Business life is really hopping for John and Roxane Nielsen right now.

The Nielsens, owners of the Prescott Brewing Company®, are on the verge of building a new microbrewery near the Prescott Airport. The plan is to construct a 4,500-square-foot building this spring that will give them the ability to brew nearly 1,800 barrels of beer and can it beginning this fall. “It will allow us to add six or seven different brands (for distribution in cans),” John said.

The new set-up is four times bigger than the brewing system John and Roxane already have online and is another huge move for them as they near their 17th anniversary since they first opened in 1994.

“This is a big step, especially in this economy. I’d rather be ahead of the eight-ball than behind it,” Roxane said.

John said the strategy is the result of three years of number-crunching and drafting a business plan for a move meant to grow their brand popularity.
“We want to capitalize on that and expand it even more,” he said.

They have 65 employees now and John said they would add about five employees at the new location in the first year and another five or 10 the following year.

Three employees package 100 cases of beer in seven hours, and John added that once the new airpark location comes online, two employees will be able to package 100 cases in less than 90 minutes.

Roxane and John said they will still continue to brew beer at the restaurant at 130 W. Gurley St., and the move will allow them to go back to offering as many as a dozen beers on tap.

In the meantime, John and Roxane are welcoming people to visit them during Arizona Beer Week.

The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is presenting the event, which runs from Feb. 19-26 and features tons of events statewide.

Here in Prescott, people can visit the Prescott Brewing Company® and get four-ounce samples of eight to 10 beers for $5 from 11 a.m. to close during the week.

People can also visit Mile Hi Brewing Supplies at 231 N. Cortez St., Suite A., and get information about beer- and wine-making supplies.

“It gives people an opportunity to taste and sample some beer styles they might not be familiar with,” John said, adding that the week-long event is meant to promote the state’s beer industry, which also creates jobs and helps bolster the state’s tax revenues.

Dennis Arnold, president of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, said the idea for the week came from the national Brewers Association as a way for each state to showcase craft beers.

“We decided to put on a big push this year and let people know who we are,” he said.

For information on Arizona Beer Week, visit www.azbrewguild.comwww.azbeerweek.com or www.prescottbrewingcompany.com.