City Lights Brewing Co. to open Feb. 1

Menomonee Valley brewery has begun brewing first batches of beer


After initially planning to open in June and later November of 2016, City Lights Brewing Company now plans to begin selling beer in the former Milwaukee Gas Light Co. red brick water tower building in the Menomonee Valley on Feb. 1.

The brewery announced the opening date in a brief newsletter sent out through email Thursday morning.

It’s full text: “Greetings, We’re brewing today. We’re opening February 1! Cheers!”

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City Lights has been renovating the water tower building for the past several months and recently completed the installation of its brewing infrastructure at the facility, according to posts the company has made about its progress on its Facebook page.

The brewery posted an image of two workers working on its first official batch of beer on Monday.

“Some Mondays are better than others,” the post read. “Today was particularly awesome for us. We officially have our first batch fermenting away!”

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The facility has a 30-barrel brewhouse, canning line, logistics center, tasting room and a beer garden.

City Lights hired former MillerCoors and Stella Artois executive David Ryder as its chief innovation officer in November.

The company described Ryder, who recently retired from MillerCoors, as “arguably the world’s most accomplished brewer” and said he will help with brewing innovations, educational outreach, government compliance and implementation of quality policies and procedures.

When plans for the build-out of the Milwaukee Gas Light Co. red brick water tower were released in March, the organization said it planned to spend around $2 million on equipment and renovations. Milwaukee-based Rinka Chung Architecture is the design firm for the project.

City Lights started out as 4 Brothers Blended Beer Co. in Waukesha in 2012 and contract-brewed its beer through Sand creek Brewing Co. in Black River Falls.

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