Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) January 21, 2008
Coming off impressive growth over the last few years, SweetWater Brewing Company continued to outpace the beer business and the craft brewing industry in 2007. SweetWater's shipments to wholesalers increased by 12,500 barrels totaling 45,500 barrels, and a 37% gain over 2006. The brewing industry grew just over 2% nationwide and craft beers as a category saw double digit growth again in '07. SweetWater Brewery maintained its position as one of the top 30 independent breweries in the country while staying geographically focused on its hometown of Atlanta and a few surrounding cities.
Finally settling into its new midtown brewery has given SweetWater the capacity to go after opportunity that had previously been out of reach for them. Knoxville, TN and Gainesville, FL were added to the towns of Chattanooga, Nashville, Birmingham and the Panhandle of Florida as markets where SweetWater is available outside of Georgia. The overwhelming majority of all the beer sold by SweetWater remains in its hometown of Atlanta, supporting SweetWater's goal of local beer for local folks.
According to SweetWater's Minister of Propaganda (Marketing Director) Steve Farace, "This is an exciting time to be in the craft beer business. Doors that have been closed to us for years are swinging open and folks are inviting us in! The challenges we face have left the production side; now it is up to sales to make sure the steps we take as we grow keep quality and freshness of our beers the priority."
The SweetWater Draft House in Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is a perfect example of the SweetWater philosophy. Concession International, one of two main concessionaires at the airport, approached SweetWater early in the year about the potential for a branded concept in the world's busiest airport. The boys at the brewery leapt at the opportunity. SweetWater Draft House opened in August and was the perfect opportunity to express their brewery's character and creativity.
June 2007 saw another great year for SweetWater's "Save the Hooch" campaign for the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. SweetWater and its retail partners raised over $25,000 to support UCR's efforts to protect Atlanta's main source for water, and bring awareness to the hazards that face our river everyday.
Sweetwater's tasting room continued to be a bright spot for the brewery. With tours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons SweetWater welcomed over 40,000 visitors to its brewery to hear the story of how it began, see the beer making process, and sample SweetWater's award winning lineup of tasty west coast style, aggressively hopped ales.
SweetWater is planning another great year for 2008. On tap are six new 400 barrel fermentation tanks to increase the brewery's potential capacity up to 100,000 barrels. Getting those tanks into the building will require SweetWater to remove a large portion of its roof and replace it once the tanks are in.
SweetWater Brewing Company's annual 420 Festival celebrating Earthday (http://www.sweetwater420fest.com) which drew over 8000 people to Atlanta's Candler Park is scheduled for April 19th and 20th this year, and SweetWater will also begin to spread distribution of its brews into South Carolina, farther into North Carolina, and parts of Tennessee. Once again in 2008 SweetWater will embark on its campaing to "Save the Hooch". With national news focusing on the drought in Georgia the support of this program for Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (http://www.chattahoochee.org) is larger than ever.
About SweetWater Brewing Company
SweetWater is a 45,000 barrel Microbrewery located in mid-town Atlanta. SweetWater began selling beers in the spring of 1997 after two brewing buddies from the University of Colorado found their way to the south. "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time" is their mission, and in 2002 SweetWater won the "Small Brewery of the Year" award at the Great American Beer Festival. They are still the only brewery east of the Mississippi River to ever win that prestigious award. SweetWater Brewery is located at 195 Ottley Drive, Atlanta GA 30324. Tours and Tastings at the brewery are held every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon. More information on the brewery can be found at http://www.sweetwaterbrew.com
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