brews up more business
After decades of building stainless steel tanks for the dairy industry, a Milwaukee area firm is landing more business by targeting Wisconsin's other signature beverage: beer. Sprinkman Corp. craft brewers, said Brian Sprinkman, executive vice president. The company is making larger and more sophisticated brewing equipment, and recently announced a major contract to make a brew house for Maui Brewing Co. in Hawaii.
"It's not a big departure for us," Sprinkman said. "We make equipment to pump liquids. You push them point to a point, you heat them, you cool them and you package them. That's all the beer industry is."
The craft brewing industry accounts for around 25% of the family owned company's annual revenue, a figure Sprinkman declined to disclose. Sprinkman Corp. has 90 employees and is based near Franksville in Racine County, with a second manufacturing facility in Elroy in central Wisconsin.
Sprinkman Corp., founded in 1929 by Brian Sprinkman's grandfather, Walter Sprinkman, hashas cheap china Bulls jerseys free shipping
made processing equipment for such dairy food and beverage makers as Foremost Farms, Dean Foods, Schreiber Foods and Kraft Foods, as well as makers of pet food, pharmaceuticals and other products.
In 1996, after years of refurbishing brewing tanks for such Wisconsin craft brewers as Lakefront Brewery Inc. and Sprecher Brewing Co., Sprinkman Corp. built its first brew house at Port Washington Brewing Co. That brewery operated within the Smith Bros. Fish Shanty restaurant in Port Washington for several years before it closed.
Another early project was building the brew house for Milwaukee Ale House, a brewery that opened in 1997 at 233 N. Water St., in the Historic Third Ward.
Ale House founder Jim McCabe, a former engineer, said Sprinkman Corp.'s strong reputation for making good equipment for the dairy industry helps it draw business from brewers.
Dairy equipment is built to higher standards for sanitation than brewing equipment, he said. As a result, Sprinkman Corp.'s equipment at thethe Bulls jersey for kids
Ale House shows little signs of wear and tear despite operating for 15 years, McCabe said.
Sprinkman Corp.'s initial foray into building brew house equipment tanks and systems used to make beer, asas cheap Bulls jerseys from china
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lasted just a few years in the late 1990s.
Brian Sprinkman left the company, led by his father, Robert Sprinkman, in 21 to pursue other positions, including management stints at Hydro Thermal Corp. and Tushaus Computer Services. He returned to Sprinkman Corp. at the beginning of 2012.
Meanwhile, the craft brewing industry has been showing no signs of slowing down. beer sales dropped by 1.3%, according to data compiled by the Boulder, Colo. based Brewers Association.
Craft beers accounted for just 5.7% of the nation's overall beer sales suggesting room for continued growth. That was up from 2,309 brewers in 2011.
Brian Sprinkman, a home brewer, said Sprinkman Corp. was seeing stronger sales in the craft brewing segment by around 27 and is now focusing on selling brew house equipment, including brew houses with larger production capacity.
Much of that work is done by German companies that have a long history of serving the brewing industry.
"I thought, 'Why not go after the larger brew house market?' " Sprinkman said. "We're capable, and we can ship cheaper from here than they can from Germany."
The company has since landed two contracts to make brew house equipment with enough capacity to produce beer in 50 barrel batches, with each batch equivalent to 1,550 gallons.
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Brewing project, Sprinkman Corp. will complete a 50 barrel brew house in 2013 for Arcadia Brewing Co.'s new Kalamazoo, Mich., brewery.
The Maui Brewing project, planned for Kihei, Hawaii, should help Sprinkman Corp. raise its profile within the craft brewing industry, Sprinkman said.
"Maui is a highly watched brewery," Sprinkman said. "People will be surprised when they see what we're capable of with this brew house . . . It'll be a real showpiece."