News Shipyard Brewing Co. Expanding Production

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Jason, Jul 13, 2012.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    PORTLAND, ME – (July 2012) – Due to the high demand for Shipyard Pumpkinhead, Shipyard Brewing Company is pleased to announce it has leased space to begin brewing at an additional location in Memphis, Tennessee. This will also allow Shipyard to offer its products in cans for the first time and expand its overall brewing capacity.

    “This is a very exciting time in our growth,” stated Shipyard’s president Fred Forsley. “Our brewery in Portland is at full capacity and this allows us to meet consumer demand for our products.”

    Shipyard has leased space within a brewery in Memphis and manufactured tanks to employ its signature open top fermentation brewing process using Ringwood Yeast. Master Brewer Alan Pugsley did the first brew in June and cans of Shipyard Export will be available in Maine starting next week with other select markets to follow this summer. Shipyard Pumpkinhead will be available in cans this fall.

    This is not the first time Shipyard has brewed outside of Maine. In 1997, Shipyard opened the world’s first airport microbrewery at the Orlando International Airport. Today, the Shipyard Brew Pub in Winter Park, Florida operates its own nano-brewery. Plans are also underway to open a 20 barrel brewing facility elsewhere in Florida later this year, using the same brewing system that had been installed at the Orlando airport.

    About Shipyard Brewing Company: Founded in 1994, Shipyard Brewing Company is located on the historic waterfront in Portland, Maine and produces 17 varieties of award-winning English style and seasonal beers. Its products are distributed in over 35 states. The Brewers Association ranks Shipyard as the 16th largest craft brewery in the U.S. and 24th overall, making it one of the top 15 rising breweries in the country. In 2011, the brewery produced 129,285 barrels (1,781,260 cases) of its award-winning brews. This marks a 31.7% increase over 2010.

    A full list of Shipyard Brewing Company’s distributors can be found at this link:

    A national beer finder for Shipyard’s products can be found at this link:

  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,246) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Shipyard neglects to mention in their Press Release that the "space" they've leased is City Brewing Co.'s Memphis facility, Blues City Brewery.

    Blues City Brewery, LLC
    5151 Raines Rd
    Memphis, TN

    5151 E RAINES RD
    MEMPHIS, TN 38118

    Built and opened by Schlitz in the early 1970's and, at the time, one of the largest "new construction" breweries in the world, with over 6 million bbl./yr. capacity - so Shipyard's 30,000 bbl. (according to Brewbound) is a fraction of it's one-time potential output.

    Stroh would later sell it to Coors after buying Schlitz and then Coors sold it after they merged with Molson to an ex-executive to run as Hardy Bottling Co. (pretty sure it never brewed any beer after that, and soon after Coors moved out the place was hit hard by a tornado).

    Coincidentally, the tour/hospitality bar at the Schlitz plant was known as "The Belle" and had a Mississippi River Boat theme, so Shipyard should feel at home...
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,933) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Jess, it seems that City Brewing bought Hardy Bottling in spring 2011. Yuengling attempted to purchase Handy Bottling previously but they never consummated the deal. Do you know what the ‘problem’ was with the Yuengling purchase?

  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,246) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I think they said that the place needed too much work for their needs once they got inside and took a look at it. The roof still looks pretty sad if you do a Google Maps Satellite View and there was some video of the place taken right after that tornado hit online, too. Plus the brewhouse hadn't been used for many years, either, so apparently the additional cost to repair and renovate was too much for the notoriously frugal Yuengling :wink: .

    In addition, there were some strange, conflicting statements from Hardy and from Yuengling at the time concerning whether the place was even for sale after Yuengling announced their intent to purchase.

  5. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Crusader (736) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Shipyard is expanding production? Why?
    TheMonkfish, porkinator and Horbar like this.
  6. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    They feel the need to expand their diacetyl production capability.

    Who on earth is buying their garbage?!
  7. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (516) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    Hey, they sell tons of it according to Pugsley, so whether or not you like it is moot.

