When Westallion Brewing Co. opens next year, it will be West Allis’ very first brewing company. Erik and Kim Dorfner are the husband-and-wife team behind the venture and they hope to open the brewery on April 23, 2016, which is the 500-year anniversary of Reinheitsgrebot, the German "Beer Purity Law."
The trademark on the name has not been finalized, so the Dorfners are currently calling the company "Stallion Brewing Co."
"The ‘Westallion’ name should be finalized this week," says Erik.
Westallion Brewing Co. will open in a former storage facility at 1825 S. 72nd St. The 6,000-square foot space will feature the brewery, tasting room and eventually a beer garden.
Westallion Brewing Co. will start with eight different beers, including German- and British- style beers along with seasonal and a "historic" brew. Erik, who has a history degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, wants to brew a variety of the "lost" beers that disappeared during Reinheitsgrebot.
"A lot of beers became extinct during the German Purity Law, and we are going to attempt to recreate them," he says.
Westallion beers will also be available in liquor stores and in 10 West Allis-based bars, five of which have already signed on. "Eventually, we’ll expand to more bars, but 10 for the first year," says Erik.
Both Erik and Kim have a solid history in the beer industry. Kim is the event planner for Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, and Erik worked for Lakefront Brewery as the warehouse manager and, later, in production.
"Westallion" is a nickname for people who live in West Allis, but Erik and Kim are not poking fun – just having fun – with the name. Erik was born and raised in West Allis and, although the couple currently lives in Franklin, they plan to move back.
"We didn’t want to rub people the wrong way with the name and we thought about it for a long time," says Erik. "We didn’t want to perpetuate any stereotypes – like Dirty Stallis – but we really like the name and think it’s unique and specific and represents who we are."
Erik says he has always been a "beer guy," but when he was stationed in Japan while serving in the Marines, he became "obsessed" with beer because of the lack of options. He later was sent to Iraq where he says he became more obsessed with good beer and started home brewing immediately after he was discharged.
"I came home and took on home brewing with a vengeance," says Erik. "I started entering contests and I placed in every one. That gave me a lot of confidence."
Stallion Brewing Co. will launch a crowdfunding effort on Monday, Sept. 21. Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee.com or the brewery’s Facebook page for more information about this and more.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.