Westallion Brewing Co. races to the finish line
Joking about West Allis stereotypes – like mullets and Zubaz – is a catty but innocuous Milwaukee tradition. However, in the past few years, West Allis has upped its style with numerous new, contemporary shops, bars and eateries.
In early 2017, West Allis will welcome its first brewery, Westallion Brewing Co.
"We're moving very quickly now," says Kimberly Dorfner, who owns the business with her husband, Erik. "We will open in February or, at the very latest, March."
Westallion will host an open house on Friday, Dec. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. with mini tours and beer samples. "We will not be open yet; however, this is an opportunity for our followers to see our progress and meet us personally," says Dorfner.
OnMilwaukee reported the brewery and tasting room was in the works in 2015. The original plan was to open in April 2016, but due to construction delays, the opening was pushed back.
Last month, the brewing system was installed, and Dorfner says they will start brewing around the first of the year.
Westallion – which is a playful nickname for people who live in West Allis – will offer rotating seasonal beers with a historical tie to West Allis and four flagship beers.
"Western Days" is a Vienna Lager that's named after the city's beloved-but-defunct festival.
"Someday, we hope to bring back the festival in some form," says Dorfner.
"Gener-ale," a Scottish Ale, will also be available, along with a Pale Ale named "Mustang" after the mascot of now-closed West Milwaukee High School and a Kolsch-style beer called "Lillehammer" named after the city in Norway where West Allis' Dan Jansen won an Olympic gold medal for speed skating in 1994.
Westallion products will initially only be available in West Allis, but will expand to other markets shortly after opening. The first bars to offer Westallion include Braun's, Drunk Uncle, Liquid Johnny's, The Brass Monkey, The Network, West Allis Cheese & Sausage, Ka-bob's Bistro, Jack Rabbit Slims and a few others.
Prior to officially opening, the Dorfners will host behind-the-scenes tours of the brewery-in-progress and samplings. "Like" the Westallion Facebook page to stay apprised of these yet-to-be-announced events.
Westallion is also a member of the Milwaukee Craft Brewery League and Eat West Allis, an organization that promotes new and different businesses in the city. Other members include Farmer's Wife, Chef Paz, Kabob's, Crawdaddy's and Antigua.
Once open, Westallion's tasting room will feature a "restaurant of the day" from the Eat West Allis group, allowing customers to order items from one of the restaurants on a particular day. In exchange, the restaurants will offer Westallion beer on tap.
"Westallion is thrilled to be the only non-restaurant in the group and looks forward to cross promoting with the other businesses," says Dorfner. "We want to put West Allis on a pedestal. It certainly deserves it."
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