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A rendering of the Lakferont Brewery expansion.

Lakefront Brewery plans to expand on Commerce Street


Lakefront Brewery announced today it has an accepted offer to buy land at 1890 N. Commerce St.

The site, which was formerly planned for a condo development, is on the east side of the Holton Street Bridge, adjacent to the existing Lakefront building at 1872 N. Commerce St.

It's not a done deal, but according to Lakefront Brewery owner Russ Klisch, the plan is to purchase the lot and build on it as soon as it is financially feasible for the brewery. Last year, the brewery eyed expanding in the Menomonee Valley.

The brewery plans to relocate its packaging lines and additional fermentation tanks at the new facility. The brew house would retain all of its existing fermentation tanks and would use the former packaging space for barrel aging.

The second brewing location will provide Lakefront with the ability to expand its production and distribution and at capacity would provide an additional 40 full-time jobs to Wisconsin over the next several years.

Lakefront now brews 40,000 barrels per year, with production having nearly doubled in the past two years alone.

"We are taking a very measured approach to expansion, and acquiring this land is an initial step," says Klisch. "However, the craft beer market just continues to grow and we need to expand production or we won't be able to keep up with demand."

A neighborhood meeting to review the plans for the Commerce Street expansion and to answer questions from the community is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25 at the brewery.


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