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Monday, 30 March 2015 15:34

Tibbs Brewing Company expands Kalamazoo facility

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Tibbs Brewing Company Tibbs Brewing Company COURTESY PHOTO

A new expansion by Kalamazoo-based Tibbs Brewing Company Inc. promises to double its production capacity and streamline the company’s operations.

The brewery recently announced plans to expand into the downstairs area below its current production and taproom space.

“We’ve thought about the expansion from the get-go,” said Kevin Tibbs, the brewery’s general manager. “That’s what attracted us to the space. We could start small up here with the ability to expand on site.”

Tibbs's wife, Cindee, owns the brewery.

Tibbs is based at the State Theatre Shoppes at 402 South Burdick Street in a facility owned by Roger Hinman and managed by the Hinman Company.

The location formerly housed the kitchen and bar of the now-defunct Kegger’s nightclub at the Kalamazoo State Theater.

The 2,000-square-foot expansion will give the company a dedicated brewing space in the kitchen area instead of having its operations spread throughout the building, Tibbs said.

Because of the limited space prior to the expansion, Tibbs used the taproom area during off hours to brew – reducing the company’s production capacity because regulatory requirements mandate that brewing only occur in a separate room from customers.

“It’ll be a big upgrade for me to have a dedicated brewing area,” Tibbs said. “I never knew how important floor drains were until I started brewing. Now I’ll have those and a lot of room.”

Tibbs Brewing produced 150 barrels in its first year after opening in December 2013 and plans to increase that to 250 barrels in 2015 with the new expansion.

The expansion also includes a bar area that will add approximately 65 more seats, more than doubling the brewery’s seating capacity. Tibbs hopes to open the new space by fall of this year.

To finance the expansion, the couple used the same bootstrapping model they deployed in starting up their brewery. In methodically building the company over time, they’ve been able to avoid taking on any debt, Tibbs said.

The company will invest approximately $30,000 in cash to fund the expansion project, which will include new brewing equipment and opening the bar area, Tibbs said.

Tibbs Brewing plans to begin distributing its beers on a limited basis to a handful of local bars in the near future, Tibbs added.

Read 2755 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 18:51

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