. said it's relocating and expanding into new quarters in downtown Gig Harbor. It will take up 11,000 square feet of the old and be producing craft beer in the new site by March, the company announced today.
Fans who frequent the 7 Seas Tap Room will have to wait a little longer, however. The craft brewer's new, larger tasting room isn't expected to open to the public before June.
Open for less than three years, the popular craft brewery has outgrown its current space on 56th St. NW next to the and construction is already underway in the new facility, located in the Peninsula Shopping Center on Judson Street, just a block from the waterfront. The company said the expansion initially will create four new jobs.
Seven Seas plans on dedicating 8,600 square feet of the new downtown space to an expanded production facility; a much larger 7 Seas Tap Room will take up the remaining 2,400 square feet.
The company is working with AAA Metal Fabrication of Oregon to install a 775-gallon, custom-built, stainless-steel, steam-fired, three-vessel brewhouse, which is due to arrive in mid-January. Its existing 265-gallon brewer will also be used at the new facility. It is paying for the expansion with Small Business Administration (SBA) financing obtained through the local branch of Heritage Bank.
“We’re really excited,” said Mike Runion, who owns 7 Seas with Travis Guterson. “This will allow 7 Seas Brewing Co. to produce year-round offerings on the larger brewhouse as well as experiment and create new seasonal beers on the smaller brewhouse.”
At full capacity, the company's expanded brewery operation could eventually produce up to 620,000 gallons of beer a year. The company won’t be brewing anywhere near that volume in the near term, although it does expect its first calendar year production after the move to more than triple to an estimated 124,000 gallons. Seven Seas will make 37,200 gallons of its craft beer in 2011.
The new facility is expected to be brewing its first batches of 7 Seas beer in March of 2012. The new Tap Room should open sometime between June and October and maintain a cozy, living room feel while providing more space to enjoy a pint and watch the brewery in action. In the meantime, the current 7 Seas Tap Room will remain open during the transition.
In relocating, 7 Seas is essentially returning to where it began. The company was all set to launch in downtown Gig Harbor in 2009, when its first facility was virtually destroyed by a fire started from a space heater in a neighboring business. The craft brewer regrouped and relocated to the space it is in now, opening for business in mid-2009.
The company's from the City of Gig Harbor was granted by the hearing examiner on Nov. 30, enabling it to move forward on the move downtown.