It’s almost time for ope’ning day at the Milwaukee area’s newest brewery.
Ope Brewing Co. will welcome the public into its big new space just east of downtown West Allis on Friday, the brewery announced today.
The 12,650-square-foot brewery in the former hardware factory at 6751 W. National Ave. features a taproom with 300 seats, including several on cushy couches. Two spots for food trucks will keep the portable eats flowing along with the beer. (The truck lineup for the weekend was still coming together Wednesday.) I imagine merch featuring the lovable Midwestern interjection that inspired the brewery’s name will sell briskly.
It won’t be ready for the opening Memorial Day weekend, but an eventual highlight of the Ope experience will be an expansive outdoor bar-patio space featuring a two volleyball courts, fire pits, cornhole and bocce. Well-behaved dogs are welcome inside and out.
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Ope’s brewery features 16 taps with offerings crafted by co-founder and head brewer Kyle Ciske, formerly of The Explorium Brewpub. (The other co-owners are Adam Anders, who worked alongside Ciske at The Explorium, and homebrewer John Onopa.) The opening taplist is said to include lagers, IPAs, sours and hard seltzers, including collaborations with Milwaukee-area breweries Third Space, Eagle Park, New Barons and The Explorium, as well as Young Blood in Madison and G-Five in Beloit.
“We had long standing relationships with the breweries we chose to collaborate with,” Ciske said in Ope’s opening announcement, “creating beers that not only helped diversify our taplines but played to the strengths of each brewery.”
Ope’s beer is brewed in house 15 barrels at a time – that’s quite a big brewery compared to the smaller taproom-oriented openings in recent years – and the plan is to eventually install a canning line to send beers to bottle and grocery shops. The first canning run, using a mobile canning service, is scheduled for next week, with five beers and a hard seltzer set to be packaged, according to general manager Maggie Skinner. Crowlers will be available for those seeking to-go beer on opening weekend. “The bar staff is pumped to get going,” Skinner said.
Ope’ning weekend hours are noon-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday and noon-5 p.m. Monday. Regular hours are 4-10 p.m. Thursdays, noon-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-7 p.m. Sundays.