Jeramey Jannene and Graham Kilmer

New Brewery Coming To Third Ward

Copper Turtle Brewery will fill old Bavette space on E. Menomonee St.

By - Mar 16th, 2022 05:12 pm
153 N. Milwaukee St. Photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva

153 N. Milwaukee St. File photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva

An Illinois couple is planning to open a new brewery in the Historic Third Ward.

The Copper Turtle Brewery and Taverne will occupy the approximately 3,200-square-foot space at 330 E. Menomonee St.

It will be owned and operated by Ben and Amanda Rossi, but the couple’s daughter is behind the name and its environmentally-friendly focus.

“My daughter wants to be a marine biologist and sea turtles are her favorite animals,” said Ben in an interview. “So we’re going to be an entirely eco-friendly brewery. No plastic straws with our drinks. We’re going to try to have 99% of our waste recyclable. All our silverware and our trays is going to be recyclable. We’re gonna donate a portion of our proceeds every year to sea turtle conservation. The whole thing is kind of inspired by our copper tanks and my daughter’s love for sea turtles.”

The Copper Turtle’s taproom will be located in the space currently occupied by Bavette La Boucherie. The award-winning restaurant and butcher is moving a block northwest to a bigger space. Copper Turtle’s brewery will be located in the commercial space to the east, 153 N. Milwaukee St., that was last home to a real estate office, and that adjoins the space on E. Menomonee St..

The Rossis are veterans of the beer industry, having founded a brewery in northern Illinois previously.

“I have always liked the state of Wisconsin more,” said Ben. “My wife and I spend a majority of our free time downtown here in Milwaukee because we love the city.”

The beer menu will consist of a mix of staples mixed with seasonal offerings. “I am a lager guy, hands down, so there will be some very good, easy drinking, clean beers on the menu,” said Ben.

He expects to find a friendly crowd when the business opens this summer. “Milwaukee, it’s beer city man. It’s a great place to be,” said the brewer.

Copper Turtle will rely on a brewing system from Paul Mueller Company. Rossi believes it will be the first brewery in Wisconsin to use the system.

“These serving tanks are eco-friendly. They’re stacked, we’re gonna have six of these copper serving tanks behind the bar. So basically anytime we’re pouring beer, it’s not coming from a keg, it’s coming directly from the tank,” he told Urban Milwaukee. “That’s about as fresh as you can get when it comes to craft beer, and they’re gonna be the focal point of the entire space.”

The Rossis secured approval from the Historic Third Ward Architectural Review Board on Wednesday to add an essential element to the space: a garage door.

“It’s required for us to get our equipment in the space,” Ben told the board.

It could take up to three months to install the door.

“Originally we wanted to be open in June and July,” said Rossi to Urban Milwaukee. “I don’t think that’s realistic anymore. I’m hoping like late July early August so we get a couple of months of nice weather in before the Midwest does what the Midwest does.”

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