Lakefront Brewery plans expansion near its Commerce Street HQ

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:59 am

Milwaukee-based craft brewer Lakefront Brewery Inc. announced that it plans to expand with a facility at 1890 N. Commerce St. in Milwaukee.

The brewery announced that it has an accepted offer to buy the vacant site, which was formerly slated for the second phase of The Edge condo development. The site is located on the east side of the Holton Street Bridge, adjacent to the existing Lakefront Brewery headquarters facility at 1872 N. Commerce St.

Last year Lakefront Brewery announced plans to build a second brewery in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, but later dropped those plans.

Now, Lakefront Brewery Owner Russ Klisch said the company’s plans are to purchase the vacant Commerce Street site and build on it as soon as it is financially feasible for the brewery. The brewery plans to relocate its packaging lines and additional fermentation tanks to the new facility. The brew house would retain all of its existing fermentation tanks and would use the space vacated by packaging for barrel aging.

The expansion is being driven by increased demand, the company says. Lakefront now brews 40,000 barrels per year, with production having nearly doubled in the past two years alone. The second brewing location will provide Lakefront with the ability to expand its production and distribution and at capacity would result in the creation of an additional 40 full-time jobs.

The company has also begun expanding its warehouse facilities. Last week, Lakefront began work on an addition to its cold storage facility at 218 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, which could add as many as 30 jobs, including 10 full-time jobs.

“We are taking a very measured approach to expansion, and acquiring this land is an initial step,” said Klisch. “However, the craft beer market just continues to grow and we need to expand production or we won’t be able to keep up with demand.”

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