BBC prepares to launch new brand as craft beer booms - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BBC prepares to launch new brand as craft beer booms

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Demand for locally made craft beer has another Louisville brewery expanding. The Bluegrass Brewing Company micro-brewery at Clay and East Main Streets recently invested about $750,000 to add three new 2,000 gallon fermentation tanks.

Brewmaster Joel Halbleib stays very busy these days overseeing that growth.

"We moved all of our packaging operation over to a different area in the brewery to allow us to drop more fermentation vessels in and that allows us to add fifty percent more fermentation capacity to our brewery," says Halbleib.

People are continuing to move toward buying things that are local," adds Halbleib, "and they want something that is made locally and their money to stay local."

Other micro-brewery operations around Louisville have also expanded, or are making plans to expand, as craft beer booms. But those in the business believe there is still plenty of room for everyone to be successful.

"People talk about a bubble," explains Halbleib, "but I don't think we are there yet, the big three major beer companies are still consuming eighty percent of the market or even higher."

The BBC now makes eight brands and later this month will launch its latest brand, Louisville Lager.

"Craft beer is still just barely above then percent of the market share," says Halbleib, "there is a long way to go, people want to drink more local beer."

BBC says its looking into the possibility of finding more space to expand if business continues to grow the way it has during the past several years.

Louisville has a long and rich history of beer making during the past 100 years and a new chapter is being written now involving the small craft beer operations.

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