Well that didn’t take long.
Only a year after relocating to a much larger facility, Framingham brewer Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers has leased an adjacent two-story warehouse where it plans to add a new 5,000-square-foot tap room and expand its specialty barrel-aging program.
The new addition will grow the brewery’s Clinton Street operation to 130,000 square feet — about 11 times larger than its original location on Morton Street.
No one was more surprised about the rapid expansion than brothers Jack, Eric, and Sam Hendler, who founded the brewery in 2011.
“Our growth this year definitely surprised us; it came along faster than we had anticipated,” said Sam Hendler. “We’ve been pretty blown away.”
Jack’s Abby is only the latest in a number of local craft breweries to expand operations in a crowded, but seemingly insatiable market for unique, locally sourced beer. Night Shift Brewing in Everett unveiled a new “Annex” last week to accommodate overflow from its tap room and to serve as event space. Dorchester Brewing Co. entered the market in July with a 25,000-square-foot space near the South Bay Shopping Center. And Tree House Brewing Co. officially broke ground Monday in Charlton on what will eventually be a new facility with retail space more than twice the size of its current Monson operation.
Since opening the new beer hall and full-service restaurant a year ago, Jack’s Abby has averaged more than 3,000 weekly visitors at its 100 Clinton St. location. In that time, the brewery has doubled its production and is poised to brew 36,000 barrels of its popular lagers by the end of the year, Hendler said.
“The craft beer industry, really nationwide, is taking off and is part of an overall trend of people wanting to have a connection to what they consume,” he said. “We sell about two-thirds of our beer in the state of Massachusetts, so we are completely dependent on local sales. We’ve been in a great position to capitalize on that movement toward people wanting a local connection.”
The adjoining 63,000-square-foot building on 102 Clinton St. will also allow Jack’s Abby to increase production of the small percentage of specialty beers that are aged in bourbon and wine barrels, Hendler said. The new tasting room, as well as the barrel-aging operation, will be on the second floor, while the first floor will be used for warehouse space.
Although the brewery doesn’t yet need all of the newly leased warehouse space, Hendler said it positions the business for additional growth.
“Having that space available as we do grow will be vital,” he said. “We have a lot of ideas for what we can do next door.”
The brothers expect renovations to cost about $500,000 and to be completed by the end of the year or early next year. Framingham’s planning officials are expected to vote on the plan Wednesday.
In anticipation of the expansion, property owners Calare Properties, in partnership with Los Angeles-based investment firm Hackman Capital Partners, are making $1.5 million in upgrades to the space, including a new roof, elevator, windows, lighting, and facade work. Jack’s Abby signed a supplemental lease for the new space that folds it into the brewery’s current 15-year lease.