Michael Horne
Bar Exam

Indeed Brewery’s Taproom Is Unique

Minneapolis brewer spent a lot to redevelop Walker's Point building for first taproom here.

By - Nov 5th, 2019 05:01 pm
Indeed Brewing Company. Photo by Michael Horne.

Indeed Brewing Company. Photo by Michael Horne.

Milwaukee’s newest taproom is also the first to be opened by an out-of-state brewer. Minnesota-based Indeed Brewing Company Milwaukee opened on October 19th at 530 S. 2nd St. It occupies an entire 8,800-square-foot, 1943 industrial building that for many years housed The Athletic Equipment Repair Corporation.

For years the facade was hidden behind concrete blocks, with a few glass blocks above for light. Such exterior treatment of buildings was the norm in Walker’s Point, an old industrial neighborhood that has seen a spurt of growth and vitality that has only accelerated since the 2012 construction of the Clock Shadow Creamery, the urban cheesemaker located next door. In 2010 the sidewalks were widened, and the street narrowed, greatly enhancing the urban experience and the pace of development. Today old buildings join the new in the parade of change on the street. Gone today are the blocks, replaced by windows, and life within.

In the case of Indeed Brewing Company, the storefront displays the firm’s pilot brewery equipment, all shining and new, and ready to serve the taproom, which is located at the rear of the building. This gives off an appropriate industrial vibe, suitable to the neighborhood. The idea that you have to walk through a factory in order to access a hidden room devoted to drinking beer evokes a speakeasy feeling. Before heading back, note the unisex bathrooms, very elegant, and tiled throughout. You will also note abundant oak in the form of solid doors and trim, extensive wainscoting and in general high quality finishes throughout.

These folks from Minneapolis spend money like they’re Chicago people! They must have sunk a good $2 million into the joint. As you walk toward the bar (which must be back here somewhere) you note a massive shuffleboard table (free!) set on a quarry tile floor. There is plenty of room for the players, and for a spectator or two. Keep on going, calculating the board feet of lumber in the continuous wainscoting, and you will note murals above promoting the brewery and its products. You will also find a wall of merchandise available for sale.

The taproom itself is as well-appointed as a modern hotel lobby. A clerestory window array is centered atop, admitting a surprising amount of natural light. Circular fixtures augment that for illumination. Along the south wall runs a continuous bench, with round tables and chairs for additional seating. The center of the room has larger tables, and the bar itself is on the north wall. The centerpiece is the back bar, a monster (old oak) that came from a Hamm’s Brewery tied house, and which may have been the genesis of the company’s plan to open a place in Milwaukee.

There are television sets, for Wisconsin and Minnesota athletic events only. Otherwise, they’re off. Beer is dispensed from a score of tappers under a sign reading “Order Here.” Some of the beers are “Milwaukee Only,” while others are from the brewery’s massive lineup. Gluten-free beers from Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery add a local touch.

At the east end of the room, an old fire door slides open to reveal garage doors beyond and a view of the alley — another nice industrial touch. This space, opened to the elements in summer, is furnished with a series of orange tables and chairs on a concrete base, and might be a nice spot for a party. The taproom is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesday proceeds are donated to selected charities, which is a nice community touch. See for yourself when Urban Milwaukee hosts a Members Only Party Thursday, November 7th. (RSVP here)

The Tavern in History

Built in 1943, this was among the newer buildings in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, prior to the recent spate of development. A previous structure housed the Baxton Roofing Co. which in 1924 constructed a 30-foot by 38-foot shed in the rear for the “storage of roofing felt.” That cost $300. The upper floor and basement were reached by a Rosenberg Drum-Type handpower elevator, installed in 1927 for $375.

By 1943, the building’s days were numbered. Yet the owners had only to go a block away to hire the Northwest Wrecking Co. of 627 S. 1st St. to tear down the 30-foot by 50-foot structure at a cost of $400.

A “Permit to Construct a New Building,” a one-story $12,000 factory, was issued on May 5th, 1944 to the Automatic Screw Machine Product Co., a vital component of Milwaukee’s metal-bending industrial economy. The building sold in 1947 for $30,000, and in 1950 the building’s landlord, Knoerr & Fischer Co., Inc., leased the space for 10 years to Ed. Schuster & Co. Bakery at $475 per month. This location provided delicatessen items and baked goods to the department store’s outlets. In 1953 Schuster’s spent $32,005.08 on building improvements. In 1962, as part of Gimbels-Schusters, partitions were installed within. In 1965 Athletic Equipment Repair Co. rented the space at $5,000 a year. It was to remain here for over a half-century. The firm remains in business in a facility on the northwest side of Milwaukee.

Now the building has been redeveloped to create the city newest taproom and Urban Milwaukee members can attend a beer bash there on Thursday, November 7.

On Tap - Sponsored by Lakefront Brewery

  • Hello Milwaukee American Light Lager - 4.5% ABV - 10 IBU
  • Knock Off Amber Ale - 5.5% ABV - 25 IBU
  • Lemon Wheel Hefeweizen with Lemon Peel - 5.3 ABV - 25 IBU
  • Soft Shock New England IPA - 5.8% ABV - 35 IBU
  • Triumph Pale Ale Single Hop  - 5.7% ABV - 45 IBU
  • Wamdoodle Watermelon Kolsch - 5.3% ABV - 20 IBU
  • Ride on IPA - 5.5% ABV - 70 IBU
  •  Maple Stick Stout - 12 ABV - 50 IBU

Gluten-Free Beers

  • Lakefront Brewery New Grist Gose Gluten-Free with Lime – 5.1% ABV
  • Lakefront Brewery New Grist Pilsner Gluten-Free  – 4.6% ABV

Photo Gallery

The Verdict

  • Trade Name: Indeed Brewing Company
  • Location: 530 S. 2nd St. City of Milwaukee
  • Neighborhood: Walker’s Point
  • Subdivision: Lot 9 Block 27 Walker’s Point Subdivision
  • Phone Number: 414-216-9001
  • Website: https://www.indeedbrewing.com/visit/milwaukee
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IndeedBrewing
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/indeedbrewing
  • Description: This taproom is Wisconsin’s first for an out-of-state brewery, Minneapolis-based Indeed Brewing Co. Located in an infill industrial building, the space is large, airy, and very well-finished, with a forest of oak abounding, and the original Hamm’s Brewery back bar at center stage. Garage doors open to the alley in season. Unlike many taprooms, food is not on the menu. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Capacity: Could not be determined
  • Year EstablishedTaproom in Milwaukee opened October 19th, 2019. Minneapolis brewery founded 2011
  • Year Building Constructed: 1943
  • Architect: Could not be determined
  • Building Owner:  IBC Real Estate WI LLC, Minneapolis MN. Operator owns building
  • Estimated Annual Rent: Could not be determined
  • Property Assessment: The 7,040 sq. ft. parcel is assessed at $56,300 [$8.00/s.f.] while the 8,800 sq. ft. structure is assessed at $375,400 for a total assessed valuation of $431,700. Previous assessment: $390,200. Owner purchased building on 11/08/2018 for $542,500
  • Legal Entity: Indeed Brewing Company WI LLC., Matt Pollock, Registered Agent
  • Business: Taproom
  • Walk Score: 87 out of 100, “Very Walkable” Many Errands Do Not Require A Car. Getting more walkable day by day. City Average: 62 out of 100
  • Transit Score: 55 out of 100: “Good Transit.” Many Public Transportation options. City Average: 49 out of 100. Score may be diminished due to proximity to Lake Michigan, which has limited transit options
  • Aldermanic District: 12, Jose G. Perez
  • Bike Racks: Some nearby

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