CITY OF BROOKFIELD - Cheers!
It might have taken longer than customers and owners alike anticipated, but all involved are invited to raise a glass this weekend as Biloba Brewing Company celebrates its reopening.
The local microbrewery has been closed for over six months after making a move from its previous home at 18720 Pleasant Street to its new home at 2970 N. Brookfield Road.
“We had a lot of things that we had to correct,” Biloba co-owner Gordon Lane said. "We had to correct a lot of electrical things, we had to run a lot of plumbing. It was just the amount of things we had to do that made it take longer than we thought.”
Despite the delay, Gordon and his wife Jean are looking on the bright side.
“I’m pretty happy to be at this point," Gordon said. "After roughly six months of doing nothing but construction and demolition, it’s nice to be at the end of the tunnel."
Biloba Brewing opened in the historic Village Area of the city in April 2014. The company immediately began searching for the means to expand, having hoped for a larger first location.
The new site will offer more space and capacity in just about every way. The 1,500-square-foot tasting room is triple the size of its 500-square-foot predecessor and has more than doubled the number of guests who can sit and enjoy a beer from around 40 to 80.
Additionally, Biloba has moved from a 1.5-barrel system at its old brewery to a 10-barrel system. Gordon hopes the change will allow the brewery to increase its beer output from approximately 200 barrels to around 500.
The Lanes plan to not only increase the quantity of beer they are able to produce in their new facility, but also the varieties.
“We did some brewing at other breweries during the six months. I think we’ll spend the next month getting back to the levels that we want and we’ll get used to it,” Gordon said.
In addition to their own beers, Biloba will occasionally feature brews from other microbreweries around the state.
The brewery will be open from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and 3 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
The excitement isn’t all finished either, as the Lanes also plan to begin distributing Biloba beer in the local market. The company also has already received the city's approval to install an outdoor beer garden.
City of Brookfield mayor Steve Ponto was complimentary of Biloba and excited to see the expansion finishing up.
“We’ve been very excited to have Biloba as part of our community from the beginning and I’m delighted to see that they’re moving from their initial location to a bigger location which will really enable more people to stop in,” Ponto said. “We really want to see the kind of social gathering in the Village Area that this larger area makes possible. I think that it’s a really good sign that this small business is doing so well.”