A Milwaukee couple plans to establish a kombucha brewery and taproom in the Avenues West neighborhood on the city’s near west side.
Entrepreneurs Maureen and Bill Brewster are launching Kingsway Kombucha LLC with the hope of producing and bottling their own Kombucha - a fermented, slightly alcoholic, and sweetened black or green tea drink.
Kingsway Kombucha’s taproom and production facility will be located side-by-side in two 6,000-square-foot buildings at 2210 and 2202 W. Clybourn Street. The taproom will double as an event space with plans for outdoor seating and a garage door storefront to give the taproom an open concept feel.
With Kingsway Kombucha, the entrepreneurs say they will capitalize on the latest trend in the beverage market, which includes “functional beverages” or drinks that are said to have health benefits. Many consumers, especially among the millennial population, have a taste for low-alcohol beverages or non-alcoholic beverages as healthier alternatives, Maureen Brewster added.
“It’s not a moral thing, it’s a health thing for most people,” Bill Brewster said.
As a 20-year veteran of the Navy, Bill Brewster and his family spent several years in different parts of the country before settling in the Milwaukee area in 2013. The Brewster family could have located the startup in any industrial space, but the couple chose to jump start their business in the Avenues West neighborhood to be “a part of something more,” Bill Brewster said.
“We wanted more than that for our business and also for our family and kids,” Bill Brewster said. “We want them to feel like part of the community and be part of the community. We want to integrate on as many levels as possible.”
The startup, which would be located in an opportunity zone, recently received a $325,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation
. The couple will use those funds to build out their facility and acquire brewing equipment with the goal of opening by 2021.
“Right now, we’re not hiring anyone because we’re in startup phase,” Bill Brewster said. “We’re going to run it as a family. As soon as we break even and can afford it, we’re going to hire people and they’re going to be local and from Milwaukee.”
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Maureen and Bill Brewster are rennovating the 12,000 square-foot space to include a taproom, an event space and a brewery.[/caption]