April 7, 2006
It has taken almost 200 years for one beer company to build a new brewery, but one small town recently opened its doors to a big change.
Coors is "filling up" their company in Elkton, Virginia.
"The significance of what we are doing with the Coors Brewing Company is quite profound," said Andy Pickerell, the Brewmaster of the Coors Brewing Company in Elkton.
The Coors Brewing Company is expanding its Shenandoah facility. The 20-year-old packaging and distribution center in Elkton will soon become a brewery. Lots of people will make it happen.
"It will peak we think to around 700 people in approximately a month's time. The construction work is building momentum right now," added Pickerell.
A big part of transforming the plant into a brewery was getting things in place to hold the beer. Nine convoys did just that by hauling fermenting tanks.
"They were manufactured in Burstadt, Germany and then hauled here by barge and boat, and the last 100 miles by truck," said Mark Dwyer, the Project Manager at the Coors facility.
Once beer is brewed, it's poured inside the fermenters, then blended, and later shipped to stores. The tanks stand 70 feet tall, and have a 21 foot diameter. Getting through Central Virginia was no easy task.
"It was a significant coordination...activity with the transport company [along] with Virginia Department of Transportation, the police all the way from Fredericksburg, and the State Police who have done the escorts," explained Dwyer.
On site right now are 31 fermenting tanks, but over the next few weeks, nine more are expected to come. Even after that, possibly a few more.
"We've got a lot of space still for expansion, and we will expand it with time if the sales dictate that we can," said Tim Williams, the Plant Manager of the Coors plant.
The new brewery portion of the plant will help to create more jobs locally. It will also become the largest brewery on the east coast.