Ruckus Brewing Looking at Expanding into Allentown Neuweiler Brewery

I’ll leave it to others to debate whether $25 million is an appropriate estimate of the cost of redeveloping the Neuweiler Brewery, but Hoptimus Prime is pretty good and so is the idea of leasing extra tank space to other local craft brewers. It would allow for collaborative batches between different brewing companies, which is a common thing, and further reinforce the Lehigh Valley’s craft beer cluster.

Doug Brill:

Allentown’s former Neuweiler Brewery could soon make beer again.

Josh Wood said tonight that his Manhattan-based Ruckus Brewing Co. will buy the long-vacant brewery near a hockey arena now being built and make beer there as early as 2014. He said Ruckus has lined up most of the roughly $25 million it needs to buy the brewery from the city and redevelop it.

The brewery, which Ruckus is calling Brewer’s Hill, would give Ruckus the capacity it needs to meet increased demand for its craft beers, which include popular labels Hoptimus Prime and Hedonism, Wood said. Ruckus doesn’t currently have its own brewery.

“Where we are in our business model, we needed to get into the facility,” Wood said, adding that the brewery would create 50 to 150 jobs. “When you’re in 11 states and Canada and demand is outgrowing supply, you really want to have control of your own production.”

Comments

  1. GDub says:

    Good luck to him!

    I find it interesting that the movie studio idea has disappeared so quickly, after city officials touted it so prominently. Not enough free money, I guess?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      There was just an article about it like 2 weeks ago. They’re still pursuing it. Both would be great, but I kind of prefer this idea.

  2. GDub says:

    I think this one sounds a bit more “real world” than the studio, and likely requiring a lot less demolition.

    A business like a brewery, though, requires a lot of delivery in most cases, and I wonder how good that neighborhood is for managing a lot of truck traffic in and out–thinking of the mess that happens when there’s a baseball game across the river. Big lot with narrow roads, which makes transport far more expensive and time consuming than its competitor in Fogelsville.

    Cool idea. I still laugh that a renovation of the lot could cost “between $27 and $52 million.” What’s 25 million between friends?

  3. GDub says:

    I guess it is now $33 million? Pity the poor bank who gives that much to a firm whose top product is called “Hoptimus Prime.”

    I also read that they were “advised” by the Mayor’s political manager (but who knows where Bernie gets that?) and picked over a bid that had a much larger (though still leaky sounding) investment planned. If true, another sad sign of where this project may be headed.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      It’s a pretty good name, and a popular beer. I don’t see what the problem is. Either it’s worth renovating that building or it’s not.

  4. Gdub says:

    It is a good beer! And I hope they find the financing to make it work.

    I don’t want to see the NIZ become a tool of graft or political favors. The lack of oversight is bad enough.

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