First, Badger State Brewing’s BRW-SKI broke into the craft beer lineup at American Family Field. Now the rest of Milwaukee is getting a crack at the Green Bay Brewery’s beer lineup. Same for Madison. And Lacrosse.
Andrew Fabry, president and co-founder of Badger State Brewing, said the brewery has been self-distributing in those markets over the past year, primarily to independent liquor stores, restaurants and bars. . Working with wholesalers will expand the reach of the business, he said.
Core beers will lead the charge in all three markets, including the brewery’s best-selling BRW-SKI (a German-inspired lager) and Grassy Place Hazy IPA. BEERMOSA (a slushie-style fruity sour) and popular seasonal beers will also do the trick.
Badger State brews an impressive number of styles of beer. It lists 11 beers as regular offerings and also lists over 30 other pilot beers, new beers, seasonal beers (not all available at this time), and specialty beers on its website.
Don’t count on all those beers debuting in broader markets at once.
Fabry said they get a feel for each market’s tastes when self-distributing and will use that experience to guide early distribution decisions. There will be launch events and takeovers to get feedback and introduce the brewery to new customers.
If you’re unfamiliar with Badger State Brewing, here’s a quick FAQ.
Who owns and operates Badger State Brewing
Fabry and his friends Sam Yanda and Mike Servi founded Badger State Brewing in 2013. They started with a few small fermenters brewing three beers that could be found on tap in restaurants and bars in Green Bay and were available for the growler at the brewery.
What beers are they known for
Most beer that is not intended for sale on tap is sold in packs of 4 x 16oz cans.
- Herby Place Hazy IPA: As a craft brewer, you don’t go from selling growler fills their backdoor to wide distribution without a popular IPA. This one gets “massive” hop additions in the fermenter and double dry hopping for all of its tropical fruit flavors and aromas.
- BRW-SKI: Put a “German-inspired lager” in a can wrapped in a graphic design inspired by the Wisconsin license plate and you have a popular beer in America’s Dairyland.
- Buzzy Badger Coffee Ale: Take a dark beer with a clean finish and add some coffee.
- On Wisconsin Red: Yes, it’s a safe bet that this American-style amber will hit Madison’s markets sooner rather than later.
- Tiki Tom Slushie Smoothie Series: A fruity sour rotation anchored by BEERMOSA composed of four types of oranges.
- OKT-SKI: Like BRW-SKI except giving the label an orange color scheme and filling the can with the brewery’s Oktoberfest style beer.
Badger State also brews many variations of IPAs, several stouts and porters (barrel-aged and otherwise), a Witbier, and their own hard seltzers.
It remains to be seen which packaged beers will roll out in Milwaukee and other markets.
On the draft side, Fabry said they would have more fun with limited and small-batch beer releases.
Where is the brewery located
Although Badger’s name and imagery scream Madison, the brewery operates at 990 Tony Canadeo Run in Green Bay.
Fabry is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, so there’s your Madison connection.
With over 20 draft beers in its tavern, a large beer garden and a much, much, much larger parking lot within walking distance of Lambeau Field, Badger State Brewing is a popular stop during Green Bay Packers home games. .
Why expand into new markets
Badger State added brewing equipment towards the end of 2019 with plans to expand distribution, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the push for a few years.
Fabry said he connected with craft beer drinkers and built a following statewide at Packers games, beer festivals and other events during Badger State’s first nine years.
Badger State beers are also distributed in popular vacation destinations from the Northwoods to Door County.
Even though Badger State hadn’t built its notoriety in nearly a decade, Fabry believes there’s still a thirst for craft beer in the state.
“There’s still so much beer coming into Wisconsin from other states. It shows there’s still a demand for this beer,” he said.