    As a has-been NFL receiver said: Get Your Popcorn Ready!!!!! (To cover it with SY beer of course) .
  8. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (3,380) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Does Shipyard do much marketing? I certainly never see advertising for Shipyard. So it mystifies me how they keep increasing their fan base considering how average their beers are.
  9. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Maybe the ~20% of the population that is blind to diacytel buys their beer?
  10. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,449) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    absolutely baffling.

    i really hate bashing beer that isn't tripel horse (even shityard), but pumpkinhead is easily 1 of the 5 worst beers i've ever had, BMC included. just a disgusting bottle of swill.

    that anyone would buy it when there's like 100 different pumpkin beers around is unbelievable. i mean, honestly, it's so bad that if i got it for free at a brewery tour i'd be like, "hey! what the hell is this?" like they were being hostile by having me drink it. it's inexcusable for such a substance to cost money.
    Horbar and mschofield like this.
  11. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,450) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    Hey Memphis Water Department, better check your connections!
  12. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,944) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    They should do a cross-promotion with Orville Redinbacher and Jelly Belly.

    I dunno, a lot of people do buy the stuff. Maybe it tastes better closer to the source and/or on draught before oxygen and time have had a chance to do their dirty work. That doesn't say much about their hopes of expending their footprint, though.
  13. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Even IF you consider that, their beer recipes are still substandard and show other brewing flaws. The greater fear is that their customers have been told "This is excellent craft beer." And without anyone to set them straight, they think buttah and other flaws ARE what is normal.

    They need to 1) get rid of that horrible yeast
    2) hire a brewer who cares, won't cut corners and will make excellent beer.
  14. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (437) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    FWIW, Shipyard brews mostly English style ales, which for some styles slight to moderate levels of diacetyl is desireable and to sytle. I know there are some people think any detectable diacetyl is flaw, but that's not necessarily the case. There are those that don't like it, but that doesn't mean Shipyard is a bad brewery. Besides, not every beer they brew has high levels of diacetyl like some here are claiming. Obviously if they are expanding someone out there likes their beer.

    And for those who think diacetyl is a problem inherent to Ringwood yeast, you might be surprised to hear how many other brewers use Ringwood too but just Shipyard [and sometimes Magic Hat] seem to be the only brewers that get dumped on by "beer advocates" for using Ringwood.
  15. smutty33

    smutty33 Zealot (581) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Lots of Noobs ,"not quite " beer geeks,and some BMC type consumers are enjoying beer like shipyards.
    About two years ago I noticed Pumpkinhead picking up steam,last year you couldn't keep it on the shelves in my neck of the woods.

  16. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Calling back to another thread, see, East coast breweries do expand west.
  17. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    2009 82,558 bbls
    2010 98,142
    2011 129,284

    I think that answers the why.
  18. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Crusader (736) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I'm afraid you misunderstood my "why". I was trying to be subtle. It's because I don't care for the beer and from some of the other posts, I'm not alone.
  19. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    No, I got it. I just decided to answer literally.
  20. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Crusader (736) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Duly noted.
  21. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    On a semi-related note, there was something that didnt occur to me until last year when I was doing a blind taste test of some beers with some friends.

    Lets take two hypothetical beers of the same style. Beer #1, everyone scores a B. Beer #2, 1/3rd of the population scores it a D, 1/3 scores it a C and 1/3 scores it an A.

    Which is going to sell better?
  22. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Crusader (736) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like a trick question but here goes. Beer #2 because opinions are like a-holes or toothbrushes and with the inconsistency, people are going to be curious as to why. At least I would.
  23. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I dont know the answer so no trick. But after doing the taste test, it explained to me why what I (and most people, both in my group doing the test and here on BA) consider to be a subpar beer continues to thrive. This isnt Budweiser, craft brewers arent trying to sell to everyone. If you can get a niche that loves your beer, it will do well.

    Now, beer #1 above will sell better to those who have never had it, having the higher overall rating. But if you are familiar with a wide range of beers in the style, you might never buy it again (or rarely), as its a B and there are plenty of As in the world. But beer #2 may sell lots of repeat business to 1/3 of the market, even if the other 2/3rds cant stand the beer.
  24. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Crusader (736) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    And what tastes good to one person may make another person drain pour.
  25. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (1,944) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    The bottled product we get in the NYC area has significantly more than slight to moderate levels. I don't mind diacetyl at low levels, in the proper styles, myself, but Shipyard's stuff can be dowright awful and untrustworthy.

