Falls Brewing, like many other craft breweries, is the result of collaboration between a couple of overly enthusiastic homebrewers.
About 2 years ago Tim Hudson, an avid homebrewer, was approached by friends who were in the process of opening a restaurant and microbrewery. They hoped that Hudson would be able to shed some light on the brewing process and assist in setting up their brewing operation. Numerous conversations occurred, the progress of the restaurant bogged down, and Falls Brewing was born.
Hudson contacted Jon Daul, a recent UW Madison Chemistry and Biology graduate, about possible interest in opening a Craft Brewery in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin. Daul thought the prospects of the brewery sounded interesting and joined the fray. Several business models were reviewed and extensive research of their regional market was conducted. They talked with many brewers in Wisconsin. Hudson spent time in Colorado and Washington visiting Craft Breweries and asking endless questions. In January of 2004 Falls Brewing Company LLC was legally created.
Daul and Hudson started looking for equipment that would serve their needs. They decided that a brewing system of between seven and ten barrel capacity would match their market size with good production efficiencies. They conducted an exhaustive search for equipment. Probrewer pointed them in the direction of Sand Creek Brewing in Downing, Wisconsin.
Sand Creek had recently purchased the larger Pioneer Brewing Company of Black River Falls, Wisconsin and were looking to liquidate the equipment that had been in use in the old brewery. Hudson and Daul contacted Sand Creek, and took a trip to Downing. Cory, Mark and Jim of Sand Creek spent hours answering questions, providing samples, and encouraging Hudson and Daul that, indeed, they too could start a successful brewery. Money exchanged hands. In April of 2004 Hudson and Daul left Downing with a couple of truckloads of equipment headed for Oconto Falls, Wisconsin.
All available, existing buildings in Oconto Falls were inspected. Several looked promising. But each had terminal faults that prevented use as a brewery. Hudson, becoming frustrated at the lack of buildings, began looking outside of Oconto Falls. The Oconto County Economic Development Corporation introduced Falls Brewing to Community Bank of Oconto County. The bank owned an abandoned Hardee’s building in Oconto Falls and had no tenant. Hudson and Daul looked over the property in July of 2004 Falls Brewing had a home.
Coincidental with all of the other activities Hudson and Daul worked tirelessly perfecting recipes for brewing. Numerous samples were explored. Hudson, because of ancestry, loved English Ales and wanted Falls Brewing to fill that niche in the Market. Daul showed extraordinary abilities in brewing the rich malty beverages of the British Isles. It was decided that Falls Brewing would have four standard brews; a blonde ale, a pale ale, nut brown ale and porter. Numerous other seasonals are also in production. Hudson, Daul and numerous other testers were impressed with the results.
Their customers agree. Since October 2004 Falls Brewing has made many successful inroads into their market. Currently, Falls Brewing is providing kegged and bottled ales to hundreds of customers throughout Wisconsin. Exposure at numerous tastings and fests have contributed great market exposure. They were a hit at A Taste of Oconto County, Green Bay Humane Society Brewfest and the Ice Cold Beer Fest. Falls Brewing will be on exhibit at Food and Froth in Milwaukee, the Manitowoc Brewfest, Booze and Blues in Appleton, the Wisconsin State Fair, the Great Taste of the Midwest and many others.
Because of the enthusiastic market response Falls Brewing is continually growing. Peter Hudson joined the fray to handle plant, equipment and contracted services as well as sales. Amy Hudson keeps everyone on track and moving by managing the office. We’re looking forward to the future with great expectations. Try a Falls Brew yourself, soon.