Milwaukee-made cocktail bitters brand Bittercube is expanding. And that means a move from its current home base in Bay View’s Lincoln Warehouse to a brand new production facility and tasting room in Uptown Crossing.
Construction is currently underway the new facility, which will be located at 4828 W. Lisbon Ave. In fact, co-owner Ira Koplowitz says the hope is for the facility to be operational by early fall.
"Our business has grown between 30-50 percent every year over the past three or four years, and we’re now producing enough product that we really need additional space to accommodate demand," he says.
In kind, the facility will provide enough space for not only the production of Bittercube’s craft bitters, but also a new ready-to-drink cocktail program, which will be called On the Fly Cocktail Couriers. The ready-to-drink elixirs, made with all natural ingredients (to which spirits can be added "on the fly"), will advance the brand’s already established cocktail program for restaurants and bars. Eventually the products will also be available for purchase by consumers.
At 9,000 square feet, the new facility – in a retail building that dates to 1954 – will triple the footprint for the thriving business. Koplowitz says that about half of the space will be used for production, with the remaining square footage built out into offices, a tasting room and a retail space.
Tasting room and boutique retail
In fact, for those who miss the creative work Bittercube showcased at the Dock18 Cocktail Lab, which they operated in the Twisted Path Distillery Tasting room for nearly two years, the new facility provides something to which to look forward.
While the new tasting room will not be a carbon copy of Dock18, Koplowitz says it will take inspiration from the experimental cocktail concept, which showcased the artistry and craft behind cocktails made with housemade liqueurs, bitters and syrups.
"The goal is to have a space where we can introduce people to our elixirs, tonics and bitters," he says, "as well as the cocktails that we’ve become known for over the years and which we’ve been showcasing across the country."
Meanwhile, Bittercube also plans to open a small boutique retail establishment where they will sell bitters, bar tools and reference materials.
Once open, the new Bittercube apothecary will host public tours on weekends as well as private tours upon request. An event space will also be available for private events and classes.
Founded in 2009 by Koplowitz and partner Nick Kosevich, Bittercube launched their first commercially available bitters in 2010 at Yahara Bay Distillery in Madison. In 2014, they moved into their current production facility inside the Lincoln Warehouse in Bay View.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.