How are local breweries doing in the pandemic? We asked one to ‘Enlighten’ us

How are local breweries doing in the pandemic? We asked one to ‘Enlighten’ us

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The craft beer industry in Milwaukee, like all local business, is feeling the impact of the pandemic on its bottom line. While alcohol purchases may be up across the nation, many local brewers rely on the taproom component of their business model, perhaps even more so than it’s in-store sales, to turn a profit.

To get a feel for how local brewers are navigating the current crisis, we’re talking to Enlightened Brewing Co. founder Tommy Vandervort and co-owner James Larson this week on Urban Spelunking.

Enlightened Brewing Co. founder Tommy Vandervort (left) with co-owner James Larson. Photo credit: Theresa Palmen at Studio 218 Photography

OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo visited Enlightened’s new-ish space on the north end of Bay View before the “Safer at Home” order went into effect. He was impressed to find the former Louis Allis factory campus to be buzzing with activity. The multi-building complex has a variety of disparate tenants whose spaces are constantly occupied, and even Larson and Vandervort were surprised with how much was going on between the artist studios, workshops and loading docks.

Some of that buzz may have quieted down in the last few months, but Enlightened is waiting it out — like everyone else — eager to reopen to the public when it is safe.

Listen to our extended interview with Larson and Vandervort in this episode of the Urban Spelunking podcast. And be sure to visit OnMilwaukee to read Bobby’s complete story and view pictures from inside the Louis Allis complex.

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