When Dogfish Head Craft Brewery opened its brewpub in 1995 in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Founder and President Sam Calagione brewed on a homemade machine dubbed “Sir Hops Alot.” To keep up with the restaurant’s demand, Calagione used “Sir Hops Alot” to brew two to three times a day, five to six days a week. Within a year, the brewpub’s traffic caused production to move to another homemade system made of 5-barrel tanks purchased from a local cannery factory auction.
Although do-it-yourself elements remain, today Dogfish Head’s Milton, Del., facility operates on a much larger scale. This year, the brewery expects to produce 170,000 barrels in its 100-barrel brewery. However, it projects another year of 20 percent growth, placing production in the 200,000 barrel range for 2013, which will reach the capacity of its existing facility.