Swamp Head Brewery will triple its production and upgrade its tasting room while solidifying its commitment to the environment with a new brewery that is the first in the state to use solar power.
The new brewery will also dedicate a portion of its six-acre property into protected conservation, giving its surroundings a feeling to match the name of its tasting room, “The Wetlands.”
“Our new location is now bordered by conservation land, which was something very important to us. It has the feel of being out in the wetlands, but we’re right in the middle of town. We also have some room to grow, which is nice,” said owner Luke Kemper.
The 13,500-square-foot facility will allow Swamp Head to produce 18,000 barrels of beer a year, up from the current 6,000 barrels. The site also gives the brewery room to expand to a potential 50,0000 barrels to meet future demand. The brewery will also immediately create 6 new jobs and hopes to create more than 20 overall as the expansion continues.
Swamp Head opened in 2008 and quickly grew from a Gainesville-area favorite to gain a statewide presence with a slogan of “Inherently Floridian.” Its year round beers include Wild Night Honey Cream Ale, Cottonmouth Belgian Witbier, Stump Knocker Pale Ale, Midnight Oil Oatmeal Coffee Stout and Big Nose IPA. The brewery also produces Spasmodic, Migrational and Elusive Reclusive releases, which are available on a limited basis.
Realizing demand was outgrowing production capabilities; Swamp Head spent two years searching for a new home with the hope of finding a location that would encompass their brand.
The new location is at 3650 SW 42nd Ave., near the recently closed Alley Katz Corner.Swamp Head has put a major focus on the quality of their beer in their new brewery, investing in a laboratory and other brewing equipment typically used only by large breweries. A centrifuge will be used to filter most of their beer. It takes out unwanted yeast, leaving behind valuable hop compounds that contribute to the aromatics and flavor of the brewery’s beers.
Swamp Head is also focused on sustainability practices. Working with Solar Impact of Gainesville, Swamp Head will become the first brewery in Florida to have a portion of their operations solar powered, an effort it will continue to expand.
“The Wetlands” tasting room will not only be bigger, but it will also provide visitors with more amenities. It will feature two separate bars, a designated growler filling station, 30 beer taps and larger restrooms. The Wetlands will add games, weekly events and larger community events to their entertainment lineup in 2015.
“Gainesville has welcomed our brewery with open arms. So much so that we’ve been able to grow this thing way bigger than we ever imagined, and will in turn be able to give back to Gainesville in the way of jobs, culture, and of course, beer,” Kemper said.
Gainesville based Scherer Construction was the general contractor for the brewery construction. The 30-barrel (930 gallon) brew system was supplied by JVNW of Oregon. Goodwin Lumber of Gainesville provided the reclaimed Florida hardwood cladding for The Wetlands.
As part of their commitment to buying local, Swamp Head made a commitment two years ago to purchase all major brewing equipment from U.S. based manufacturers, whenever possible.
A grand opening celebration will be held on February 21st from 1pm to 9pm and will include a ribbon cutting, a tree planting and an array of food trucks.
For more information about Swamp Head, visit www.swamphead.com.