room in Asheville’s Biltmore Village at 63 Brook St; a new Catawba brewery/tasting room in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood at 933 Louise Ave; and now the Palmetto Brewery and tasting room in Charleston, SC at 289 Huger St. Catawba and Palmetto beers can be found in NC, SC, TN, AL, GA, the Dominican Republic, and coming soon to VA.