SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Telegraph Brewing is nearly finished with a project to triple its size in Santa Barbara.
Large stainless steel tanks have arrived. Crews are bolting them into place with plumbing and electrical hookups underway.
Telegraph worked out a deal to move next door to its current Salsipuedes St. location in a funky Quonset hut building that is being remodeled to have a bright new facade and spacious interior.
"This expansion has been in the works for a long time," said director of brewing operations Scott Baer.
Owner Brian Thompson says he expects his production level to increase eight times beyond the capacity coming out of its smaller location now. "We'll start selling beer in Arizona, Seattle and New Jersey once we're up and running in the new space as well as expanding our distribution in the Bay area, in L.A., as well as Santa Barbara," said Thompson.
The increased brewing begins in early August and the new tasting room will be in full operation by the middle of the month.
"We're really happy to have this opportunity to grow," said Thompson. "Demand had exceeded capacity for some time now."
Several other craft brewers are also increasing their production, promotion and supplies this summer.
"A beer drinker is lucky to live here in Santa Barbara because you have a whole bunch of really great breweries from Buellton all the way down to Ventura," said Thompson.
In the new space Thomspon says they will have a dedicated tasting room open six to seven days a week.
Thompson says he will also hold special events, private parties, and special meals that pair his beers with a custom menu.
Telegraph is not making all the same types of beers you might see at other breweries. Thompson says pilsner and rye beers are well known at Telegraph, and he says they don't make an India Pala Ale (IPA) which may be popular elsewhere but for now its not what Telegraph wants to include in its choices. "We really try to focus on beer styles that are unique and that resonates with the consumer," he said.
Thompson says Telegraph Brewing is growing to a level that will make it a regional brewery and not a micro brewery.Slideshow: Telegraph Brewing triples its size