A Holmen couple and an Oshkosh couple hope to open their planned 608 Brewing Company microbrewery and tap room in early summer at 83 Copeland Ave. in La Crosse.
Applications for rezoning the property from light industrial to commercial, and for a conditional-use permit for the planned business, were introduced at Thursday night’s La Crosse Common Council meeting.
The applications were filed by Phil Humphrey of Onalaska, who told the Tribune earlier Thursday that the new business will be owned by him and his wife, Lorie, and by their friends Ryan and Danielle Beach of Oshkosh. They plan to lease the building, which in the past has housed a flooring business and a lawn and garden equipment sales and service business.
In an interview, Humphrey said he would like to make 500 barrels of beer in the microbrewery’s first 12 months of production. There are 31 gallons in a barrel.
Initially, the microbrewery would sell all of its beer at its tap room. “Once the tap room requirements are fulfilled, if we have extra, we’d love to branch out with flagship beers” and sell those to area bars and restaurants, he said. “It’s a little hard to tell” how soon that could happen, he said.
Humphrey has been home brewing beer since 2012, and has won awards in home-brewing competitions.
“It’s something I like doing,” he said of brewing beer. “And for the size of its population, La Crosse doesn’t have as many microbreweries as a lot of cities.”
The new microbrewery will brew styles of beer that will be unique in the La Crosse area, Humphrey said.
Beer styles that would be offered year-round include cream ale, New England-style IPA, New England-style double IPA, West Coast IPA and milk stout.
The microbrewery’s seasonal offerings are expected to include fruited sour ales, barrel-aged stouts and porters, and spiced ales.
There are no plans to sell food in the microbrewery’s tap room, Humphrey said. “We’ll collaborate with local food trucks and restaurants,” he said. “We’ll allow people to bring food in.”
In a letter accompanying his applications to the city, Humphrey wrote that “The proposed use of the property as a brewery/tap room will contribute to the city’s future vision for the Highway 53 corridor master plan and be complementary to the Riverside North future plans. The intended use will contribute to a vibrant commercial district by providing a sampling room and small venue live entertainment.”
Humphrey also wrote that 608 Brewing Company will create a new business that promotes job creation and tourism, and intends to operate up to seven days a week. Planned hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends, with different hours for special events and holidays.