    You are correct that the yeast is not the issue, but Pugsley's system can definitely be faulted. His main goal is to get the beer to consumers as fast as possible- 5 days from primary to package, if I remember correctly, is how he sells his 'system'. In order to accomplish this the green beer is crash cooled just after primary fermentation is complete, and before the yeast has had a chance to clean up any excess diacetyl and precursers. Over time, those precursers, along with any oxygen picked up during bottling, with produce an excessively buttery beer. I'd venture that the other brewers who use this yeast successfully are not rushing things as much.
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,933) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The Ringwood yeast is available to homebrewers by Wyeast, it is strain 1187. The Wyeast description of this yeast is below:

    “YEAST STRAIN: 1187 | Ringwood Ale™

    A top cropping yeast strain with unique fermentation and flavor characteristics. Expect distinct fruit esters with a malty, complex profile. Flocculation is high, and the beer will clear well without filtration. A thorough diacetyl rest is recommended after fermentation is complete.

    As TongoRad detailed, Shipyard is purposefully brewing with the Ringwood strain to produce diacetyl in the finished beer: “His main goal is to get the beer to consumers as fast as possible- 5 days from primary to package, if I remember correctly, is how he sells his 'system'.”

    Now, if you want to ferment with the Ringwood yeast strain and obtain a beer with little diacetyl the process is simple: you just wait a few more days for the yeast to metabolize the diacetyl that the yeast produced during the primary fermentation. This process is called a diacetyl rest.

    I have a brewpub near me and I have become friendly with the brewer. During a conversation he mentioned that they use the Ringwood strain as their house ale yeast. He saw the look of shock on my face and I quickly blurted out: but I don’t taste diacetyl in your ales (I can taste diacetyl). He smiled and responded: that is because we conduct a diacetyl rest for a few days to permit the yeast to metabolize the diacetyl. Basically they try the beers every day after primary fermentation is complete and when they can no longer taste the diacetyl they transfer the beer to serving tanks. I asked: why do you use the Ringwood strain? He had a good answer: because it flocculates well (settles out well) and results in very clear beers; they do not filter their beers fermented with the Ringwood yeast.

    So, Ringwood yeast does not have to result in ‘bad’ beers (for those of you like me who hate the taste of diacetyl). It is the brewing process with the Ringwood yeast which results in ‘bad’ beer.

    Rochefort10nh and Pahn like this.
  27. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Doesn't DFH use ringwood? Or am I mistaken?

    /I like Shipyard Export Ale. Sue me.
  28. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (3,380) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I believe they used it to begin and have re-propagated it in-house over the years, so that it might not be exactly "Ringwood" anymore.
  29. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (437) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I've read that the 60 Minute IPA is made with Ringwood yeast, but I don't think DFH uses Ringwood exclusively for all their beers.

    I like Export Ale too, and I like their Prelude...sometimes even Old Thumper hits the spot, which is definitely has that buttery flavor [by design].
  30. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    We all laugh and pick on Shipyard, but it is a gateway craft beer. In the northeast many BMC drinkers are seen with Shipyard & Seadog brews.
    smutty33 likes this.
  31. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    For one... they're trying to get into the Texas market again this year. Should be seeing their entire line & limited releases on Texas shelves before the fall. All their paperwork and approvals are already in order.

    I for one welcome them with open arms.
  32. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (625) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    I gotta say I don't quite understand the hate for Shipyard Pumpkinhead. I'll admit I don't buy it (I prefer PumKing and Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin) but here in RI I'll have it on tap where available in Oct/Nov and enjoy it. More of a cinnamon flavor than pumpkin though. My non-beer connoisseur friends like it as well and I think it's a good gateway beer.

    Perhaps it's because I'm only 3 hours or so away from their brewery, maybe I get it fresher, but I'm sure there are other New Englanders that have responded to the thread.
  33. BigGene

    BigGene Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2010 Florida

    Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin is pretty good.
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