Aslan Brewing is Getting Much Bigger

By |2018-10-18T13:22:34+00:00June 9th, 2016|

 

I was reading craft beer news on my phone this morning when a text came in from Aslan GM Pat Haynes, with a picture of their brand new 60bbl fermenter hanging from the tip of a skid. The text read,

We’re at it again.

rsz_img_20160609_092823019

Placing the 45bbl bright tank this morning

I disagree with Haynes, Aslan has always been at it. This new 60bbl fermenter adds about another 1,920 gallons of beer, or 15,360 pints, to their growing production. Not only did they add the fermenter, they added a 45bbl bright tank. According to Assistant Brewer, Austin, the new system will allow them to shorten the brewing process by one day because they will can off of their 45bbl bright tank, as opposed to their old system of canning directly off of their 45bbl fermenter. These just aren’t any tanks. These are from famed Marks out of Vancouver WA. Learn more about them here.

I went down to watch the Aslan boys team up with the Marks team to carefully position the 45bbl bright tank into the brewhouse. It was a sight to see and was another testament to how well this brewery works together. What does it look like to raise a 45bbl bright tank? It looks like it feels. “Freaky!” The tension was high, but the Marks crew and the Aslan guys worked together to get it move it slowly up on end.

The 60bbl fermenter will only have 1ft of clearance when the place it and that’s why the Marks team is there – Aslan didn’t want to try this one on their own. To make room for the new tanks they had to rearrange their brewhouse. A huge dry storage shelving unit was moved from the east wall, which is where the canning unit will now sit.

rsz_img_20160609_092823019

Aslan crew helping raise the bright tank

The 60bbl fermenter will be used to produce their insanely popular Batch 15. Aslan can thank their Lead Sales Rep Gerry Jimenez and Sales Director Boe Trosset for expansion in territory. They recently moved Jimenez to Seattle to help push the lion. Batch 15 is leading their push into Vancouver BC, Seattle and most recently towards the Washington State Peninsula, as they move into Olympia.

Aslan is on track for 5,000 barrels this year and these new additions to the family will give them the capacity to push 7,500 barrels. Most of those pints end up at the brewery. CEO Jack Lamb said the brewery is still the backbone of the company’s volume. But distribution is becoming much more important to Aslan, which was the driving force for adding these new toys to the brewhouse.

In the past year they have added a dry storage space, just down the road from their brewery on Forest, and upped their fermenter size twice – Once to 30bbl and again to their most recent 45bbl system. What’s exciting is that their dry storage will soon house their massive brewhouse walk-in cooler. When they move it they will add about another ~300sqft of cooler floor space to increase storage for kegs. This will also drastically change the logistics of keg storage, as they’ll have to ferry kegs between the main brewhouse with their van to the dry storage unit down the road. But Frank Trosset said doing so will allow for further expansion in the brewhouse and his interest in obtaining a Foeder and “more wood”

[barrels for aging, etc.]

As you know, Frank Trosset is the Head Brewer at Aslan. But all of this expansion requires a talented team of brewers and cellarmen to keep things moving along. He’s supported by these fine fellows, including the newest cellarman, Josh.

Aslan Brewing Company just celebrated its second anniversary and they seem to be constantly growing, but not just in size as their beers continue to amaze and mature. Haynes tells me they are averaging about three new beers a month and they are often featured in our weekly Tap Roundup as a result.

In just over two years Aslan has gone from taking a beating in the press to regional distribution, winning numerous awards, upping staff, becoming a respected B Corp, expanding their brewhouse 3x and becoming a huge part of our community. And they’re just getting started.

About the Author:

Scott Pelton
I'm Co-Owner of Tap Trail and the Editor of the Tap Trail website. Let's have a pint! Email me at scott@taptrail.com.