Craft brewery planned in Elkhart Lake

SwitchGear will feature tap room, three-barrel system for room to expand

Beer bottles

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:23 pm

Elkhart Lake, home of Road America and the Osthoff Lake Resort, will be getting its first craft brewery next year.

SwitchGear Brewery will be located within the Feed Mill Shops at 44 Gottfried St. in Elkhart Lake and feature a tap room and a three-barrel system designed to accommodate future growth plans that could include wholesale distribution.

The brewery was conceived by a group of co-workers at Masters Gallery Foods in Plymouth. The ownership team includes Nick Kullmann, head brewmaster, Ryan Feldmann, assistant brewmaster and sales, and Mark Grasse, who will handle operations.

The three will continue their roles at Masters Gallery.

“The name SwitchGear carries a number of origins for our team, including motor vehicle enthusiasts,” Grasse said. “But more than everything it points to our mutual passion for brewing.”

The brewery will feature Bourbon Barrel Stouts, Red Ales, various IPA’s, Nut Browns, and Smash Pale Ales, Kullmann said.

“Our brands will also make a point of respecting the grandeur of our local area with names such as Kettle Cream Ale and Resorter Red Ale,” Kullmann said.

Work on the brewery will begin this winter, with an opening planned in spring 2017.

Financing for the business will be provided by Commerce State Bank. Real estate site alternatives, business plan development, and financial strategy strategies were facilitated through the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) in collaboration with Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The project will also include loan funding from the Village of Elkhart Lake’s revolving loan fund.

“The village was very supportive to the project,” said SCEDC business development specialist Jim Schuessler. “The community takes a very positive approach to closing retail gaps which in turn enhances an overall good quality of life.”

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