Recently, Milwaukee’s Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., ranked 34th – the only Milwaukee brewery to make the cut – on the Brewers Association list of the fastest growing breweries in the country.
For proof of that look no further than the fact that the Menomonee Valley brewery, which opened in 2016, has just completed yet another expansion, upping its capacity to more than 10,000 barrels a year, from 7,500 previously.
Three new brewing tanks were added on Tuesday, joining two recently installed 90-barrel fermentation tanks and a 120-barrel brite tank.
Quality Tank Solutions of Oconomowoc fabricated the tanks.
"With 2019 sales already well outpacing 2018’s numbers, we needed to move quickly to add additional capacity in order to meet the current demand for our beer as we approach the busy summer season," said Third Space Brewing Co-Founder and Director of Sales and Marketing, Andy Gehl, in a statement.
To make room for the brewery expansion, Third Space rented 4,500 of warehousing space nearby on St. Paul Avenue for storage.
The expansion is the, ahem, third, in under three years at the young brewery, whose beers are already ubiquitous in Brew City, from your local grocery store to on the concourses at Miller Park.
When Third Space opened it had two 30-barrel and two 60-barrel fermentation tanks, plus two brite tanks. In the first year, the indie brewery added two more 60-barrel fermentation tanks and the canning line that allows you to pop the top on a Happy Place wherever your happy place might be.
Last May, two 90-barrel fermentation tanks, a whirlpool tank, a 90-barrel brite tank – for aging and storage – and a five-barrel pilot system were installed.
From 2017 to 2018, the brewery boosted production from 2,195 to 5,300 barrels.
All the expansion allowed Third Space to expand its reach this year to Madison and other areas in Southwestern Wisconsin, and said, Co-Founder and Brewmaster, Kevin Wright, in the statement, there’s room for further growth.
"We built our original production plan with the ability to expand incrementally by adding to our cellar tanks like we did this week," said Wright.
"With our 30-barrel brew house and the cellar plans as we have designed them, we expect we can continue to add tanks to increase our capacity to at least 20,000 barrels per year, if our growth trajectory continues."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.