MILWAUKEE— Good City Brewing is set to open its downtown brewery and taproom as the first tenant in the highly anticipated Entertainment Block development across from the new Milwaukee Bucks arena. A soft opening is scheduled for Jan. 25 with beer service and limited hours. Food service and extended hours will begin by early February, culminating in a Grand Opening Party the weekend of Feb. 22.
Good City’s downtown opening caps off a busy six months. Last May the young brewery announced it had been selected as an anchor tenant in the new development aimed at year-round activation of the space surrounding the new arena. With the assistance of Kahler Slater and Hunzinger, Good City’s downtown facility is ahead of its scheduled spring opening. “Since opening in October, the new arena has already proven to be the catalyst that downtown desperately needed,” says co-founder Dan Katt. “The Entertainment Block will only build on the Bucks’ vision for activating downtown and we couldn’t be more excited to be the first tenant to help bring this vision to a reality.”
“We are delighted that Good City Brewing is officially opening in the Entertainment Block next month,” said Michael Belot, senior vice president of Bucks Ventures and Development. “Good City Brewing is a thriving, local company, and it will play a key role in solidifying the Entertainment Block as a prime destination for food and craft beer.”
Production at the downtown brewery will focus on wild ales, a fast growing category within craft beer nationwide that requires the intentional introduction of wild yeast and bacteria into the brewing process. Due to the production process, Good City’s first wild ales will not be ready until the fall as the beer needs to age for several months in foeders—large wooden vats used to produce wild ales. The foeders are prominently featured in a corner of the first floor that Good City is calling the “Oak Room,” which can be reserved by small groups of up to 20.
In addition to its wild ale program, Good City’s downtown brewery showcases a pilot brewing system that is visible from the taproom. According to co-founder and Brewmaster Andy Jones, this one barrel system will provide Good City with greater flexibility to experiment with different styles and recipes. “Not only will having a pilot system be incredibly valuable from a R&D perspective as we gauge which beers to ramp up at our Farwell facility, but it will also provide our customers with the opportunity to participate in the creative process by sampling experimental batches on tap.”
The main floor features 32 taps, an open kitchen, indoor seating for 200 and garage doors that open to the Entertainment Block. Brewery Chef Guy Davies will feature a menu that includes popular dishes from the East Side taproom as well as new items centered around a pizza oven concept.
The second level features Good City Commons, a 350-seat event space and outdoor patio that overlooks the Entertainment plaza. In addition to corporate, nonprofit, wedding and other private events, the space will also host public events such as post game beer gardens and a Friday Fish Fry. “Whether it’s meeting up for beers after a win or hosting a wedding, Good City Commons is intended to become the go-to Milwaukee venue for large group celebrations,” says co-founder David Dupee. Groups are now able to reserve the space for upcoming private events with much of 2019 already booked.
Since opening in June of 2016, Good City has already established itself as one of Wisconsin’s fastest growing breweries fueled by its flagship Motto Pale Ale. Recently named Milwaukee Small Business of the Year, the brewery has also garnered national attention, winning several beer awards and being featured on an episode of Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise.” The aggressive growth of its East Side brewery led the company to also recently purchase the Century City building on the Northwest side where the young company will move its corporate offices and warehouse operations.
According to co-founder Dan Katt, Good City’s growth parallels the trajectory of the city. “When we opened two and half years ago we were making a bet on Milwaukee. Our rapid growth to this point is a testament to our customers also betting on this city and participating in its resurgence.”