Rhinelander Brewing expansion planned downtown
Craft brewing system, tap room, tasting and tours expected in 2018
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
The Northwoods community was reintroduced to Rhinelander Beer six years ago when Rhinelander Brewing Company brought back the “Shorty.” Today, the company is eyeing the purchase of a building on Brown Street to open a craft brewing facility, complete with a taproom, beer tasting and tours.
“The goal was always to have a brewery here,” said company president Jyoti Auluck. “But it takes time, it takes money, you have to have a customer base and distributor base and we have that –we sell in over 20 states now.”
Another item checked off the list was an expanded product line. In addition to the Shortys, the company now also bottles lagers, craft beers, IPAs, stouts, hard sodas and cocktail syrups, just to name a few. All told, Auluck said, Rhinelander Brewing Company sells nearly 3 million pints of beer a year across the country. Now, she added, is the time to expand.
“We will make a Rhinelander brew,” Auluck explained, not wanting to give too much away. “We are coming up with a few funky names, Rhinelander-associated or Hodag-associated that we’ll brew here. We’re still going to sell the beers that…the brand currently makes, but definitely the showcase will be what we’re making here locally and selling growlers and doing tastings and maybe doing a little tour there with a little history of Rhinelander Beer – from the 1960s and the little Shortys to where we are now.”
Auluck said she has a building in mind, and the company is in talks to purchase so Rhinelander Brewing will have roots in the community. The company will also tap into the local homebrewing scene for a brew master, someone who will help the staff make the beer, and perhaps work a few hours a week to talk brewing.
“Because always people like to hear, why did you choose that, why that flavor, why that malt, why that style, because it affects the beer,” Auluck said. “And the home brewer would know that.”
A purchasing decision on a building is expected before 2018, Auluck said. In the meantime, a variety of Rhinelander Brewing beers are available at local outlets and others, including non-beer products, clothing, posters and signs can be purchased at the current office location on Brown Street.