Structures Brewing came onto the scene about a year and a half ago. Ever since, they’ve been getting rave reviews from locals and around the region for their northeast style hazy beers. This Friday, they are releasing Locked Room Double IPA in cans and on draft, hopped with Amarillo and Mosaic.
Much is going on at Structures, including the addition of three new taps. But most exciting is their announced expansion into the building adjacent to them on State St. There’s a lot going on over there, so we reached out to Structures’ Max Randall for a Q&A for some more insight.
Tap Trail: What is your name and how are you associated with Structures Brewing?
My name is Max, I’m in charge of all of our sales/distribution, as well as cellar work, and working in our tasting room. We all wear many hats at Structures.
Tap Trail: Out of all your brews, do you have a favorite?
I really enjoy our clean Saisons, like “Tranceportal” and “Same but Different”, along with our hop forward pale ales like “Endless Bummer”. My favorite IPA that we’ve brewed to date is probably “Dopethrone”.
Tap Trail: Why is Structures Brewing expanding and when do you plan to open?
We recently signed a lease on the space next-door to our current tasting room. Initially we planned to build that space out into a bigger tasting room over the summer, but after thought and discussion we have decided that the best move for us as a company right now is to increase our production instead. We will be using the new space as barrel storage for now, as well as storing cans, bottles, kegs, grain, and all sorts of other things. Expanding the tasting room into that space is not off the table by any means, but for now we are going to focus on getting our production to where we want it to be and just getting dialed in.
Tap Trail: How big will the new brewing system be and how will it impact your brewing volume? Will you be adding any new brewing toys along with the expansion, outside of the brew house itself? Such as more barrels, wood, etc?
We will continue to brew on our 10bbl system. We just put an order in for three new tanks from our friends at Pinnacle Stainless in Portland Oregon. We are also getting four more puncheons along with a truckload of wine barrels. This will allow us to greatly increase our production. We plan to bottle on a more regular basis and distribute those bottles, along with continuing our draft distribution. We have no intention of distributing cans (aside from things like the Chucks anniversary beer “Juice Willis”). Keeping cans in house and being able to control quality and freshness is very important to us.
Tap Trail: How many staff do you employ now? About how many new staff will you have to hire after the expansion is complete?
Structures Brewing is a staff of three. Myself, James, and Jonny. We recently hired Jonny and he has been a great asset to the team. We are stoked to have him on board. We intentionally keep our crew pretty tight.
Tap Trail: We understand you’re increasing the number of taps. Was this done in anticipation of the expansion, or was it separate? Any specific style you hope to serve on those taps?
We did just add three more taps. This was done so we can offer more variety on our board to customers. Plus with three new tanks on the way, we will have more beer! The taps won’t be limited to any specific style, but we would like to have a Cider option on draft as often as possible. Especially Cider from our friends at Alpenfire Cider in Port Townsend, we really enjoy what they’re producing.
Tap Trail: What types of beers or styles do you hope to brew in the future and what are you excited about for the future of Structures?
We’re excited to get these new barrels in and to start producing more awesome Saisons. We will always brew freshhoppy beers, but these new tanks and barrels are going to allow us to strike a very nice balance between Pales/IPAs/Stouts etc. and Saisons. I’m really excited about the direction we’re heading in, producing more bottles is going to be awesome. We are also excited about the prospect of eventually expanding the tasting room into our new space. Healthy controlled growth is very important to us. We believe it’s very easy to get big fast if that’s what you want to do. But controlling and maintaining steady growth is something that we greatly value and believe that in the long run will result in us producing the best possible product.
Tap Trail: What breweries does Structures enjoy following for inspiration?
We don’t really follow any one particular brewery for inspiration, I would say we draw inspiration more from certain beers, not necessarily specific breweries. All that being said, James and I both believe that the bar in this country is set by Hill Farmstead. They haven’t done anything crazy out there or reinvented the wheel, they just brew timeless classic styles and execute them as close to perfect as possible. As far as breweries in our region that inspire us and that we admire, I would have to go with Upright Brewing, Chuckanut, and Heater Allen.