The new brewhouse and taproom will overlook Lake Michigan.
Construction is expected to begin in November on Door County Brewing’s new home in Baileys Harbor at 8099 Highway 57, the site of what was once the local post office. Brewmaster Danny McMahon is hoping he’ll be serving beer there by Memorial Day, 2017.
McMahon recently received approval for construction of the 6,200-square-foot brewery with a 15-barrel brewhouse and bottling line. It also includes a taproom for 150 people and outside seating that overlooks Lake Michigan. McMahon plans to keep more than a dozen of his beers on tap there and he’ll also be able to increase availability of special and limited releases throughout the state. Even without the expansion, Door County has been having a good year, with production up nearly 33 percent from 2015.
Locally, the brand has been getting a lot of play at the two Willy Street Co-op locations that sell alcohol, north and Middleton, where the beer is a bestseller. “Door County [has] the individuality and uniqueness that consumers are looking for,” says Dave Andrews, assistant manager at Willy North. “The brewery has a great sense of what they are good at, like farmhouse ales, and they sell extremely well.”
Octopi turns one
Waunakee’s Octopi Brewing began making beer last fall and will mark its one-year anniversary with a party ($10 includes one draught beer) on Oct. 22 from 2-10 p.m. at the brewery, 1131 Uniek Drive. “It feels like it’s been more than a year — the pace has been non-stop,” says owner Isaac Showaki. In its first year the brewery turned out over 12,000 barrels of beer (contract beers made for others, along with its own in-house 3rd Sign label). Contract brewing is growing rapidly and Showaki is on pace for at least a 50 percent increase in production for 2017.
The party will feature the release of a pair of imperial stouts: Osiris, a 9 percent ABV version aged with oak staves, and its non-oaked counterpart, Osiris Afterlife, which features dates, honey and lactose and ends up strong at 11 percent ABV. The first two beers in 3rd Sign’s new barrel-aged program will be unveiled, too: Dark Star, also called Batch #01, is a brown ale aged in whiskey barrels, and White Dwarf (Batch #02) is a wheat beer aged in Chardonnay barrels.
You can take it with you
If you’ve traveled by way of the Dane County Regional Airport lately, you may have noticed that Metcalfe’s Market has opened a small store there and is selling New Glarus beer. The brewery has gained a national mystique because it sells only in Wisconsin. Bars from Minnesota to New York have gotten in trouble for allegedly making beer runs to Wisconsin and reselling the beer out of state. The airport kiosk means you can carry on a gift six-pack or two to eager out-of-state beer pals.