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Growing craft: Troegs planning next phase of brewery expansion

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Derry Township-based Troegs Brewing Co., already one of the largest craft-brewing companies in the country, could soon be getting a little bigger.

Plans are in the works to add eight more outdoor fermentation tanks to boost capacity, said co-owner Chris Trogner. That could happen in the next two years.

"We're in the engineering phase and watching overall capacity," he said, expecting 80,000 barrels this year.

Troegs was one of the stops on a familiarization tour of the Harrisburg area last week. The tour was hosted by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp. as part of its "Live The Life You Want" campaign.

The focus of the campaign is to promote the midstate's emerging job opportunities to folks who are thinking about relocating here — particularly young professionals — as well as those who may be considering moving away.

Troegs, which moved to Derry Township from Harrisburg in 2011, already has eight outdoor fermentation tanks. It has approval for 24 in total, Trogner said.

Each tank has an 800-barrel capacity. A barrel is 31 gallons of beer.

Current capacity at Troegs is about 100,000 barrels.

"We're consistently growing 20 percent," he said of demand. "But things are getting a lot more competitive, too, in the craft segment."

Troegs currently sells its beer in 11 states. Production expansion and a stronger focus on sales and marketing to distributors and restaurants could grow that number, Trogner said.

"We still have a lot of opportunities," he said. "We hope to work with a few more restaurants every year."

Troegs is not sold in West Virginia, but the calls keep coming, Trogner said. It's also not in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine, but that could happen.

Massachusetts and Connecticut are the existing markets for Troegs in New England.

Troegs opened a logistics center in West Donegal Township last year to ship its finished products. The facility has been fully operational since the beginning of summer, Trogner said, which has helped control truck traffic at the brewery.

The company currently employs 187 people, but that number should continue to grow as Troegs adds capacity. The brewery sits on 19 acres, with 9 additional acres available, Trogner said.

He believes the brewery could eventually get to 300,000 barrels at that site.

Brewery operations

Logistics center

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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