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This article was originally published on Sept. 2, 2014.
By Oliver Lazenby
Bellingham Business Journal
In the two and a half years since David Vitt opened Kulshan Brewing Co., he’s tripled the amount of beer brewed per year. Now, his brewery and taproom at 2238 James St. is at maximum capacity and more stores and restaurants around Puget Sound want Kulshan beer.
“People are thirsty,” Vitt said.
Kulshan Brewing Co. is quenching that thirst by opening a second brewery and taproom across the freeway from the first at 1538 Kentucky St., where Vitt and crew will be able to produce five times as much beer, he said. The second location should open in January or February 2015.
Kulshan’s brewing team, lead by head brewer Tom Eastwood, will brew, bottle, and refrigerate large batches of Kulshan’s more popular beers on one side of the new 12,000-square-foot space. The other side will house a taproom with a bigger bar and a more tables than Kulshan’s James Street location, Vitt said. They won’t serve food in the taproom, but there will be food trucks outside.
Taproom customers will be able to look into the brewing side of the building through large windows.
“It will have a different feel,” Vitt said. “It’s a lot more industrial than James Street.”
Once the second location is open, the company will concentrate on brewing seasonal and specialty beers at the original location.
Vitt received a permit for construction on July 24. He and other Kulshan employees are doing most of the work. Vitt helped with construction at Fish Brewing Co. in Olympia, where he worked for seven years before opening Kulshan.
Kulshan Brewing Co., started in April 2012. The brewing team, led by head brewer Tom Eastwood, brewed 1,150 barrels the first year, and 2,400 the second year. This year, Vitt expects they’ll max out at 3,000 barrels.
Next year, they’ll brew an additional 2,500 to 5,000 barrels at their new new location, Vitt said. They should be at full capacity, with 20 more employees and 15,000 extra barrels of beer in four or five years, he said.
Left to right: Chris Noskoff, Kulshan Brewing Co. systems manager; contractor Chris Baker of Artisan Alloys; and David Vitt, owner of Kulshan Brewing Co., read blueprints for Kulshan’s second location