As Smog City continues to grow, we have found it increasingly important to put into place systems and organizational elements that allow us to build brand while maintaining our focus and commitment to quality over quantity. Smog City prides itself on organic and conscientious growth with a heavy lean on the culture within our company first and foremost. We are excited to welcome Tim Harbage to the family as our new Head Brewer.
Tim brings to the table a true passion and dedication to not only the quality of the beer but the cohesiveness of the team. We are beyond excited to give him the opportunity to help us set in place the organization and logistical systems needed to grow our business from a small two-person team in 2011 to a robust and successful beer family of 18 here in 2016. The Smog City environment is designed to give a safe and nurturing place to those that prioritize quality, creativity and innovation over all else. Tim has that passion and that drive to build a stronger more passionate team and we welcome him with open arms into the Smog City fold.
Five years ago Smog City launched out of a small brewpub in Tustin, CA. In our first year, we produced and sold 240 bbls of beer to the L.A. market, hand picking select craft beer bars and restaurants that heralded our creativity, quality and reflected our own attention to building a strong craft beer community. One and a half years later, we opened in Torrance, CA to a “gigantic” 5,500 sq ft facility and a 450 sq ft taproom. To our surprise, it did not take long to outgrow this space and in the last nine months, we have expanded our square footage to 22,000 sq ft, dwarfing our original space.
Much of the planned growth is to facilitate distribution and to grow the exciting Sour Program that Porter has always been extremely passionate about. With some of the weight of running day to day production, logistical standards, overseeing brewers and maintaining inventory lifted; Porter will be able to return to exploring his passion for sour and barrel-aging. In the new space, we have a 2300 sq ft barrel room dedicated exclusively to barrel-aging our already established Sour Program. The temperature and humidity controlled room will give us increased control over the process and allow us to nearly double our current barrel count.
The second stage of expansion will be focused on growing our production in the current space from 4000 bbl to approximately 12,000 over the next five years. Slow and steady growth allows us to continue to put in place the best staff and maintain quality control measures to ensure that our brand and beers remain consistently balanced, creative and reflective of who we are and why.
Bringing on Tim allows Porter to continue to grow the creative side of Smog City and push through to new styles, new approaches while developing innovative procedures to achieve the unique beers that Smog City is known for – beers like Brix Layer that combines wine juice and barrel-aged sour beer in collaboration with J Brix Winery, our Cuddlebug and Snugglebug fruited sour blondes, as well as our collaborations with producers and businesses that push for innovation and community awareness like Food Forward, Weiser Family Farms, and Beer Camp with Sierra Nevada Brewing.
With our satellite taproom, Smog City at SteelCraft on the horizon, Smog City’s direct to consumer reach will increase, allowing us to expand the brand, build on our brewery’s consumer education focus and expand upon the opportunity for consumer feedback in multiple locations regarding pilot beers, experimental beers and our core beers. Smog City at SteelCraft is set to open Mid Dec alongside 6 food vendors with a communal sitting area.
Tim’s passion and enthusiasm for beer and the craft beer community are hard to match, which when combined with his engineering background and his strong experience growing young breweries, like Golden Road, will be instrumental in helping us to continue to innovate our already unique approaches to beer production. We are very proud to be a family-owned brewery and look forward to having Tim as part of our team.