Raised Grain expanding capacity with new production brewery

Larger brew system, canning line among planned upgrades

Nick Reistad and Scott Kelley of Raised Grain Brewing Co. in Waukesha.

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

Raised Grain Brewing Co. plans to open a production brewery in Waukesha, eventually increasing its capacity to upwards of 40,000 barrels per year.

Nick Reistad and Scott Kelley of Raised Grain Brewing Co. in Waukesha.
Nick Reistad and Scott Kelley of Raised Grain Brewing Co. in Waukesha.

The new facility would be located in a 20,000-square-foot facility at 1725 Dolphin Drive. The Waukesha Plan Commission will consider a conditional use permit for the project in June.

Co-owner Nick Reistad said Raised Grain is considering a 20-barrel system that would allow the company to eventually reach a production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 barrels a year. The facility will also allow Raised Grain to a canning line for 12- and 16-ounce cans.

“The first couple years it’s just going to be production at the new facility,” Reistad said.

The company currently operates from a 4,000-square-foot space at 2244 W. Bluemound Road, with a little over half of the space used for the brewery and offices and the remainder functioning as a taproom. The current capacity is around 1,100 barrels and there’s only room for a small bottling line.

The plan is to keep the current 7-barrel system at the original location for the time being. Reistad said that will allow Raised Grain to continue to be flexible and innovative in the beers it produces.

“I think that’s one of the things that’s helped us stand out from the crowd,” he said, adding the company is laying the ground work for the future and everything could be brought under one roof several years into the future.

The new facility would be used for increased production of Raised Grain’s more widely distributed beers, including Paradocs Red Imperial IPA, which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival.

Raised Grain opened its public taproom in September 2015 and has since grown to about 25 employees, including seven full-time. Reistad said there would certainly be additional hires for the new brewery, sales and the taproom, but he wasn’t sure exactly the size of the job growth.

The brewery is one of a number of new craft breweries to open in recent years in the greater Milwaukee area. Reistad said while the craft beer market is certainly competitive, it is not saturated. He said there are a lot of opportunities and its important consumers continue to choose local beers.

“There’s a lot of good beer out there,” Reistad said. “If you drink local beer, there’s plenty of room for the local breweries.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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