Wood Violet Tap House Opens in Bay View
New taproom features Wisconsin-brewed craft beer.
Last week, Enlightened Brewing Co. opened a new tap room in its former brewery site, 2018 S. 1st St. The Wood Violet Tap House will serve cans and bottles, as well as eight taps, of Wisconsin-brewed beer, made by breweries such as Melms, Raised Grain, Central Waters, Third Space, Black Husky, and MobCraft.
In May, Enlightened owners Tommy Vandervort and James Larson relocated their brewing facility and taproom to 2020 S. Allis St., which previously housed the Louis Allis Motors Plant. At 14,000 square feet, the Louis Allis building is about ten times bigger than Enlightened’s original facility.
“We wanted to try out a different concept and buy beer from our friends. Essentially, we are rethinking the retail side of the Lincoln space,” Vandervort said, adding that he and Larson wanted the Louis Allis location to focus on the brewing component of their business, which opened in 2015. Besides the new tap house, the 1st St. location will still be used as Enlightened’s pilot brewery, where the owners can experiment with new beers and do barrel-age testing.
“We love Wisconsin. There are so many great things to love about the urban side, but there’s so much to appreciate about the rural side,” said Vandervort. “We felt that ‘wood violet’ has a nice ring to it.” He noted that the brewery has future plans to launch a brand line, with items such as T-shirts.
He describes the Wood Violet’s décor as “kind of like your grandfather’s basement,” but in an industrial warehouse space.
Vandervort enjoys operating in the S. 1st St. warehouse space, which includes tenants Twisted Path Distillery, Melt Chocolate and Component Brewing. The location is ideal for beer and spirits aficionados. Since Wood Violet Tap House does not have a liquor license, visitors can grab a cocktail at Twisted Path and head down the hallway to grab a beer at Enlightened’s new Wood Violet Tap House.
Popular Enlightened beers include Cream City Bricks cream ale and Kettle Logic amber ale. “All of our beers are very straightforward, no-nonsense beers,” said Vandervort.
This Friday, Wood Violet will host a grand opening celebration beginning at 5 p.m., which will feature rare beers like aged stout and a local sours barrel. Twisted Path Distillery will release its new chai liqueur, and guests can enjoy fare by Firefox Food Truck.
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