The Boston Beer Company has unveiled plans to carry out a major expansion of its Samuel Adams Brewery in Cincinnati.

The company's Founder and Brewer, Jim Koch said: "This classic brewery was making about 200,000 barrels a year when we acquired it in 1996.

"With some equipment upgrades and expansion, and the dedication of our employees in Cincinnati, we have brought that capacity up to over 600,000 barrels a year. The expansion we announce today will allow us to work on a 24 hour 7 day schedule. We will be able to make over 800,000 barrels here a year here, while still maintaining our small batch, traditional methods. By adding the additional aging tanks, we can brew more beer and still maintain the longer aging and time-consuming brewing process that gives Samuel Adams beer its robust, distinctive taste."

The US$6.5-6.7m expansion, which is already underway, will include the addition of a new building to house 24 lagering and aging tanks in the cellars and replacement of old brewhouse equipment. When the renovation is completed, which is projected to be by September 2005, The Boston Beer Company expects to hire additional employees, according to Plant Manager John Toerner.

"When the renovations are complete here in Cincinnati," Koch said, "we will be brewing almost two-thirds of our total production here. That is extremely good news for us. It is extremely good news for Cincinnati as it furthers our commitment to this brewery which is the only brewery in the City remaining from the time when Cincinnati was one of the nation's brewing centers. It is extremely good news for our drinkers who appreciate the consistently high quality standards that our brewery always maintains."