BIKE DOG GROWING WITH A BREWHOUSE EXPANSION
"Good people deserve good beer", and that's what Bike Dog Brewing Co. has been providing to West Sacramentan's and beyond since their inception in 2013. We chatted with Co-Owner AJ Tendick of Bike Dog Brewing Co. about the recent expansion of their brewhouse. Here's what he had to say:
So word on the street is you guys are expanding the brewhouse, can you share details?
We will be replacing our 3.5bbl brewhouse with a new 15bbl brewhouse currently under construction right now from a company called Brewbilt, based out of Nevada City. We are also upgrading our mill to behemoth from RMS and a much larger water filtration system to keep up with the bigger batches. With the larger system and tanks, we will be able to approximately double our production while potentially brewing slightly less than we do now. This is especially exciting because we can spend more time on even more quality control (actual QC, not just drinking haha). Next year we could potentially add a couple more 30 bbl tanks and add another 50% production, and at that point we'd be a fairly modest sized brewery. At that time we would want to reassess where we are in the mix of things to see if we really want to get much bigger than that and if so how, when etc.
Should Sacramento expect to find you at more retail/restaurants?
We've been very fortunate to have much of our outside sales come from accounts seeking us out but due to our incredibly small size we have to say no a lot more than we like to. Trust me that's a bummer to tell a good account, sorry but we don't have the beer to sell you. So yes, much of the production will be headed out to local bars and restaurants. It will also support us doing more bottled seasonals and possibly looking into different formats like six packs of cans so local grocery and liquor stores might see some more of us as well. Another option that we've explored is either expanded tasting room hours or even a second satellite tasting room, both of which would need a steady supply of beer.
Are you guys expanding distribution outside the Sacramento region?
We actually signed a very small distributer in the SF Bay Area this year but we've been having to hold them back extensively due to limited supply, so they will be getting some more beer as well. We've been approached by distributors from the north and the south but we don't have any plans for those areas yet. We want to continue to make the Sacramento area our top priority, as there is much more to be done locally.
What else can we expect from Bike Dog over the next year?
On the tasting room side we have some fun bike and dog stuff planned for the summer and of course always try to go all out for our anniversary in early November. We are also exploring what needs to be done to get the front parking lot licensed for events, possibly four times a year. Our first event will be June 18. Our friends put on the Sacramento leg of the Meet Your Maker ride (bike and bike parts makers) and we are lucky enough to host a few hundred bikers before and after the ride. For more details, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1072243736170680/
On the beer side, we are currently under pressure to just make enough of our core beers that it's hard to sneak in seasonals, one offs and get any extra beer for some barrels, so this should help on all those fronts. It will also give us the volume to be able to sell those fun beers to more accounts. Now we barely have enough for ourselves so not much of those make it outside of the brewery. The new system will also allow us to make kettle sours. For our colab with New Glory they actually made the wort (pre-beer barley juice) and we trucked our split back and fermented it at Bike Dog. Our little system lacks the controls to be able to control heat for the long rest the bacteria needs to sour the wort and we always brew double batches so we would have had to figure out how to sour two batches at once.