A new-family run brewery and taproom is now open in at 1505 Wisconsin Ave., in Grafton.
After a soft opening, Sahale Ale Works – the name rhymes with koala – opened to the public last week, though it’s only open on weekends at the moment. Owner Matt Hofmann, who has worked at a number of area breweries, including Lakefront, St. Francis and 3 Sheeps, plans to expand those hours as he builds up stocks of beer.
The brewery opens with eight beers on tap at the adjacent taproom, including a golden ale, a lemon IPA collaboration with The Fermentorium in nearby Cedarburg, and an oaty IPA collaboration with Working Draft Beer Company.
"We plan to generally always offer a barrel-aged and/or sour beer in our line up," says Hofmann. "We have four core beers (the ones listed above), although our collab with Fermentorium is currently holding the spot for our amber ale which has yet to be produced."
There's also an ale brewed with cinnamon and ghost peppers, a juicy IPA, a milkshake IPA, a dragon fruit sour ale and a coffee-tinged stout named in honor of Grafton’s pioneering Paramount Records.
"We only have a three-barrel brew system and intend to sell most of it through our tap room," says Hofmann. "You can currently find some of our beer on draft at The Diplomat and Charles E. Fromage in the Milwaukee area. We are looking to pick up some other accounts and those are in the works, but distribution will be limited."
Sahale also offers 16-ounce cans and crowlers to go.
As is often the case, Hofmann got his start as a homebrewer during his college years.
"Instead of going to grad school, I decided to pursue brewing. Lakefront offered me an internship, where I worked until I went to UC-Davis's Master Brewers Program," he says.
"From there I went to Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder and then back to Lakefront for several years. After that I worked as 3 Sheeps head brewer for a few years before going to St. Francis Brewery and Restaurant for the last two years. This is my first time starting a business and having ownership in one. Me and my wife are the sole owners with no investors, so we are truly a family-owned and operated venture."
The taproom also serves lemonade, kombucha and Potosi root beer, and offers a flight with Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters cookie pairings and, on the patio, slices of pizza from John’s.
"We aren't offering food produced in house, but we allow carry-ins or delivery of food," says Hofmann. "We have John's Pizzaria right across our patio which has awesome pizza and a full menu on top of that. We are starting 2nd Kitchen, which will offer Atlas BBQ, very soon. Other than that, we are looking to bring in food trucks and have pop up restaurant offerings, as well beer dinners both on and off site."
Sahale is open from 3 until 10 p.m. Fridays, noon until 10 on Saturdays and noon to 7 on Sundays.
The brewery web site is here.
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.