Working Draft’s four owners, Ryan Browne, Ben Feifarek, brewmaster Clint Lohman and J Bowen, met through the Wine and Hop Shop, a home brewing supply shop on Monroe Street. Ben Feifarek was the owner of the Wine and Hop Shop while Ryan Browne coordinates educational programs at the shop. Browne started looking for a head brewer. He turned to Clint Lohman, also a former coworker at the Wine and Hop Shop, who had since taken brewing jobs at Vintage Brewing Co. and Wisconsin Brewing Co.
Working Draft Beer Company opened its doors on March 5 2018, in the weeks leading to their opening, Working Draft released collaborations with Parched Eagle, Rockhound Brewing, The Great Dane, Lone Girl, Next Door, Hop Haus, One Barrel, Wisconsin Brewing Company and even the Bluff Hoppers homebrewing club out of Sauk City.
Working Draft operates in parallel a 7-barrel/2-vessel brewhouse, built by W.M. Sprinkman in Waukesha, WI, and a “pilot” 1-barrel brewery, built by Spike Brewing in Milwaukee, striking a balance between a top-notch production craft brewery and our home-brewing roots. The system is capable of turning out about 2,000 barrels of beer a year.
The brewery’s taproom is an open design where visitors can have a beer in full view of the brew kettles and fermenters. The bar and table tops are made of reclaimed solid maple from what were lanes 21, 22, and 24 and their pin decks at Village Lanes bowling alley in Monona, WI.
The brewery also supports an Artist-in-Residence (AiRs) program offering space in the taproom to display artwork. The brewery also intends to regularly be a venue for acoustic music performances, poetry readings and local book clubs. In the bar area there’s a large wall mural showing outstretched hands with a water-like blue background. The painting is the work of local artist Jenie Gao and is intended to depict the isthmus and people coming together.
We love how craft beer brings people together and invites us to think about what we drink. We started Working Draft Beer Company to cultivate community, to celebrate the process of brewing and art, and to work draft by draft toward beers that delight.