Explorium Brewpub beer garden

Explorium Brewpub Is One Mall Tenant Doing Just Fine

Explorium Brewpub hosts a big outdoor party this weekend. It’s a testament to how well the brewpub has done since opening less than two years ago.

Explorium Brewpub (5300 S. 76th St.) celebrates its second Summer Launch Bash on Saturday (June 2). It’s a huge event with live music and unlimited sampling of beer from several local breweries that puts on display how popular the Greendale brewpub has become.

Explorium opened in January 2017, and in a year and a half, owner Mike Doble has seen some exciting things and faced some unique challenges.

The brewpub is a tenant of Southridge Mall, a retail spot that has seen some big changes lately. Southridge lost an anchor tenant in Sears, and Boston Store will close this summer. But others are moving in, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Round 1, a bowling and entertainment venue.

“The mall is in a state of transition,” said Doble. “It’s a little scary to see all the vacancies, but it’s also very exciting. The redevelopment of the Sears store in Dick’s Sporting Goods and Round 1, and the development of apartments on the property is so cool and indicative of what’s to come. I’m at the pub every day and I see the mall as pretty busy, actually. It’s just that people’s buying habits have changed due to Amazon shaking up the retail market.”

It’s hard not to think that the existence of Explorium, a bustling brewpub, makes the nearby property more desirable. The spot has produced a solid and varied menu of beers and has a popular beer garden.

“The last 18 months have been a whirlwind,” Doble said. “We’ve brewed far more beer than expected and have released 82 unique beers in 70 weeks of business. We essentially doubled how much we thought we would brew. I feel we’ve finally gotten to the point where we have a sustainable crowd coming in week after week and have a very strong Mug Club with more than 300 members. My staff has settled in and I have the best crew around. By all accounts we’ve grown faster than I expected and developed into a gathering place for the community just like I wanted.”

Summer Launch Bash

Where: Explorium Brewpub, 5300 S. 76th St. (Southridge Mall)
When: Saturday, June 2
Time: 6 p.m. to midnight
Cost: $35 at the door



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.