A look inside the small craft brewery downtown Kenosha, which started as a home-based operation
Wisconsin has a rich beer-making tradition, dating back to the mid-1800′s. There are both large-scale producers (e.g. Miller) and a number of smaller breweries. During my trip to Kenosha in the southeastern part of the state, I got to visit Public Craft Brewing Co.
When the microbrewery opened in 2012, its founder had a simple mission: to provide “beer for the people.” Downtown Kenosha had been experiencing revitalization and Matt felt that his community-focused taproom would be a good fit for the neighborhood.
With 13 years of home-brewing experience, Matt decided to join the beer business once he grew tired of his previous job. After finding the right space, he had it rebuilt: the back is the brewing area, and the front features a bar, shuffleboard table, chess, and a small public library stacked with books about beer.
When you enter the room, you will immediately see a large company logo painted on an exposed-brick wall between the bar and library. Matt designed it himself, making use of his graphic design background (see below).
When I visited, I toured the brewing area and enjoyed a beer flight at the bar, talking to locals next to me. The taproom had a comfortable, laid back atmosphere, the kind you might find in neighborhood bars.
If you go:
- Public Craft produces several brews, including an IPA and Porter. Check their website for the latest selection.
Jetting Around’s pick: WIT (stronger-than-usual wheat beer)
Mr. JA’s pick: Bone Dry Stout (named after a bone found during renovation)
- Beer is sold on tap and in growlers. It’s also distributed around Kenosha and nearby Racine.
- The taproom is open Thursday-Sunday. Sit at the bar and you might meet the owner.
- Brewing workshops and weekend tours are available.
Getting There and Links
Thank you to Kenosha Area CVB and its associates for hosting me in the city. All opinions, as always, are mine.