Founders Brewing hits production bottleneck


Founders Brewing Co.’s bottling line at work. Photo via

Although Founders Brewing Co. is growing larger by the day, the expansion process has caused some growing pains.

Founders cites “a perfect storm of activity” for causing an inventory shortage, resulting in the delay of some scheduled launches in new markets, according to a blog post.

Rapid expansion has caused down times in production, the company said, and the amount of beer Founders is able to ship out has decreased.


Most notable is the decision to hold off on the entry into Florida, which the brewery had scheduled for July as part of an agreement with Brown Distributing.

The launch of All Day IPA in cans also will be pushed back.

“Please know that these difficult moves affect many parts of our business, but should be done for both short- and long-term success,” Founders Communications Manger Sarah Aldrich writes. “Until we have built up core brand inventories in all markets again and are comfortable in meeting existing demand, these opportunities must wait a bit longer.”


Founders is in the middle of a $26-million expansion of the brewery and taproom and will nearly double its previous capacity, adding 165,000 barrels to up its total to about 340,000 barrels a year.

The brewery already began shipments to Texas and Ontario, Canada this year.

Founders ranks 30th on the Brewers Association’s 2012 list of top breweries by sales volume, representing a jump of 12 spots from 2011. With the new expansion, Founders could jump into the top 25.

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