Lakefront Brewery will expand production, tour operations with $1.4M SBA loan

Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery is planning several improvements to its brewery, tour operations and popular Friday night fish fry and hall once it receives a $1.4 million Small Business Administration loan. The loan, which the bank has sought since this spring, is one of the many SBA loans that will be made possible since the passage of the Small Business Act, which President Bacack Obama signed several weeks ago.

The brewery will use a large portion of the SBA loan to refinance its existing debt, said Russ Klisch, president of the brewery.

It will also build a new reception room inside its facility, where its popular brewery tours will begin. The new room will be build on top of the brewery’s boiler room, inside its main production space that has ceilings between 30 and 40 feet high, Klisch said.

Earlier this year, the brewery purchased additional refrigeration equipment to aid in its lagering operations and storage. It also bought a new centrifuge that will help to separate spent yeast from beer. The SBA loan will help pay for the installation of the centrifuge, Klisch said.

Lakefront also hopes to purchase additional brewing tanks to further increase its production, he said. The equipment is needed – Lakefront’s productivity has increased 23 percent so far this year.

“For 2010, we’re on pace for about 16,000 barrels of beer,” Klisch said. “In 2009, we did just under 13,000.”


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