Schilling Beer Co. To Expand Artisan Brewing Operations in Littleton, NH

14 October 2016

imageFrom Schilling Beer:

Bruce Cozzens, Schilling’s chairman, announced the expansion of brewing operations on September 24 in front of celebrants gathered for Schilling’s Oktoberfest and third anniversary festivities. “We’re pleased to say that we will be expanding our brewing operations next year on the one-of-a-kind riverside property (immediately to the east of the current operation). Samyn-D’Elia Architects are designing a truly world-class facility that will house a custom-made, five-vessel 20-barrel brewhouse, along with innovative wood-aging and mixed fermentation programs.”

Besides increasing Schilling’s potential brewing capacity, the plan also calls for a retail center, where Schilling merchandise and beers will be available for purchase in a variety of packages, as well as a tasting room overlooking the Ammonoosuc River, where small pours can be purchased and growlers filled.

However, the brewery’s leadership is quick to point out that the expansion is less about the volume of beer produced than it is about expanding its wood-aging and mixed fermentation programs and improving brewery efficiency.

Stuart Cozzens, the brewery’s Chief Operating Officer, stated that while the expanded brewing operation will “ultimately allow us to produce roughly five times” Schilling’s current output, the company’s expansion “isn’t just about growth in barrels: it’s about letting an unbelievably talented brewing team run wild under (Head Brewer John Lenzini’s) leadership in a facility that maximizes their skills, rather than fighting against them on a daily basis, as our 18th century building does now.”

Despite adding a larger brewing facility, Schilling’s current brewpub will continue to operate much as it does today, the notable exception being the addition of a smaller test brewery that will replace the brewpub’s current eight-barrel brewhouse. Lenzini noted that this pilot system “will deliver an even more dynamic guest experience at the brewpub, as one-off, completely unique beers will be regularly served alongside {Schilling’s} core offerings.”

Though the project will be “resource-intensive and fraught with inevitable headaches,” according to Jeff Cozzens, Schilling’s CEO, the brewery expansion “will allow us to fulfill our dream of brewing world-class beers together in a purpose-built facility in the community that we love. Despite being retail sales-focused, it will also enable us to share more and different Schilling beers with our guests and our distributors, Craft Collective and Vermont Beer Shepherd.”

Cozzens and his business partners acknowledge that the scope and rapidity of Schillling’s development has exceeded their initial vision, and are quick to point out that many are responsible for its success. “The realization of this dream can’t and won’t happen apart from the support of our Littleton community and our staff.”

Singled out by Schilling’s ownership for specific thanks were Amy Nadeau, the brewpub’s manager; Schilling’s assistant brewer, Evan Semiao; and the brewpub’s kitchen staff, under the leadership of Caleb Potwin. Also mentioned were the partners’ spouses, and Dr. Richard J. Schilling, grandfather to Jeff, Stuart and CFO Matt Cozzens. Voicing the sentiments of Schilling’s ownership, Matt called Dr. Schilling “a major inspiration behind what we do.”

Also acknowledged were Carol Walker at Woodsville Guaranty Bank, and attorneys Kim Butler and Mary Parent from Downs Rachlin Martin, all of whom Stuart credits with “standing by us through thick and thin.”

Barring major setbacks, Schilling hopes to have the new brewery operational by Spring 2018.

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