More beer and more jobs may soon come to Milwaukee
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - They're a big name in the craft brewing world and Lakefront Brewery is about to get even bigger.
When Russ Klisch walks around his brewery he says the building talks to him. And lately it keeps saying one thing, "Build bigger and more will come."
"It will be kind of hard to keep people away, that's what I found," Klisch says.
Lakefront Brewery started up twenty-five years ago.
"Our friends started telling us you know you guys should open up a brewery. And when you are twenty something years old you believe them," remembers Klisch.
Back then, they brewed out of a tiny Riverwest building using a 55 gallon steel drum. They moved and expanded to their current location on commerce street in 1999. Now they brew about 38,000 barrels off beer a year. And Klisch is hoping success will prove to repeat itself.
"It's all about making more beer and having another fun space to do it in," says Klisch.
Lakefront plans to expand adding a second location to brew and give tours. The tours and the beer bring thousands to Milwaukee each year. But it's the taste of Lakefront's ales that have increased Lakefront's demand and need for a bigger space. Lakefront's current location cannot hold any more tanks. Klisch believes another brewery built on an open lot along Cannal Street near Harley Davidson could double their production.
"We will eventually get up to about 100,000 barrels down there," Klisch says.
Klisch says brewing 60,000 barrels of more beer would require him to hire about 60 more brewers. He is still finalizing the purchase of the land along Cannal Street and looking at architects to design the building. The second brewery will most likely not be complete until Spring of 2015.