Halifamous craft beer manufacturer Propeller is opening a new location in Burnside, but no need to worry about the Gottingen Street store and brewery, it's staying put.
"We're moving the bulk of our production to a bigger building," said owner John Allen. "We outgrew this space probably three years ago, despite the fact we've added a warehouse in the back, we're just jammed."
Allen said with such a crowded space, doing basic things, like maneuvering a pallet to ship bottles could be a slow and risky ordeal.
With that in mind Propeller has bought a new building in Burnside on Windmill Road, which will house the majority of their production, bottling and shipping operations.
It's also where the majority of Propeller's employees will be working when it opens this Spring.
The taps won't turn off at the Gottingen Street location, Allen said, explaining that the North End store will remain the face of the company.
"If it meant giving up this store, we wouldn't have expanded," he said, noting that they would have drawn back production otherwise. "We would not give up this building. This store is part of the neighbourhood, employs people in the community and sells a tremendous amount of beer."
Allen said Propeller has been experiencing double digit growth since 2006 and it's becoming too hard for them to meet the demand with their current operations.
The Gottingen Street will remain as a brewery as well, making the one-hit-wonders and specialty brews. The added space will allow them more time to experiment with different flavours and techniques.
"It's a good problem to have," he said with a laugh. "The industry in general is growing, there's a bigger awareness about craft beer and people buying local and all of those sorts of things, this is a North America wide phenomenon."
Although Propeller is sold across Canada, Allen said their primary focus is to meet demand locally, their primary market.
"We are not bent on world domination," Allen said. "This move is not really to drive up our production, it's to make our production more efficient. Our sales are going up anyway, this is really to allow us the ability to actually meet demand."
Craft beer is basically old-fashioned, small-scale beer brewing, generally made with the four main ingredients - malted grain, hops, water and yeast. Allen said that craft beer often has a bigger, bolder flavour than most mainstream beers. Propeller also makes sodas, including root beer.
Is Burnside turning into the beer district?
With Moosehead Cold Beer Store, Sleeman and now Propeller setting up shop on Windmill Road, it's looking like Burnside is becoming the place to go for beer.
The new Propeller location will include a storefront as well as a full brewery, meaning approximately 10 new employees will be needed.
When asked why he chose Burnside, Allen said it was mainly because it met all of their criteria.
"We weren't targeting Burnside," he said, noting they even considered building their own brewery. "But because we wanted a second store, we wanted some visibility and we've got that on Windmill Road with something like 40,000 cars a day."
The new building also uses natural gas; something Allen said was crucial to have for the new operation.