By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 31, 2021 at 6:13 PM

Inventors Brewpub, which opened in a building at that is part of Port Washington’s brewing history, has announced it will build a bigger brewery and kitchen a few blocks south at 305 E. Washington St.

The new 25,000-square-foot brewery, taproom and restaurant will have two stories and, according to owner founder Adam Draeger, “is being 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.”

The 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 new building – designed by architects Streigel-Agacki Studio – will have a 10-barrel brewhouse covering 2,000 square feet, plus a 3,200-square-foot restaurant and bar with seating for 160 inside and 80 outside, a 250-seat events space on the lower level with seating for another 100 on a mezzanine.

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There will also be bride and groom rooms that will also serve as green rooms for visiting performers like comedians and musicians.

The second floor will house 8,500 square feet of office space for lease.

Draeger says he will present the project to the city's planning commission in January.

 
 
 
 
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According to Draeger, the development will add about $5 million in assessed value to the city tax rolls.

“The evolution of an invention usually goes from version 1.0 to 2.0,” says Draeger. “The next version of our brewpub has so many improvements. We are developing a new facility closer to the heart of downtown. It will be a place where large and small groups gather in community.

“Imagine year-‘round special events, cultural activities, wedding receptions, great food and beverages including house-made beer and sodas. Downtown Port Washington is currently without a large meeting space for events like wedding receptions, conferences and indoor concerts. The loss of the Viking Room, Newport Shores and other iconic Port Washington venues has created a gap that needs filling.”

Draeger expects the new brewery to be ready by spring 2023. He plans to add staff at that time.

“The expansion of our business in Port Washington is intentional,” Draeger says. 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 OnMilwaukee.com 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.