US craft brewer Great Lakes is spending US$7m on upgrading its facilities in a move expected to boost brewing capacity by a fifth.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based firm, the US’ 20th biggest craft brewer by volume, said the money will be used to install four 600-barrel fermenters and two 600-barrel bright tanks, all built in Germany. “The additional equipment, along with updates to infrastructure and packaging operations, will yield an estimated 20% capacity increase,” the company said. 

Great Lakes' brands include Dortmunder Gold Lager, Eliot Ness Amber Lager and Burning River Pale Ale. 

Dan Conway, Great Lakes Brewing Company’s co-owner, added: “As we continue to explore long-term expansion options, we’ve had to make savvy investments to maximise our current footprint, with respect to our neighbourhood and local merchants.

“This short-term expansion is our way of satisfying current demand while working steadily towards a long-term solution.”

To read an exclusive just-drinks analysis on how the US on-trade is reacting to the   on-going growth of craft beer, click here