As a way to fulfill growing demand for its beer, Big Ditch Brewing has opened a new 40-barrel production brewery (101 Oak Street) four blocks away from its original 20-barrel brewhouse (55 East Huron Street) in downtown Buffalo. There will be no retail operations at 101 Oak.
The new 40-barrel brewing facility is a “production only” brewery that:
- More than doubles the brewery’s existing production capacity
- Enables Big Ditch brewers to innovate more craft beers at their 55 East Huron Street location
- Enables Big Ditch to expand distribution across NYS (Central NY and Capital Region) and beyond
- Provides for Hayburner American IPA to be sold in 12-packs
- Allows for future expansion if/when needed
The expansion brewery is dedicated to brewing and packaging all of Big Ditch’s 12-ounce cans, which come off the line already cold. Seven additional brewers have been hired to staff the growing brewery, which is now a two-shift operation.
The new brewery gives Big Ditch some room to breathe, as it continues to expand. Currently the brewery is the 8th largest independently owned brewery in NYS… and is steadily growing. A lot of that growth comes from its popular Hayburner American IPA, which has become a staple draft beer at bars and restaurants in WNY. To date, Hayburner has only been sold in 6-packs. By producing 12-packs, customers will be able to purchase more beer, while saving money. The IPA is considered a “drinkable IPA that appeals to a wider beer audience.”
“For years, our customers have been asking us to sell our beer outside of NYS. We’re almost ready to make that happen,” said Matt Kahn, President and Co-Founder of Big Ditch, who is also excited to get working on some new specialty and experimental beers. “Innovation is paramount for success in the craft beer industry. The opening of the new production brewery will free up capacity at our current brewery for innovation, while allowing us to keep pace with demand for our signature and seasonal beers.”
As for branding the new production facility, Khan believes that there might be something that can be done to make a splash on the building (along Oak), to broadcast the arrival of the brewery. At the same time, he doesn’t want people to get confused when they are looking for a place to grab a beer. Hopefully he will figure out a way to make that happen, as it would be nice to see the 101 Oak Street building broadcast itself to passersby in some clever and creative manner. And who knows – maybe if beer sales continue to grow as steadily as they have in the past, there might even be some additional commercial possibilities within the building, whether by Big Ditch or by companion businesses. It’s a massive building, filled with possibilities and potential.