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Press Releases

September 24th, 2020 Historic Stevens Point Brewery Adds Capacity, New Capabilities

Stevens Point Brewery plans to expand capacity to 165,000 barrels per year in 2021, adding 40,000 barrels, new brewing capabilities, cutting-edge pasteurization, can variety packs, 19.2-ounce single serve, and more.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Stevens Point Brewery, one of America’s longest-running breweries, plans to expand with a $2.5M investment in new capacity, equipment, and capabilities. Scheduled to be operational in spring 2021, the upgrades to the historic Wisconsin brewery include four additional 300-bbl fermentation tanks, a second centrifuge, state-of-the-art tunnel pasteurization, doubled line speeds, variety pack cans, and more. The additional 40,000 barrels will bring Point’s annual output to 165,000 barrels.

Operating partner Joe Martino will oversee the brewery’s most expensive overhaul to date, surpassing a $2M expansion in 2006. Martino explains, “In recent years, Point Brewery has been primarily focused on innovative product development, brewing efficiencies, our Quality Program, and putting together a stellar team. Now, with demand increasing year after year for Point Beers, Ciderboys Hard Ciders, and Whole Hog Brews, the decision to invest was easy.”

Instead of a physical extension or new building, the $2.5M expenditure in Stevens Point will focus inside the existing structure, which boasts cellars and outer walls that date back to 1857. Martino continues, “This modernization is mindful of that history, and it’s a natural next step – all based on our solid infrastructure and the explosive growth of our brands.”

In addition to four new 300-BBL fermenting vessels, manufactured by Wisconsin-based Sprinkman, the Stevens Point Brewery is installing a state-of-the-art tunnel pasteurizer. This replaces a 1950s-era “workhorse” tunnel, and complements their modern KHS flash pasteurizer. Installation of the new pasteurizer will necessitate an entire redesign of their historic Bottle Shop. According to director of operations Dan Weilep, “This was the perfect time to replace our bottle filler with a faster, leaner machine. This will effectively double our bottling line speeds.”

To keep up with the added fermentation vessels and faster bottling, the brewery is also adding a second centrifuge, which works in conjunction with its Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter for clarifying beverages. Point Brewery has also ordered a new, faster can packer, which will handle a greater variety of cans, including the taller, single-serve 19.2-ounce can.

These upgrades will free up their existing can packer to serve as a semiautomated variety-pack can assembler. According to marketing director Julie Birrenkott, “The demand for variety packs in cans is immense. We’re very excited to offer this to our customers in a streamlined way, since most breweries fill variety packs by hand.”

Stevens Point Brewery

Home to Point Special Lager, Point Craft Beers, Ciderboys Hard Ciders, Whole Hog Brews, Point Sodas, and now Tea Runner Hard Iced Tea, the Stevens Point Brewery has survived and thrived for 163 years thanks to a loyal community in Wisconsin, which radiates out. Martino is happy to admit, “We wouldn’t be here without this community, and we’re proud to invest right here in Wisconsin.”

News Coverage

WSAW NewsChannel 7: https://www.wsaw.com/2020/09/23/point-brewery-announces-25-million-expansion-renovation/

News 9 WAOW: https://waow.com/2020/09/24/stevens-point-brewery-expansion-will-add-to-capacity-distribution

January 13th, 2020 POINT BREWERY DONATES TO NEVER FORGOTTEN HONOR FLIGHT

Pictured above, from left to right: Julie Birrenkott, Stevens Point Brewery’s Marketing Director; Jim Campbell, Never Forgotten Honor Flight’s Co-Founder and VP of Marketing; Colin Hanson, George’s son; and Joanie Hanson, George’s wife.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (January 13, 2020) – The Stevens Point Brewery raised $3,000 in support of the Wisconsin-based veterans nonprofit Never Forgotten Honor Flight with the help and support of a local veteran’s family.

Never Forgotten Honor Flight Donation

In homage to the late Stevens Point native George Hanson (November 22, 1946 – April 7, 2016), the brewery created a t-shirt that pays tribute to him and all veterans. George is pictured on the front of the shirt and the logo for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight is proudly displayed on the back. The Never Forgotten Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that provides veterans with closure, gratitude, and respect, by flying them to Washington D.C. to visit their memorials.

