Sophie Bolich

Beer Garden Opening on Northwest Side

Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden will begin its soft opening on Friday, May 17.

By - May 15th, 2024 12:43 pm
Site of Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden, 5840 N. 60th St. Photo taken May 14, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden, 5840 N. 60th St. Photo taken May 14, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

From parks to parking lots, Milwaukee boasts a plethora of beer gardens, each designed to make the most of the city’s gorgeous — if fleeting — warm-weather months.

And while the pints and picnic tables hold sway, the ultimate selling point of beer gardens may be their proximity to nature.

Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden takes that to the next level.

While located behind a former plastic molding facility on the Northwest Side, the beer garden is situated on a grassy swathe of land just steps away from Havenwoods State Forest.

And if a view of the 237-acre forest isn’t enough, visitors can further immerse themselves with a stroll on a wood chip-covered trail that loops a quarter-mile through the woods adjacent to the state forest.

The new taproom and beer garden, 5840 N. 60th St., is preparing to begin its soft opening on Friday, May 17, with a grand opening to follow on May 24.

The outdoor portion of the business offers a shipping container bar, live music stage, patio and a handful of picnic tables, as well as a patch of asphalt that will soon house a lineup of food trucks. SapSap, a pop-up serving Lao cuisine, will serve as the full-time food vendor for Havenwoods, with plans to be on-site at least two days per week.

Inside, Havenwoods offers a cozy bar space featuring salvaged wood paneling and lots of natural light. The indoor bar will remain open year round, while the outdoor areas will be weather dependent, said owner Chase Jaffray.

A beer garden enthusiast himself, Jaffray has enjoyed a brew or two at many of Milwaukee’s existing establishments. When the Havenwoods building became available, he decided to launch his own.

“I was just looking for something that would broaden my horizons,” said Jaffray, who also works as an engineer for Harley Davidson. “I just like being outside, and it was nice to build one myself after being to so many.”

Havenwoods will offer a rotating selection of tap beers, as well as canned and bottled brews, wines and several non-alcoholic options. During the soft opening, guests can expect beers from Amorphic Beer, Eagle Park Brewing Company, Hacienda Beer Co., Lakefront Brewery and Trillium Brewing.

Aside from food and drink, Havenwoods hopes to become a destination for live music, craft fairs and other community events.

“We’re really hoping to not only attract beer enthusiasts with our tap lineup, but I’d also like to get some good music out here,” said Jaffray, who also noted plans to host artisan and farmers markets in the future. “We’ll be looking to do events throughout the summer and take advantage of the great weather.”

The taproom at Havenwoods occupies the western portion of a larger, 6,000-square-foot building. The remainder of the structure is principally used as warehouse storage, Jaffray said.

Beginning last July, Jaffray and his team demoed and rebuilt the taproom space. They built a bar, added plumbing and constructed a second bathroom. All the while, they worked to save and reuse as many materials as possible, including the wood paneling that now lines the bar.

“That was in here from like the 50s or 60s,” said Jaffray, who also pointed out a window frame built from repurposed door trim and a piece of an old shipping crate, which now serves as backing for an exit sign.

“We found that up in the drop ceiling,” Jaffray said.

Visitors can expect new additions to the taproom and beer garden as time goes on. In the coming months, Jaffray said he plans to add lawn games and high-top spool tables in the outdoor area, benches along the walking path and an indoor couch, to name a few.

Starting Friday, Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden will be open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information and future updates, visit Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden on Facebook and Instagram.


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Categories: Food & Drink

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