Owner and brewmaster, Westallion
Erik Dorfner, owner and brewmaster of Westallion Brewing Co., dreamed for a long time of opening his own brewery and giving back to his hometown of West Allis. In 2017, Dorfner and his wife, Kimberly, opened Westallion Brewing Co. with a nod to the city’s rich history.
The pair transformed an old abandoned building located at 1825 S. 72nd St. in West Allis, and now employ six full-time workers.
Dorfner’s leadership abilities came from time spent serving in the U.S. Marine Corps while leading a patrol in Iraq.
It was in Iraq that Dorfner also realized his love for a great brew.
He returned home and started homebrewing on the weekends while working full-time on his career.
He sent his beers to homebrew competitions all over the country and won several awards before leaving his corporate gig for a job in the warehouse at Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery.
“I realized Erik would never be fulfilled career-wise unless he followed his passion,” Kimberly said. “Fortunately, Lakefront Brewery hired Erik and he started initially loading trucks in their warehouse. I had never seen him more happy.”
He worked in the warehouse for about a year before gaining the opportunity to work in the brewhouse, she said.
Two years later, in 2017, Erik left his job at Lakefront to form Westallion Brewing Co. in the heart of downtown West Allis.
According to Kimberly, Erik’s vision for the brewery was always about embracing West Allis’ rich history and branding its business and its beers to honor the city.