GREEN BAY – This is a story about beer.
Well, sort of.
Three of Green Bay's craft brewers are hard at work. Not necessarily right now, but in the middle of construction projects so they can brew more of it.
Titletown expansion scheduled to open by end of August
Titletown Brewing Company’s expansion is the largest of the three.
"Every day there's a physical change to the building," said Jim Kratowicz, the brewery’s chief financial officer.
The brewery is in the thick of making the old downtown Larsen Canning Company building a space fit for a…brewery.
"It's an old building that we were able to save and restore and make a functional space," said Kratowicz of the former canned vegetables factory.
Dozens of workers are grinding away to make way for a first floor tap room, commercial space, as well as basement packaging lines and brewing equipment. The project costs roughly $3.5 million – that includes state and city money.
"In six weeks, we'll be brewing beer,” Kratowicz said as he stood in the brick-walled room that will house the brewhouse equipment, “And this is where everything will be brewed."
Stillmank Brewing Co. waiting on brewing equipment
[caption id="attachment_47643" align="alignleft" width="300"] Stillmank Brewing Co. in Green Bay is seen, July 8, 2014. (WLUK/Ann Jarzynski)[/caption]
On the other side of town, Brad Stillmank and his father Peter are working on framing walls inside the Stillmank Brewing Company building on North Henry Street.
Set in a corner inside the building, four, large stainless steel fermenters – which were bought locally – are ready and waiting for the delivery of the new brewhouse. That is expected to be delivered Tuesday evening.
"We're looking to be in production in August, maybe even later this month," said Brad Stillmank.
Stillmank hopes to have the brewery and tap room constructed and open, with beer flowing, soon, as the state's supply of Wisco Disco is limited.
"All the brewing in Milwaukee, we finished up at the end of last month," said Stillmank of the contract he had with Milwaukee Brewing Company.
Badger State Brewing feeling growing pains
A sign on the door of the most recent newcomer to Green Bay's craft brewing scene might say it is closed. But, inside plenty of work is going on.
"So, basically we've got like a two, to three week window finishing up in the end of July,” said the company’s president Andrew Fabry. “That way we can get everything up and running when we want it to"
[caption id="attachment_47642" align="alignleft" width="300"] Badger State Brewing Co. in Green Bay is seen, July 8, 2014. (WLUK/Ann Jarzynski)[/caption]
Badger State Brewing Company is also in the middle of a growth spurt.
"The bigger equipment will start to arrive next week, and the week after."
Located off of Lombardi Avenue, Fabry says the hope is to have the brewery and tap room complete by August. Coincidentally, just in time for Packers season.
"Knock on wood," Fabry said.
Hinterland not hiding future plans
Green Bay's fourth brewer, Hinterland, finished its most recent expansion last year. That included the addition of a canning line to its building across the street from Titletown.
However, Hinterland’s owner, Bill Tressler, says the company is working on firming up plans for a larger expansion.