Jeramey Jannene

Spike Brewing Could Build New Facility

Brewing equipment manufacturer with sales in 20 countries would occupy vacant city lot near Holton and Capitol.

By - May 25th, 2022 03:01 pm
Spike Brewing proposed plant. Rendering by Bence Build.

Spike Brewing proposed plant. Rendering by Bence Build.

Milwaukee-based Spike Brewing, a manufacturer of brewing equipment, could build a new plant on a city-owned, vacant lot

Building permit requests indicate the company is considering building a manufacturing and office building at 4132 N. Holton St., just north of W. Capitol Dr. The footprint of the two-story building would be 62,526 square feet.

In a press release issued after this article was first published, the company confirmed it was planning a $9 million facility. The city will sell the site for $1.

Spike makes high-end brewing systems targeted at home brewers and nano breweries. Ben Caya founded the company in 2011 while he was still a mechanical engineering student at UW-Milwaukee.

“We are here to get our customers where they want to go in their brewing journey. With our goal to service brewers along their entire brewing journey, our product offering ranges from a $200 entry-level brew kettle to a complete industrial brewing system that tops $17,000,” says the company’s website.

In the press release, Caya said the company would add 20 employees in addition to its current 25 employee roster. It would add three production lines and temporarily lease a portion of the building to another business. A test brewery would allow people to learn about how to brew beer and use Spike’s equipment.

The facility is intended to be 100% solar powered.

“Your liver will fail before our equipment does” is the tagline used on the company’s social media accounts.

Spike is working with design-build firm Bence Build on the facility.

The new location isn’t a long move for the company. The company is currently in a building at 3866 N. Fratney St., just a couple blocks southeast of the proposed new building. The approximately 40,000-square-foot building is owned by Phoenix Investors. Occupancy permit records indicate Spike has occupied at least a portion of the building since 2016.

Both the current facility and proposed facility are located in the Riverworks district.

The new facility would be built on a 3.71-acre site owned by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Multiple government agencies and past owners are poised to spend more than $15 million cleaning up the property and related environmental contamination.

From 1952 to 1997, Milwaukee Die Casting Co. made aluminum and zinc alloy parts for a variety of industries in a 70,000-square-foot factory on the property. The site, and nearby sewers, were contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The toxic chemicals, banned in 1978, came from hydraulic fluids used in MDC’s equipment.

In 2012, the federal Environmental Protection Agency labeled the abandoned factory “an imminent and substantial threat to public health and the environment.” Demolition of the factory was completed in 2015 through the Superfund process, with a clay cap sealing the site. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is now engaged in a cleanup of the nearby sewers.

The property was listed for sale through a request-for-proposals process in spring 2021 with an asking price of $163,000 ($1.01 per square foot).

Common Council approval would be needed to sell the site.

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