2020 has been cruel to all of the city's businesses this year – but it's recently doled out an extra punch in the gut to Wizard Works Brewing.
In case opening its new brewery, found in the Third Ward at 231 E. Buffalo St., in the midst of a pandemic and statewide shutdown wasn't enough hardship for a small business, Wizard Works' taproom suffered a flood after some nearby construction work accidentally dinged a water main, closing the space mere months after finally opening with no current timetable for a return.
"We had about two-to-five inches of water covering the brewery and taproom," explained co-owner Chris Ragaisis. "While the water was clean, because it came in through the wall, it carried dirt and silt along with it. So there was a lot of clean up which needed to be done. Anywhere there was drywall, the bottom 12 inches had to be removed. We are still evaluating other items which will need replacing. But we are closed indefinitely."
But while it's another speed bump in a year of non-stop speed bumps, Wizard Works is still chugging forward – and people can still chug Wizard Works – thanks to the help of a close brewery friend: Broken Bat Brewing Co. The baseball-themed craft brewery, which used to call Wizard Works' Third Ward location home before moving to its new spot in Walker's Point, will lend a helping hand with a Wizard Works tap takeover.
Running through the weekend, Broken Bat will serve up four of Wizard Works' beers on tap, helping out in a time of even more need than normal.
The four Wizard Works beers for the tap takeover include:
- Box Jumper Blonde Ale
- Abracadabra English Style Ale IPA
- Hofzinser Hefeweizen
- Legerdemain Session IPA
"Broken Bat has always stepped up for us, and it humbles me to be part of such a supportive community," Ragaisis said. "It was great that they suggested the tap takeover. I’d never have thought of it. They’ve had our backs us since the moment we started this venture."
"Even through the worst of times, we're a community here in Milwaukee," writes Broken Bat in its Facebook event description. "No matter what the industry, no matter what the neighborhood, no matter what the circumstances – we've gotta try to stick together."
A fine sentiment and an even finer excuse to mask up, head out and drink some good beer at Broken Bat, 135 E. Pittsburgh Ave., this weekend while the tap takeover lasts, pouring through Sunday, Aug. 9.
For more information, visit the takeover's Facebook event page.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.