After years of success, Pat McIlhenney and his award-winning craft brewery, Alpine, are expanding with a new BBQ pub and a tripling in brewing capacity. One would think that such a major increase would easily meet the demands of the consumer, however, Alpine has already seen demand outwhelm their current capacity. Despite the huge new expansion, will this be enough to satisfy the public's thirst?
Pat McIlhenney, owner and operator of Alpine Brewing, has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. Since opening the tiny brewery's doors, demand for his ale has far outgrown the capacity of his facility. To meet the extremely high demand, Pat and his team recently announced an expansion project that will see a new BBQ pub and a tripling of the brewery's current production output. Despite this heavy investment, Pat's growth initiatives will still be unable to keep up with the demand – for now, at least.
Pat McIlhenney was born in 1986 and began brewing beer as a hobbyist in his college dormitory. With a passion for the craft, and encouraged by friends and family, he decided to take his hobby to the next level by opening a brewery.
At only 24 years old and without funds or experience, Pat and his girlfriend, April, got a loan and a space in an old auto parts shop building and opened the Alpine brand in a garage they converted into a brewery. Starting with a 7-barrel system that his brother designed and constructed, Pat brewed and distributed his first batches of beer, Flagstaff IPA and Noble Pilsner. With the enthusiastic reception of his products, Pat's beers became quite popular and Alpine started winning awards.
With the company gaining local attention, Pat decided to expand by adding a taproom for Alpine fans. He began selling the beers on a month-to-month basis -- however, he quickly realized that allowed little room for expanding operations and his profits. Pat then decided to switch over to a seasonal production and distribution model, which proved to be very successful.
As the demand for Alpine's beer continues to increase, Pat and his team have recently announced an expansion project which will triple its current production output.
The expansion project, which will set Pat's brewery apart from other brewing operations in the region, will span 2.7 acres of developable land. Some aspects of the expansion project include the following:
All of these new additions will help Pat's tiny brewery keep up with the demand of its high-quality ales and do justice to the brand that it has become.
Despite the incredible investment of time and money that has gone into the expansion project, Pat's current output will still be unable to keep up with the demand for his beers for the foreseeable future. This proves that Pat and his team have created something special—the demand for his beers has exploded so quickly that even an expansion as ambitious as this one still won't be able to keep up!
Pat and his team have accomplished what many could only dream of—building and sustaining a successful beer business from the ground up. Despite the enormous pressure from the skyrocketing demand and the limited resources of the small brewery, Pat and his team have succeeded in creating and maintaining an award-winning beer brand. Currently Pat and his team are determined to turn the success of Alpine into an even larger one, and they are confident they will reach and exceed their expectations.
The success story of Alpine Brewing and its owner Pat McIlhenney is an example of how a small business can grow and thrive in an increasingly competitive, digital-driven world. It's no wonder that so many beer drinkers are eager to taste Pat's product in the US.