A new (used) building and an addition to of one of its largest existing buildings are part of Left Hand Brewing Co.'s continued expansion of its Boston Avenue headquarters.
The company recently closed on a 14,200-square-foot building at 1235 Boston for $995,000. The building is just east of a couple of buildings at 1245 Boston it bought last year as part of a $660,000 purchase of land and buildings just to the east of the main brewery. All the buildings bought this year and last have operating businesses in them, and the businesses in 1245 Boston will continue to operate for the next couple of years, Left Hand's president and co-founder, Eric Wallace, said. However, he expects to move into 1235 Boston by the end of this year.
"This will be dry storage, a maintenance shop and offices," Wallace said of the new building.
Panorama Coordinated Services, a grounds maintenance and landscape company, has been in 1235 Boston since 2006. Owner Pete Storz said his company has been looking to find a new facility that had larger yard space, and called it a "win-win" for Left Hand to buy his building. A lease-back agreement will allow Panorama to operate in it until it finds a new place, which should be by the second half of this year, Storz said. He added that he's working with the city and hopes to be able to find a place in Longmont.
The latest building purchase brings Left Hand's total footprint on both sides of Boston to about 81/2 acres, Wallace said.
"As volume keeps increasing, we keep getting tighter and tighter," he said.
Last year, the brewery -- which narrowly escaped September's flood damage with the exception of a small temporary lab space it's renting on Sunset Street -- produced 65,879 barrels of beer, a 33 percent increase from 2012. Revenue was up 34 percent, Wallace said, to $16.8 million. Employee head count was 88 at the end of 2013, up from 77 in 2012. And the plan is to add more than a dozen people this year, he said.
The brewery also is adding 12,000 square feet to the south end of its main production building, Wallace said. That will be to house the laboratories that are part of its quality control systems, along with some offices.
The purchases this year and last connect the brewery directly to Bowen Circle, which allows truck access from the east that it previously didn't have.
"These are strategic purchases so we don't end up having to move," Wallace said. "We're invested in Longmont."
Left Hand currently distributes its beers in 26 states and has been named one of the top 50 craft breweries in the country for two years running. Its repeated double-digit annual growth is outpacing the overall growth of craft beer in the U.S., although the industry continues to grow steadily year after year. According to the Boulder-based Brewers Association, craft beer still only accounts for about 61/2 percent of total beer sales in the U.S.
"When will it stop? We don't know," Wallace said. "That's why we're trying to be conservative with our growth. We're not leveraged to the hilt."
Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-684-5291 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.