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Nebraska Brewing Company Manufacturing Plant Tour (La Vista, NE)Ericka Shea HunterBellevue University February 27, 2016
IntroductionAfter opening in 2007, the Nebraska Brewing Company has grown into the largestlocal brewery in the entire state of Nebraska with two facilities in the Omaha area. Thebrewery recently expanded its to 29 states in the country and 5 foreign nations (Brazil,Denmark, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan). The first location opened in Papillion, NE as aBrew Pub with a smaller selection of beers and a full restaurant menu, wait staff, andchef. Later, the popularity of the beer made it possible for the company to expand andopen a separate, larger capacity brewery in La Vista, NE in January 2014 with a largewarehouse style manufacturing area and Tap Room (opening in May 2014) with a barand meeting area.The brewery in La Vista, NE was the focus of my review for this exercise. Theplant offers bi-weekly tours that seemed like the perfect opportunity to conduct my fieldexercise. I was able to go through the entire plant on a guided tour by Jeff (who is avolunteer like all of the tour guides at the brewery) then briefly sit down with theExecutive Chef Adam, interview the Brewmaster Tyson Arp, and meet the owners Paul &Kim Kavulak. Many of my questions (found in Appendix A) were answered during thestandard tour by Jeff but the remainder of the items I asked directly to the Brewmasterfollowing the tour while we enjoyed a few of his recipes. The brewery offers regular, 30-minute tours twice each Thursday and Saturday. For my tour I decided to go for theearlier (5:30pm) tour on a Thursday and was able to get a private tour with Jeff and atour guide in training, Adam. Both guides were home brewers that had an interest involunteering for this company and had a wealth of knowledge about the company and
brewing process; my tour actually ended up being closer to an hour and half by the timewe were done going through the entire facility.Service and Product DesignAccording to the statistical facts offered by the tour guide, the brewery was ableto produce 11,000 barrels of beer in the year 2015. The current company projection andproduction goal is 15,000 barrels for 2016. The sheer volume and actual variety of thebatches depends entirely upon consumer demand for each recipe. The Tap Room holds24 taps that are all filled by the brewery’s beer; originally, the company filled 17 Tapsand 7 were from outside breweries. There are many seasonal beers and special offeringsthat the company produces for short periods of time, according to demand, and about10 “staple” products that are constantly produced and consumed. Around 8 varieties ofbarrel-aged beers are also produced on site and are available when ready since theprocess takes around 6-7 months for each batch. The projection for the year movingforward is based on a statistical analysis of the previous year’s performance and theacquisition of additional equipment. The management utilized certain forecasting