21st Amendment crosses bay in thirst for expansion

Craft brewer 21st Amendment crosses bay in thirst for expansionhttp://www.sfgate.com/food/article/C…st-6310329.phpShaun O’Sullivan hands a plastic cup of cloudy ale to business partner Nico Freccia, and without missing a beat, the two clink cups. It is a ritual that the co-founders of 21st Amendment Brewery have done countless times.But this toast is different: They are sipping the first batch of beer made at 21st Amendment’s ambitious, sparkling new production brewery in San Leandro.Set in a hangar-like factory where Kellogg’s once manufactured Pop-Tarts and Frosted Flakes, 21st Amendment’s new brewery — or campus, as it’s been dubbed — clocks in at $30 million in construction costs, so far, and takes up more than 5 acres of industrial warehouse space. Eventually, the company will create more than 100 jobs in the East Bay city that is already home to Drake’s Brewing Co. and Cleophus Quealy, quickly becoming a center for craft beer.“The new 21st Amendment Brewery is a real game changer for San Leandro,” said San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter in an e-mail.“The manufacturing jobs of the last century are gone, but we’re seeing great new opportunities in advanced manufacturing and specialty food and beverage production.”The new facility will propel 21st Amendment into the varsity league of Bay Area brewing giants, quintupling its capacity to more than 375,000 barrels. The sprawling warehouse is also large enough to allow that number to double in coming years.Soon, 21st Amendment’s San Leandro facility will be able to brew in one day what the company now brews in one year at the San Francisco pub. Production began several weeks ago; later this month, canning will commence, around the same time that a makeshift tasting room will open to the public, with food trucks and picnic tables in tow.Although the Budweisers and Millers of the world still dominate the American beer landscape, 21st Amendment’s move comes at a time when craft brewers — defined as independently owned companies producing fewer than 6 million barrels of beer — are winning ever more fans.READ MORE HERE

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