1840 Brewing Company has big plans for the future, and the best part is that it means more beer for all of us.
In September, the beer-drinking public was awarded significantly more access to one of the area’s better breweries. That’s when 1840 Brewing Company (342 E. Ward St.) opened its doors to the general public every Friday (3 to 10 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The approach by brewer Kyle Vetter in 1840 Brewing Company’s first year was far from conventional. The well-crafted barrel-aged brews were available in a taproom only open one weekend each month. Members of the brewery’s VIP program earned early access.
This was all due to necessity — it’s hard to keep up with supply with a beer that takes months to develop — but it also created a demand. Weekend beer releases generated buzz and drew sizable crowds. And 1840 has earned a lofty 4.07-star (out of five) rating on Untappd, a social networking site that lets people rate the beers they drink. It’s hardly scientific, but Untappd does provide a hint as to the popularity of a brewery and its beers.
“We started with the monthly release model in order to control our inventory,” said brewer Kyle Vetter. “Since we are such a small operation, and many of the beers we make take several months — or years in some cases — to make, we didn’t want to be open too much at first and run out of product.”
Vetter has been able to keep beer in the hands of his patrons since the expanded hours, and that will surely get easier with the addition of a new brewing and storage space on the northwest side of Milwaukee. 1840 began moving into the 4,800-square-foot building on Nov. 1.
“We will be installing a brew system, fermentation tanks, canning line and will also do some of our ‘clean’ barrel aging at that facility,” added Vetter. “The plan is to keep the tasting room in Bay View as our only retail location. We will also continue to make our sour and wild ales out of the Bay View location in the same fashion we do now. The only exception is that we will now be the ones brewing our own wort.”
What’s On Tap
This weekend (Nov. 2-4) Vetter is releasing Cheap Cologne Brut IPA. 1840’s take on the brut trend is an extra dry IPA made with Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc hops. The following weekend, the brewery plans to release a brett fermented double dry-hopped hazy IPA.
Later this fall, expect a brew that Vetter is especially excited about. It’s a sour ale made with apples and applewood smoked malts that’s currently carbonating in bottles.
1840 Brewing also has a few collaborations planned in the near future. All of these plans add up to good times for local beer drinkers.
“We have been receiving amazing feedback lately and couldn’t be happier about it,” explained Vetter. “Our customers seem to be loving the new hours and the new beers and that is what it is all about.”