Lakefront’s investment in the Kenosha brewery is an expansion of its hospitality and brewing operations.

MILWAUKEE (May 24, 2024) – As the number one craft brewer in Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewery has had its fair share of opportunities to expand, acquire new assets, and spread its Handcrafted Happiness brand. The opportunity to acquire Public Craft Brewing Co. makes sense on both a hospitality and brewing side.

“Kenosha is an up-and-coming area with many businesses moving in,” says Lakefront Brewery President, Russ Klisch. “The population is growing with housing being developed and it is a good time to become established.”

First and foremost, Klisch does not want to change the name of Public Brewing. “The Public brand is established, positive, and will work hand-in-hand with the Lakefront brand,” Klisch continues. “Public Brewing has a solid reputation for its beer and food.”

Similar to Lakefront, Public is in a historical building that has recently had a major renovation with all new bathrooms, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. All building, brewing equipment, and restaurant equipment is only four years old. Public Brewing is located in the heart of downtown Kenosha and close to major developments happening there.

Lakefront and Public also share the same beer distributor, CJW, which distributes in Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth Counties. Public Brewing is the only packaging brewery in CJW’s territory and is considered CJW’s hometown brewery.

Kenosha is currently underserved for the amount of breweries in their location. In the state of Wisconsin, there’s an average of six breweries for every 100,000 residents. Kenosha, which has a population of 100,000 people, only has two other small pub breweries.

“Public Brewing makes a nice selection of sour beers which Lakefront doesn’t have in its portfolio,” said Lakefront’s Sales Director, John Huber. “And CJW, will be able to distribute Pubic’s sours, and other beers, through our distribution network.”

Public has a four-year old QTS Brewing system that was made in Wisconsin and all brewing equipment is in good shape. The brewery is nicely laid out and has an annual capacity of around 2,500 bbls.

And like Lakefront’s Beer Hall, Public Brewing has a large restaurant space which has a capacity of 299 people and a kitchen to service the crowd. There is also a stage in the restaurant/hospitality area, so similar events at Lakefront Brewery will be held at Public Beer Hall.

And like Lakefront’s nationally popular brewery tour, Public will be developing a similar entertaining tour along with a tour ticket, encouraging visits to local bars. Lakefront also plans to honor all the Public Brewing gift cards and deposits that were put down for events that are booked there. Lakefront will be interviewing the current staff for employment and not looking to cut any positions.

“This opportunity has come to us upon the retirement of the Public Brewing ownership,” said Klisch. “We look forward to the opportunity to serve the Kenosha area great beer, great food, and great times. Cheers!”

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