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Ben E. Keith building $10M warehouse

AUSTIN, TX (May 26, 2010)—Ben E. Keith Co. wants to brew bigger business in Central Texas with a new 41,000-square-foot warehouse and plans to double in size in Austin, thanks to growing demand for specialty craft and imported beers.

The warehouse at 2325 Ben White Blvd. in Southeast Austin, renovated and leased by Ben E. Keith for $2 million, is a holding pen to more than 60 brands of specialty and imported beers with hundreds of flavors. The company, which had two smaller facilities in the Austin area, consolidated those locations as part of a growth plan fueled by growing demand.

The company already has bought 12 acres on McKinney Falls Parkway in South Austin to build an 85,000-square-foot distribution center, which will include office space, refrigerated space, dry sales material storage space, drive-through space for sales car and delivery truck loading, and dock doors for shipping and receiving. The project has a total price tag of about $10 million and an architect has not yet been selected.

The Ben White location is an interim site the company is leasing for the next three to five years until the larger warehouse on McKinney Falls is completed, company officials said. As the facility space grows, so will the company’s local hiring beyond the 44 employees now working in the Austin warehouse, said Kevin Nettleton, general manager of Ben E. Keith’s Central Texas operations.

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