Year in Review: 2018 Was a Big Year for Beer, Wine and Spirits

The growth of the craft beer evolution/revolution appears to continue unabated, with some 6,600 craft beer makers in operation in these United States. The Brewers Association is expected to release 2018’s official number of craft breweries in the new year.

This year marked the first national ad campaign from the Brewers Association, based on the theme “That’s Independence You’re Tasting.”

Locally in the craft brewing world, Door County’s oldest brewpub, Shipwrecked in Egg Harbor, rose from the ashes of its August 2017 fire in a beautiful, new building with a new brewer (more on him in a future Pulse).

Early in the summer, Peter Gentry of One Barrel Brewing in Madison appeared before the Village of Egg Harbor board to talk about his plans to open a second brewery in the village, using the original one-barrel system that he used to start the business in Madison in 2012. He purchased A Decorator’s Gallery of DC, across the street from Main Street Market, and has already begun work to gut the building. He said the construction crew will start next week.

The summer also saw the birth of the Liberty Tap House at Liberty Square in Egg Harbor: an ambitious project of owners Richard and Pam Wegner to bring little-seen craft and international beers to Door County. However, in the fall they sold the business to Blake and Lauren Schar of Ellison Bay’s Fireside Restaurant, and the Schars have other plans for the tap house space.

Also in Egg Harbor, the Roedl family broke ground last February for the Hatch Distilling Co. and opened its doors in mid-July to an enthusiastic response from fans of craft liquors. Distiller Chris Roedl is also a beekeeper, so Hatch’s clear liquors are made from honey.

On the other side of the peninsula, Door County Brewing Co. continued its successful ways with its beer and music hall in Baileys Harbor. Early in the year, the McMahon family announced a new offshoot, Hacienda Beer Co. It’s a project that allowed head brewer Danny McMahon and his team to take off in experimental directions. Nine months after Hacienda’s birth in February, the McMahon family announced Hacienda would open a 125-seat taproom on one of the busiest corners of Milwaukee’s east side. The family hopes to open Memorial Day weekend. Just two weeks after making that announcement, the New York-based online beer magazine Hop Culture named Hacienda one of the 12 best new breweries in the country.

And last January, the Door County Zoning Board of Adjustment granted approval to Steve and Maria Johnson – owners of Parallel 44 Winery in Kewaunee County and Door 44 Winery – to build a new, 11,000-square-foot winery and tasting room at the corner of Highway 42 and County P. Ground was broken in November, and you can see the progress being made while traveling 42.

Article Comments