The Thirsty Beagle: Choc acquires McAlester production site, eyes expansion

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Choc acquires McAlester production site, eyes expansion

Big happenings out of Krebs this week as a news report surfaced detailing a large-scale expansion plan for Choc.

The McAlester News-Capital reported that Choc -- Krebs Brewing Co., actually -- recently rented a 52,000-square-foot production facility at a McAlester industrial park, with plans to relocate the bulk of its production to the new space.

Choc President Zach Prichard said the move will allow the company to increase output by five or six times current production levels.

This will make Choc the undisputed king of production size in Oklahoma, and it's not the first time the brewery has undertaken a significant production bump. In 2013, Choc purchased a 50-barrel brewing system from Sweetwater Brewing. That move allowed Choc to produce up to 6,200 gallons of beer at a time. Just doing the quick math, you can see this new plan will jump that number well above 30,000 gallons at a time, based on Prichard's estimates.

One really interesting nugget from the story was that Choc employed four people full-time in 2013, and now has nearly 30 people on its payroll. Prichard told the newspaper that the increase in production space could allow them to double their workforce.

"The best option for our business is to move into this existing building in McAlester," Prichard told the newspaper. "I think it's a really good move to make and will benefit this community -- McAlester, Krebs and the surrounding area.

"The existing facility will still be used. Making that transition from Krebs to McAlester, while maintaining that Krebs heritage, seemed like an easy move."

Some other takeaways:

-Choc produces about 95 percent of Prairie Artisan Ales' beer.
-The new production facility won't come online until spring 2017.
-Choc will put an initial investment of $4 million into the building.
-The deal includes an option to buy the building.
-The city of McAlester is on board and actively trying to help Choc develop the new facility into a social/community/tourist destination through a community development grant.

You can read the full story here.

Pints and Pins

-Saints is hosting a Prairie Tap Takeover on Thursday night featuring free glassware and special release beers.

-Here's your tap lineup for this week at The Partiarch.

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