Inventors Brewpub expansion gains initial approvals

A rendering of the new Inventors Brewpub location from East Washington Street.

Inventors Brewpub founder Adam Draeger has received initial approval for plans to build an entire new lakefront facility at 305 E. Washington St. in Port Washington following Thursday’s Plan Commission meeting. Draeger first unveiled his plans at the start of the year. His proposal now heads to the Common Council.

Draeger is seeking to move his business about two blocks up the street from its current location at 435 N. Lake St., in order to build a larger facility. It would take up the entirety of what is known as the former North Slip parking lot. Currently, Inventors Brewpub shares a building with the American Legion.

Draeger’s proposal involves the construction of a new building near the city’s marina.  A bigger brewery and kitchen space are at the heart of the plans. A 10 barrel brew system will be added. Event and office space are also part of Draeger’s plans for the new 25,000-square-foot, two-story building.

The Port Washington Plan Commission approved the initial plans with several conditions, including allowing for a special exception so the building’s stairwell, sculptural sign and parapet can rise above the 35 feet allowed within the B-4 zoning district. Approval would also be needed for any landscaping, ADA ramps or seating placed on city property.

A view of the proposed new Inventors Brewpub location from the Port Washington Marina.

“This new building and location allows us to think about other needs besides our own,” said Draeger in an operating plan submitted to the Plan Commission. “In addition to the pub and brewery, we will have a cathedral style event center to accommodate 250-350 person gatherings. The space will have a second-floor indoor area with attached outdoor balcony. With the versatility of this space we can house multiple events big or small.”

The menu at the expanded brewpub will include casual comfort foods such as burgers, sandwiches, poutine, gourmet tacos, entrees, salads and fish options served daily. The bar offerings will be expanded to accommodate a wider audience including local favorites such as old fashions, hard seltzers, various liquors, craft cocktails, bottled beer, after-dinner drinks, guest taps, house brews and craft sodas.

Draeger also said that the addition of the larger 10 barrel brewery system will allow Inventors Brewpub to increase outside beer sales and distribution to outside bars and restaurants. Anywhere from 24 to 36 employees are expected to work as the new location.

Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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