Boulevard Brewing Co. cuts the ribbon on Cellar Five expansion project

Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Cellar Five expansion project is officially finished. What’s it mean? More beer. A lot more beer. 

The 3,600-square-foot building is home to six, 1,000 barrel fermenting tanks. Those tanks can be seen towering two stories in the sky over Southwest Boulevard, and they increase Boulevard’s fermentation capacity by 40 percent, pushing it to more than 300,000 barrels of beer. 

Boulevard founder John McDonald was in attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning. He was joined by Duvel Moortgat CEO Michel Moortgat and a host of Boulevard employees, who each raised a bottle of beer to toast the brewery’s growth.

“This is my favorite part of the brewery,” McDonald said. “The part that makes the beer, so this means a lot to me.”

Boulevard broke ground on the $12 million expansion project in November 2014. Boulevard’s engineering manager Tim Hall gave The Pitch a  quick tour, pointing to the conelike tanks protruding through the roof of the building. 

“This is all fermentation,” Hall said. “Each tank holds about 1,000 barrels of beer. A barrel is 31 gallons.”

Hall motioned to the tanks pictured below. “These are for dry hopping,” he said of Boulevard’s the Calling and Single-Wide IPAs. “This equipment is going to help us do a better job of dry hopping.”

Hall moved on to “CIP,” aka the clean-in-place system.

“This equipment is responsible for cleaning all of the production equipment,” he said. 

Hall moved over another few feet. “This is where we collect yeast,” he said to the space pictured below. “And this is where the yeast pitching happens. So when we bring wort off of our brewhouse, this is where we’re going to inject yeast to begin the fermentation. And then after fermentation is complete, we harvest yeast back in here.”

Even with a short tour, it’s clear there’s still plenty of room to build on. 

“This is for expansion in 2017,” Hall said to an empty area of the space. “We have room for six more tanks.”

So look for more Boulevard growth in ’17.

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