Over the span of 3 months, 333 t-shirts were sold online and in the Stevens Point Brewery Gift Shop. $3,000 was raised in support of the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, covering the flight for 6 veterans.

“George made a huge impact on the community,” said Melissa Wysocki, Social Media Manager for the Stevens Point Brewery. “This venture has been an amazing opportunity to work alongside George’s family. I have learned so many amazing stories about George from them, but also from members of the community that came in to buy the shirt. George continues to make an impact today. It’s with great pride that we were able to not only donate to a great cause, but to commemorate the donation in George’s memory.”

About George Hanson

George was an active community member, a dedicated Point Beer lover, and a Vietnam veteran. Below is the original photo of George that is displayed on the front of the shirt.

While serving in Vietnam in the early 1970’s, Hanson would regularly receive care packages from family back in central Wisconsin. Some shipments included cans of Point Special Lager. According to Julie Birrenkott, the Stevens Point Brewery Marketing Director, “We’re humbled by this photo. It was taken almost half a century ago from halfway around the world. It really puts the ‘home’ in hometown beer.”

About the Veteran T-Shirt

The Stevens Point Brewery will continue to sell the shirt and donate to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Sizes Small through XL cost $20, 2XL costs $22, and 3XL costs $23. The t-shirt is available online and at the Stevens Point Brewery Gift Shop. The Gift Shop is open Monday through Friday 9a.m. to 5p.m., and Saturday 10a.m. to 5p.m.

February 23rd, 2017 ANNOUNCING POINT MURAL – Call for Artists!

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (February 23, 2017) – As part of our 160th Anniversary celebrations, the Stevens Point Brewery, in partnership with CREATE Portage County, is eager to announce an open call for artists interested in developing an original public art piece for the west-facing wall of the Galaxy Comics Games & More building (925 Clark Street) in downtown Stevens Point! We welcome artists and designers of all forms to apply but specifically encourage those who work in murals, public art, and mosaic.

This project is designed to commemorate our rich 160 years of exceptional beverage-making in Stevens Point. As such, artwork should focus on the story of the brewery and its impact on the Stevens Point Area. We are also eager to contribute to the placemaking goals of the growing downtown mural collection and thus encourage artists to envision contemporary public art that will draw people to the downtown. Our ideal is an iconic mural that becomes a staple for both locals and visitors taking pictures to celebrate their time in Stevens Point.

Application Details

Initial applications are due at or before 5:00PM on Friday, April 7th, 2017 and should be emailed to gregw@createportagecounty.org. These applications should include:

Artist’s resume (listing all public art projects), 2 to 3 letters of recommendation (please have them speak to the timeliness of your work), 5 to 10 representative digital images of your work, AND a written proposal with initial imagery to demonstrate your concept for the space.

The selection committee will judge proposals on the following criteria:

Quality, originality, and appeal of the concept Concept’s capacity to capture the spirit of the Stevens Point Brewery Concept’s appropriateness for a public setting Artist’s proven capacity for timely completion of the project

Artists, designers, studios, and teams may submit multiple concepts for this project, and artists from any location are encouraged to apply. However, preference will be given first to local and then to regional or Wisconsin artists.

Timeline & Fine Print

The selection committee will choose three to five finalists to make a presentation between May 15 – 19 that will include the following:

Finalized images of your project (preferably shown on the space), Explanation of the concept and its goals, AND a budget and timeline for the completed work.

The Stevens Point Brewery has set aside a stipend of up to $10,000 (depending on the scope of the project) to cover materials and artist compensation. Budgets should speak to the quality of materials and the execution of both surface preparation and a lasting, high-quality public art piece.

Artist must be available to begin this project on June 1st, to complete the project in July of 2017, and will agree to work with the Stevens Point Brewery on events that highlight and celebrate both the brewery and the creation of the public art piece. The selected artwork and its likeness will become the property of the Stevens Point Brewery, which reserves the right to use the image for promotional and retail purposes.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful submissions. We are eager to find the right partner for this project.

–Julie Birrenkott, Director of Marketing, Stevens Point Brewery

–Greg Wright, Executive Director, CREATE Portage County

Apply Now