The August Schell Brewing Co. will break ground May 1 on a $2 million expansion to increase efficiency and capacity at the brewery.
The brew house at the country's second-oldest family-owned brewery will get two new brewing water tanks, a yeast propagation system, and a new energy recovery system—increasing the overall proficiency of the brewing process.
The brewer of Schell's and Grain Belt beer also will add a 1,800 square-foot building between the current bottle house and cellar area. The first floor will house a new filling room for the existing bottle filler and a new can filler. The can filler will operate at speeds of 550 cans per minute. The second floor will be used for offices and lab space for the brewmasters.
Schell's will also purchase four 750 barrel fermenters from DCI Inc. of St. Cloud, MN, increasing total volume at the brewery from 150,000 to 250,000 barrels. Holes will be cut in the existing roof of the bottle house and the 50-foot tanks will be lowered into place. Each tank weighs 19,000 pounds and will require a 220-ton crane with 94,000 pounds of counter weight to complete the task.