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Sapporo-Stone expansion will boost US beer sales

The Sapporo-Stone expansion project is nearing completion with the brewery revealing it has “big plans” to conquer the US.

The expansion, which follows Japanese beer business Sapporo acquiring Stone Brewing Company in 2022, will see the facility brewing both Sapporo and Stone beer brands and involved adding more tanks and packaging lines to increase capacity.

Speaking about the union, Sapporo-Stone Brewing’s interim CEO Zach Keeling said: “With this momentum, we have big plans.”

Keeling recently told kpbs that the company is setting its sights on becoming the 10th-largest brewery in the nation and is already the 12th largest by volume.

Keeling explained: “That’s a lot of hard work in front of us. But I couldn’t be more excited about our prospects. I think the team has done such a remarkable job getting us to this point through the integration.”

According to Keeling, the company is now fully integrated and, so far, Sapporo-Stone has invested US$60 million in expanding its facilities as well as US$40 million in its Richmond, Virginia, location and US$20 million in Escondido.

Speaking about the impact, Escondido Mayor Dane White explained: “For us, it is jobs. Employment opportunities [and] revenue for the city.”

As part of the expansion, the newly combined business Sapporo-Stone has added 125 jobs locally, which, according to White has been a big help to the city.

White also flagged the importance of working within a budget deficit and revealed that the priority was “number one: employment, and number two: sales tax” and revealed that “sales tax is the largest revenue source for the city” and admitted that “having this big of this part of the economy right here in Escondido certainly helps”.

The expansion will mean that all Sapporo beers sold stateside will also be brewed in the US.

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