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New Auburn brewery wants tasting room, food trucks

Knee Deep Brewing Co. moving from Lincoln to airport park
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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A new brewery is on its way to Auburn, but its proposal to have a 2,000-square-foot tasting room and periodic food truck events at its Auburn Airport Business Park location must receive Planning Commission approval at tonight’s public hearing.

Hours for the Knee Deep Brewing Company tasting room are proposed as 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 9 p.m. on the weekends, but those may change “slightly” after the brewery opens and it gets a feel for demand.

For customers looking to pair their tasting experience with something to munch on, the brewery plans to coordinate with food trucks during higher traffic days and times. No more than 12 special food truck events are anticipated annually at the brewery, according to its application.

Founded in 2010 and brewing in Lincoln since May 2011, Knee Deep Brewing Company’s beer is distributed to six states and has won numerous awards. As demand ballooned, their brewery outgrew its current digs behind Beermann’s, bringing the situation to a head.

Last year, Knee Deep produced about 1,800 barrels of beer in Lincoln, equating to just more than $1 million in sales – numbers it expects to grow from 50 to 100 percent when it moves to Auburn, depending on the timing of the transition.

By the end of 2013, Knee Deep plans to transition all brewing to its Auburn location, a 16,000-square-foot section of a 62,000-square-foot building that is also home to Ridgeline Entertainment and vehicle control systems company Intermotive, Inc.

In 2014, it expects to triple the numbers from the previous year as the beer’s distribution expands to multiple states.

Knee Deep currently has four full-time employees and expects to add six or seven new members to its staff during the first year following the move.

 

Jon Schultz can be reached at jons@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews