EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Success in the beer industry can be measured in barrels.
To meet growing demand, Tuckahoe Brewing Co. is getting ready to open its new facility that will allow the company to quadruple production.
The 10,000-square-foot space inside a building near English Creek and Reega avenues is six times the size of the company’s old space in the Ocean View section of Upper Township.
“At our old location, the biggest issue about expanding was no public sewer and well water, and those two issues continue to grow as you get bigger,” co-owner Tim Hanna said. “This facility has what we needed, and it’s a great location that has plenty of traffic.”
Breweries in the state and in South Jersey have been a success story despite a weak economy following the recession.
In New Jersey, the number of these small breweries grew from 24 in 2011 to about 40 now, according to figures from the national Brewers Association and the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild. About 20 more breweries await approval to launch, the guild said.
Tuckahoe Brewing Co.’s new facility houses a 15-barrel system with an annual capacity of 2,000 barrels. At the old site, it brewed about 500 barrels.
Partner Stu Stromfeld said the growth will allow the business to sell its beer in more regions.
“This step takes us to the next level,” Stromfeld said. “We can now make enough products so that we can expand. Right now, we are in the Cherry Hill area as well as the Princeton area.”
The brewery makes eight different beers on a regular basis. Dennis Creek Pale Ale is the brewery’s flagship brand. The Marshallville Wit is a wheat beer. Steelmantown Porter is available year-round. The brewery also offers Reeds IPA, New Brighton Coffee Stout, Anglesea Irish Red Ale and the seasonal Hollybeach Pumpkin Ale.
“This is an industry that is similar to people who like fine wines,” Stromfeld said.
Like the state’s wine-making industry, beer brewers are seeing the fruits of growth.
Microbreweries benefit from a 2012 change in state law that, among other things, allowed customers to buy beer at their breweries as part of a tour, according to the state brewer's guild.
Also at play are shifting trends in what types of beer Americans drink.
While overall beer sales grew less than 1 percent in 2014, craft beer sales increased 17 percent, according to the Brewers Association.
Hanna said Tuckahoe Brewing will have a tasting room and tours once the facility is open.
“People taking a tour will get samples, and they can stay and enjoy a pint. People can fill up growlers, which are 64-ounce jugs, and buy six packs,” Hanna said.
Tuckahoe closed its Ocean View site at the end of September, Hanna said.
“It was a difficult decision to shut down the other facility and come here,” he said. “The people that used to come there were like family. Once we get up and running, we are planning on running some type of shuttle service back and forth so they can come up here.”