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Orders pour in for Brooksville firm's draft beer gear

Whether it's a Samuel Adams Boston Lager or a Blue Moon Belgian White, if it's on tap, there's a good chance it's been poured with a Micro Matic product. Micro Matic makes just about anything having to do with draft beer: keg pumps, CO2 regulators, beer tap handles, even refrigerated containers especially designed for kegs called kegerators. And despite the economic downturn, this Hernando County manufacturer continues to grow, from $5 million in revenue a few years ago to $20 million in 2009.

Micro Matic USA LLC, formerly Tissco, moved to the Hernando County Airport Industrial Park in 2008. Just two years later, it needs more space.

Recently, the Danish company began work on a 32,000-square-foot expansion, which will bring its Brooksville operation to more than 85,000 square feet. Under construction by Wagner Construction of Leesburg, the project will be completed next spring.

"Florida is still a place where there's room for growth and the price level is reasonable," said Torben Toftegaard, chief executive officer of Micro Matic USA LLC.

According to the Hernando County Office of Business Development, the local expansion also provides space for the company to consolidate manufacturing operations.

A privately held company, Micro Matic was founded in 1953, and employs more than 900 people worldwide and 80 workers in Hernando County. Officials expect to see that number grow in the coming year, said Toftegaard.

The warehouse is neat and efficient with sales associates, administration, and those on the production line all in close proximity.

CJ Curtis, 30, has worked for Micro Matic for the past six months. On a recent morning he carefully assembled a variety of stainless steel pieces from start to finish, putting his completed product neatly in a box.

"I assemble the couplers," Curtis said. "It's the thing that goes into the keg and lets the beer come out."

A few tables down is Sarah Phillips, 20, who has worked with the company for a year. Over the whirring sound of drills, she adeptly demonstrates the correct way to assemble a series of copper and black pieces for regulators.

"I graduated from Nature Coast (Technical High School)," she said. "This is my first job."

The company offers beer institutes several times a year to help customers avoid the pitfalls of draft beer — too fizzy, too flat — and make the most of its products.

And in this economic downturn, those products have continued to be popular. The Brewers Association reports the number of American breweries recently reached 1,625, the highest number in 100 years.

Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at slmarshall.sptimes@gmail.com.

Orders pour in for Brooksville firm's draft beer gear 09/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:58pm]

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