Creativity can set breweries and brewers apart. But the ability to experiment with recipes and brews isn't always easy to do. Breweries can be limited by capacity, equipment and the need to crank out core beers to keep a steady revenue flow.
The brewers at Door County Brewing (8099 Hwy. 57, Baileys Harbor), Danny McMahon and Kyle Gregorash, have remedied all of those problems by creating Hacienda Beer Company, an offshoot dedicated to creativity.
“We primarily created Hacienda to properly differentiate the more experimental beers that Danny and Kyle have brewed here in Baileys Harbor with the more approachable, easy drinking flagship beers under the Door County Brewing label,” explained brand manager Matt Sampson. “Hacienda will allow us to experiment with brewing any type of beer, without worrying if that beer will fit into our year-round lineup of beers under Door County Brewing. We want Door County Brewing to remain a recognizable brand for very approachable beers that will attract a wide variety of beer drinkers.”
The 15-barrel brewhouse was up and running in early January and will be used to produce less than 1,000 barrels. That’s a significant difference from the 3,700 barrels brewed under the Door County label, mainly at Octopi Brewing in Waunakee.
Hacienda plans to focus on hazy IPAs, milk stouts and farmhouse ales in the early going. Some of the new brews are making the rounds in the state. On Feb. 14, Burnhearts hosted a Hacienda release party that drew a crowd.
“People seem excited about the good stuff coming from Hacienda,” said Burnhearts owner B.J. Seidel. “I think they did a great job with their hazy IPA, Everything Eventually. Also the DNT LSTN wood-aged saison was a great example of the direction I know they want to go in with wild ales. It was unique and expressive, while still crowd-pleasing.”
Expect Hacienda to expand a mixed fermentation program with three new foeders and a koelschip for spontaneous fermentation. Also look for unique, local ingredients for some of its batches.
“The first beer we brewed in our new 15-barrel brewhouse was Le Printemps, which incorporated raw Wisconsin honey from a nearby farm and was dry hopped with Huell Melon hops,” said Sampson. “We just bottled this beer by hand on Monday in 750 mL champagne-style bottles for bottling conditioning, and we should be releasing this beer in late March. This was the first beer we’ve ever bottled here in Baileys Harbor under either the Hacienda or Door County label.”
Door County Brewing has made a name for itself since opening in 2012. The creation of Hacienda should be a way to showcase the brewing talents in Baileys Harbor even more.
Added Sampson: “Hacienda will allow Danny’s creative side shine, giving him the ability to create beers for a more niche consumer — beers that have more expensive ingredients, that take a long time to produce like barrel-aged mixed fermentation sours — and those he has learned to love since opening Door County Brewing.”