You can’t miss the sign for City Lights Brewing Company (2200 W. Mount Vernon Ave., 414-436-1011) casting a bright white glow over the Menomonee Valley from the tower of the 115-year-old former Milwaukee Gas Light Co. building. It guides beer lovers to one of the newest – and most physically ambitious – breweries in town.
Co-owner/brewer Jimmy Gohsman’s vision for City Lights took a year of renovation and input from Rinka Chung Architecture, but the patience paid dividends. A large, inviting taproom combines a rustic mix of wooden tables, exposed beams and glazed brick. The bustle of the gleaming brew room is in full view through massive windows behind the small bar.
“When we first walked in, we knew exactly how it would be laid out,” explains Gohsman. “The flow kind of spoke for itself and the way the building was designed already.”
Aesthetics don’t mean much if the beer doesn’t hold its weight. Of the four tap options, these beers do: the pleasantly malty Qty Lights Amber and easy-drinking Qty Lights Session IPA. And more are on the way. “As far as styles go, we will certainly be adding to the repertoire,” adds Gohsman. “[But] before we brew anything else, we really wanted to dial in” the core lineup first.