Back in 2016, Enlightened Brewing Company moved from its extremely small (and extremely private) second-floor taproom it had occupied in the Lincoln Warehouse since late 2013. The move was to a significantly larger spot in the warehouse’s ground floor, which was to function as both a brewery and a taproom. Next month, that 2018 S. 1st St. taproom will close to the public…but only so Enlightened can relocate its public presence to a far larger spot elsewhere in Bay View.
On May 10, Enlightened Brewing Company will say goodbye to its 1st Street location—at least as we know it—and will formally open its new, improved brewery and taproom about half a mile down the road at 2020 S. Allis St. the following day. The addition, the former site of the Louis Allis Motors plant, will give Enlightened the ability to brew more than 10 times its current output in the Lincoln Warehouse, and will be a notable upgrade from its current 49-capacity taproom.
“We’ve been working super hard on it for almost a year now, the way we do—scrappy, getting our own hands dirty—and we’re really excited to show everyone what we’ve been up to,” says Enlightened Brewing co-owner Tommy Vandervort.
According to Vandervort, the May 10 “1st St. Closing Extravaganza” will give the burgeoning Bay View microbrewery a chance to “get all nostalgic about” the move with a night of drinking, stories, and friends. The following night, Enlightened will break in its new space with a grand opening celebration that will come complete with a pig roast, burgers, brats, and hot dogs. Speaking of dogs, the new site will be dog-friendly. On May 11, Enlightened will also debut its brand new canning line. The brewery’s Imperative Pale Ale, Kettle Logic Amber, and Cream City Brix Cream will all be available in 12-ounce cans.
Though Enlightened is expanding to Allis Street, the owners will continue to operate the 1st Street location to function as a test site and a place for small runs of certain beers to exist.
“We’re going to keep a footprint at the Lincoln Warehouse because the brewery that’s back there is the perfect size for pilot and test batches,” Vandervort says. “We can make some really fun beer on a small scale, and then drive production of our year-round beers and other stuff we want to share around via wholesale to the bigger brewery.”
Crediting the Michels development across the street from the Lincoln Warehouse and their relationship with their neighbors at Twisted Path Distillery as a reason to stay, Vandervort says Enlightened intends to give its current taproom “a facelift and change the concept” to retail, with hopes of re-opening by the end of summer.
“We’re just super excited and we’ve been working really hard to make this all happen,” Vandervort says. “It’s going to be fun to celebrate it two days in a row, in two different ways.”