Component Brewing Company celebrates one year in business this weekend. The young brewery occupies a welcoming space that's no stranger to beer lovers.
Component Brewing Co. is truly a family affair. A few years ago, co-owner Jonathan Kowalske shared his home brewing hobby with his cousins, Steve and D.J. Kowalske, and the trio was hooked.
In 2018, the space at Lincoln Warehouse occupied by Eagle Park Brewing opened up when the popular brewery moved to the East Side. That’s when Team Kowalske decided make the leap from home brewing to commercial brewing. It was made easier by the fact that the trio was able to purchase the small brewing system that Eagle Park left behind.
“We had always talked about starting a brewery, but it seemed out of reach at that moment,” said Jonathan Kowalske. “We had the opportunity to purchase our current equipment without any investors or loans and it was a no-brainer. It’s really nice to be able to do our own thing.”
The move was a good one. Since opening, Component has appealed to plenty of beer drinkers drawn by a wide range of well-crafted brews including crisp lagers, a variety of tasty hazy IPAs, the rich Coffee, No Coffee Imperial Stout, and the standout Rose’s Sour—a wild ale made with mango and raspberry that perfectly balances tartness and tasty fruit flavor.
“One advantage of having a small brew system is that we can experiment with different recipes. We can tweak and try different recipes and ingredients pretty frequently,” explained Kowalske. “Rose was the name of our great grandmother who lived on Chase Avenue in the neighborhood that the brewery is in today. (The beer) started out as a non-fruited sour IPA, but we had some mango and raspberry that we wanted to use. When we saw the color of the beer, we knew that we had to name it after Grandma Rose.”
Celebrating One Year
Component Brewing celebrates its one-year anniversary with a parking lot party on Saturday, Aug. 24. The festivities run from 2 to 8 p.m. and include live music, and food from Black Sheep MKE.
The brewery is pouring a few limited-release beers at the party including Coffee, No Coffee Barrel-Aged Stout, Rye for the Few Barrel-Aged Old Ale, which was made in collaboration with Beer Barons home brew club members, and A Horse A Piece, a collab with 1840 Brewing that’s a kettle sour made with brett and fermented in a bourbon barrel.
“When home brewing, I only shared my beer with friends and family,” said Kowalske. “They always said everything was awesome and I don’t think I ever got 100 percent honest feedback. It was really nerve wracking when we were about to start serving our beer to the public because I knew I’d be getting honest feedback. Luckily, we’ve had really good feedback, so I shouldn’t have been so worried. The neighborhood has been really amazing and it’s a fun hidden gem in Bay View.”
Location: 2018 S. 1st St., #207
Founded: June 2018
Brewers: Steve Kowalske, DJ Kowalske, Jonathan Kowalske
Come for the: Rose’s Sour Ale
Stay for the: relaxing and cozy taproom tucked away on the second-floor of the Lincoln Warehouse.
Critic’s pick: Rose’s Sour Ale
Where to get the beer: Mainly in the Component Brewing taproom. Expansion plans for the future could make distribution a reality.