Expansion under way for Nevada City brewery | TheUnion.com

Expansion under way for Nevada City brewery

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

A little more than a year since its doors first opened in Nevada City's Seven Hills Business District, ol' Republic Brewery's beer crafting has spilled out its doors into an expanded operation in a warehouse just 250 feet away from its popular tasting room.

As reported in a March 4 article in The Union, the owners were awaiting building approval to shift their brewing into a 4,000-square-foot warehouse, also behind SPD Market, where the pair will house 12 fermenters and 27 aging tanks, more than triple the four fermenting tanks and eight aging tanks they started their operation out with.

"We've already purchased all those," said Jim Harte, who co-owns and brews with friend Simon Olney. "We will have three times the volume of tanks … We estimate we'll grow our production nearly four times."

A week ago, the last formal permission was granted.

"We broke ground that same day we got the permit," Harte said, noting that the pair hopes to have renovations completed in two months.

With all brewing operations diverted to the new warehouse, Harte and Olney see a potential to expand the capacity of their original tasting room location.

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"Potentially, we might knock some walls out and expand the seat area in there," Harte said.

Also on tap at the new location: bottling.

Since opening its doors, beer lovers could swing by for a taste at the tasting room or, soon thereafter, could purchase a growler to take some home.

In December, The Union reported the brewery delivered its first commercial kegs to local businesses, and it has since expanded to other counties, including Placer and Sacramento. In total, the brewery currently delivers to 17 accounts, predominately in Nevada City and Grass Valley.

"We have some accounts now that are flying through the beer. It goes so fast," Harte said.

By mid- to late summer, the two owners also plan to put their brews into bottles for retail sale, also previously reported in the March article. Those bottles will be 22 ounces, Harte said. Their website event teases a 6-liter draft-o-matic mini-keg that will be coming soon.

"It is kind of neat because when they first started, they talked about future expansion," said Cindy Siegfried, Nevada City planner. "To see them expand and grow has been rewarding."

Olney and Harte aren't planning on slowing down anytime soon.

Only three weeks after getting their initial operation up and running, they realized they needed to plan for an expansion, something they referred to as phase two.

"We already know we are going to outgrow this new operation," Harte said. "We are already exploring our phase three."

Harte explains that the next step is to expand again to an operation that will be anywhere from four to six times larger than the one they are building. The new warehouse operation will pump out 2,000 barrels of beer per year once it gets up to speed. Phase three will start at 5,000 barrels with a potential to grow much larger.

"That is when we will become a regional brewery," Harte said. "We could be meeting with an architect in the next 12 months. Two years from now, we could be looking at another expansion."

For information, visit http://olrepublicbrewery.com or stop by the tasting room at 124 Argall Way.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.

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