Destihl Brewery has cut the ribbon on its new $14 million production facility in north Normal.
The grand opening Saturday at the brewery north of Menards comes at a time craft brewing growth has begun to slow in the U.S. But, Giotto Troia of Destihl said his company's position remains enviable.
"The big breweries are finding it hard to expand further. The small breweries are finding it hard to build up. But, the medium to large ones are finding that sweet spot where we can take away that bigger brewery's market share," said Troiia.
Troiia says Destihl operates in 20 states and the District of Columbia and has room and resources to grow in all of those. With a maximum capacity of 150,000 barrels a year and currently producing much less, Destihl is on the small side of that medium brewer category. But, Troia said they do have marketing resources, and large brewers don't have much of an up side.
"Because people are finding htem to be boring or they are transitioning into other types of craft beverages like the sparking water with hard liquor or the hard sodas. And the smaller breweries are finding it hard to beat out the breweries at our level, the medium to large ones," said Troia.
Brewers Association figures indicate growth in craft brewing last year was six percent last year compared to 18 percent the year before last and double digit growth each year in the last decade.
Troia acknowledged the largest players have now begun buying up the largest of the regional craft brewers as a way of coping, but he said small breweries that have distinctive products still have room to maneuver in the marketplace.
Troia said Destihl has placed its markers on its line of wild sour beers. He said many Midwest brewers have not even begun to enter that segment, though the trend started several years ago on the coasts. He said it's hard to say how long enthusiasm for certain styles of beer will last before peaking. For instance, he said the heavy hops flavored IPAs are still very popular, years after the initial boom.
The new 47,000 square foot brewery also has a beer hall with 45 taps and a patio. And Troia said there is also unused land on the Destihl campus north of Menards in Normal that could be part of the company future.