It’s an eastward expansion for Minneapolis craft brewery Indeed Brewing Co. (711 15th Av. NE., Mpls., 612-843-5090, indeedbrewing.com).
By midsummer 2019, Indeed will open a brewery and taproom in Milwaukee’s once-industrial Walker’s Point neighborhood, not unlike Indeed’s home in northeast Minneapolis.
It’s a long way from where Indeed began six years ago, said co-owner Tom Whisenand.
“We always had this mentality of taking it slow and trying to grow very diligently, and not just throw our beer everywhere across the country because that wasn’t what we were all about,” he said.
But neighboring Wisconsin was a different story. “People know about us in Wisconsin. Half my friends are from Wisconsin,” he said.
About a year and a half ago, Indeed’s leaders began exploring how to wholesale there. They pieced together a plan by hiring a sales rep, giving him a van loaded with beer, then driving another van from Minneapolis to meet him with more beer, just so he could deliver to bars and restaurants across the state.
“That’s not the way you do it,” Whisenand said. “Coming out of that was the thought, ‘Gosh, what if we could open a taproom in Wisconsin?’ ”
After working through a complicated legal web surrounding Minnesota breweries, Indeed finally got the approval to expand out of state.
“Milwaukee felt like the best cultural fit for our company,” Whisenand said. “The neighborhood, Walker’s Point, feels like what northeast Minneapolis felt like six years ago. This location felt like it was screaming for a brewery like us, a taproom that’s comfortable and cozy.”
The new taproom will feature an antique back bar originally from Hamm’s brewery, and the look of an “old-school Milwaukee bar,” Whisenand said. Televisions will broadcast games of the local teams, though, “I don’t know if the Milwaukee brewery is going to be a Packers bar or a Vikings bar.”
The law prevents Indeed from selling in their new taproom anything brewed in Minneapolis, and vice versa. The Minneapolis brewery has 60 kegs brewing at a time; the new brewery will have only 18 kegs. So while Day Tripper, one of Indeed’s most popular beers, will take up some of those kegs, the smaller size makes it possible for Indeed’s brewers to try new things on a much smaller scale.
“This will be a sophisticated, low-capacity, small-batch experimental brewery,” Whisenand said. “It’s a very expensive pilot.”