Thank the Stimulus for Weyerbacher Expansion

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The big beer news out of the Lehigh Valley yesterday was that Easton’s Weyerbacher Brewing Company is tripling their capacity after growing at an incredible 34% last year.

I see that none of the media accounts bothered to mention that the increased sales growth was due in no small part to a Recovery Act loan they received in 2010.

Here’s Scott Kraus back in April 2010:

Next time you lift a glass of Weyerbacher’s Hops Infusion IPA, you might want to toast the federal stimulus.

The Easton microbrewery is one of about 100 local companies — some with well-known names — that have been approved for no-fee small-business loans over the last year under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [...]

Weyerbacher received an $89,000 Small Business Administration ”Section 7a” loan through Susquehanna Bank to buy a new fermenter and other equipment to increase its production of craft ales.

The brewery essentially broke even last year, said Vice President Barbara Lampe. She considers that a pretty decent result in a very rough economy. But for skittish banks, it might have been enough to discourage making the company a traditional loan.

The stimulus program’s 90 percent loan guarantee made it easier for Susquehanna to extend credit without having to sweat it, she said. And Weyerbacher saved on fees it might have had to roll into the loan and can now reinvest in growing sales.

Without the stimulus, they wouldn’t have been able to increase their production to meet demand, and wouldn’t have had such impressive sales growth. Now they’re able to expand even more. Remember to raise a glass of the new West Coast IPA to Obama and the Democrats:

Lew Bryson has the details:

What else? Well, there’s a new IPA coming to replace Hops Infusion. Hops Infusion just never could settle into the groove after its initial success; it was tweaked, put on hiatus, retooled, re-imaged…and finally retired. The new IPA will be along in May or June, the Crimson recipe from Weyerbacher’s IPA Project. “It will be a west coast style IPA,” said Chris Wilson, head brewer. “Significant amounts of hops are used for flavor and aroma while keeping the malt profile simple, allowinghops flavor to dominate and shine” It won’t be called “Crimson,” or “Hops Infusion,” there will be a new name to go with the new Weyerbacher packaging and logo and colors.

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