By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 24, 2024 at 9:02 AM

In December 2021, Port Washington’s Inventors Brewpub announced that it was building a new home at 305 E. Washington St. for its brewery and taproom.

The brewery, which currently occupies the former bottle washing house of Lakeside Brewery, broke ground on the new location the following July.

The new 27,700-square-foot brewery, taproom and restaurant building have two stories. Founder/CEO Adam Draeger said at the time of the announcement that the building was, “designed to gather sunlight during cold winter days while opening to the exterior during warmer weather. It will embrace the harbor, lake and the surrounding neighborhood while bringing additional visitors to the downtown throughout the year.”

Photos that Draeger has shared on the brewery’s blog suggest that it the new location will indeed have great views.

Inventors BrewpubX

As the build-out progresses, Draeger says that Orlando, Florida-based MW Control Systems would fly a team to Port Washington on Tuesday evening to begin installing the new brew system on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.

The equipment, Draeger says, has been in storage in Saukville for the past 11 months.

The 10-barrel brewhouse will cover 2,000 square feet of the facility. There will also be a 3,200-square-foot restaurant and taproom with seating for 160 inside and 80 outside, a 250-seat events space on the lower level, with seating for another 80 on a mezzanine.

The new building – designed by architects Streigel-Agacki Studio – will have a raised patio on its east side with a trio of overhead garage doors to open the taproom to the patio.

The main bar will have windows that look into the beer serving cooler and the restaurant area will offer views of the brite tanks.

An atrium will have a staircase to access the other levels.

The restaurant will have high-top tables and a “couch corner,” Draeger says. There will also be a merch corner.

A large door in the northwest corner of the building will be large enough to accommodate a food truck or vehicle access for events that require load-in.

The second floor has 8,500 square feet of office space being gray boxed for a future as-yet unsecured tenant.

Initially, the plan called for completion by last spring, but delays have pushed that back to this year.

One brief delay was caused by the subterranean discovery of the original basement slab/foundation of the Wisconsin Chair Company, which previously stood on the site. The company was famous for its Paramount Records label, which recorded many blues greats in its Port Washington studio.

Inventors’ current building was once the bottle washing house for Lakeside Brewery, founded in 1847. It also served Port Washington Brewing Company and the Old Port Brewing Company.

“The expansion of our business in Port Washington is intentional,” Draeger said when the project was announced.

“We want to continue to be a Port Washington business, support our employees and grow our offerings for our existing and future customers. We will be growing a local business, increasing options in the downtown and becoming a Great Lakes destination.”

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.