The company, which is already in the process of moving its operations to the 5,000-square-foot building at 823 E. Hamilton St., has been brewing in about 1,000 square feet of space in the Lincoln Warehouse in Bay View.
The new Eagle Park brewery will include full food service helmed by Milwaukee chef Nathan Heck and a canning line that will boost distribution of packaged beer. Another enticing feature is a “sizable” beer garden that will take over part of a spacious parking lot on property two blocks north of Brady Street and a block east of Water Street. Eagle Park expects to open the new space in late March.
Jake Schinker said he and his fellow owners, Jack and Max Borgardt, had been looking for a larger space for their 3-year-old brewery about six months.
“It’s an opportunity that was put into our laps,” Schinker said of the Like Minds space.
Eagle Park will be taking over Like Minds’ lease of the Hamilton Street building and purchased the kitchen equipment, a 7-barrel brewhouse and five 7-barrel fermentation tanks. Eagle Park will be adding a sixth 7-barrel tank, four 14-barrel fermenters and a canning line.
Like Minds announced in December that it was moving to a larger location in Bay View to focus on and expand its lineup of sour beers but has not yet revealed its new location.
For Eagle Park, making beer seven barrels at a time instead of one barrel at a time will be a big upgrade from its tight quarters in the Lincoln Warehouse, which is also home to Enlightened Brewing, Twisted Path Distillery and other small companies.
Schinker said the ownership team debated the right size for the new brewery and was leaning toward expanding into a 15-barrel brewhouse, but the opportunity with the Like Minds space cut about nine months off their startup time.
The expansion also will allow Eagle Park to bring production of all its beer in house. In November, the brewery released its first canned beers, Set List IPA and Immortal Soul double IPA, which were brewed and packaged at Octopi Brewing near Madison. It has many other draft-only offerings, including the Milkshake series of cream ales with lactose, vanilla and fruits such as passionfruit, raspberry, mango and peach.
“We are more than just a little excited about our plans for expansion,” Max Borgardt said in a press release. “Having our own in-house production facility with a canning line will allow us expand the distribution of our core beers while adding new beers to our lineup.”
A message for Like Minds owner John Lavelle was not immediately returned, but one place we know Like Minds won’t be reopening is the former Brenner Brewing location on South Fifth Street in the Third Ward, which is being converted to a Sprecher Brewing taproom.