Door County Brewing Co. Founders Launch New Brewing Venture: Hacienda Beer Co.
On February 3, 2018, our founders Danny McMahon (Head Brewer) and Ben McMahon (Sales Manager) as well as Allyce Mohs (Operations Manager) will launch a new brewing venture, Hacienda Beer Co. Located in Baileys Harbor, WI, Hacienda will primarily focus on producing experimental hoppy ales and stouts as well as traditional and non-traditional Belgian/farmhouse-inspired ales.
Hacienda’s focus is rooted in our original vision and aspirations for Door County Brewing, creating beer tied to a time and place, inspired by our local heritage, but with a focus on experimentation. When opening Door County Brewing in 2012, we did not have the financial means or brewing experience to invest in such a creative project. Our journey in craft beer over the past five years has evolved our interests, curiosities, and desires—which we believe will be best fulfilled through Hacienda, while allowing us to maintain the image and familiarity of the Door County Brewing brand.
"Hacienda Beer Co. is the culmination of five years of dramatic growth,” explains Danny McMahon. “Hacienda will allow us to release some of the most interesting and exciting beers we've ever brewed. It made sense for us to make this transition now with the massive growth we've seen in our new taproom and with our new brewhouse coming online. With our new space, we'll be able to grow our mixed fermentation program into something of decent size, and we'll finally be able to get Milwaukee and Madison a consistent flow of juicy and fruited IPAs, which have primarily only been available in our taproom. It's going to be a very exciting venture that I think will draw some attention from fans of Door County Brewing as well as people who aren't yet familiar with us."
For a while, we have wanted to find a way to properly differentiate the beers made in Baileys Harbor (the more experimental offerings found in our taproom) and our year-round flagship beers that you currently see under the Door County Brewing label. The arrival of our new 15-barrel brewhouse will gives us the opportunity to produce more beer from Baileys Harbor than ever before. We would rather not use that space to brew Door County Brewing flagships, but instead, use the increased capacity to create more fun, experimental, and nuanced offerings—more juicy IPAs, more beer for mixed fermentation/barrel-aging, and more delicious stouts. To accomplish this, starting in February, all of the beer produced from our Baileys Harbor brewhouse will fall under the Hacienda Beer Co. brand. At that time, all Door County Brewing core brands and select seasonals will remain in good hands with our friends at Octopi Brewing, but will remain available for on-site consumption and to-go sales at the taproom in Baileys Harbor. Hacienda beer will be available alongside the Door County Brewing flagships that you’ve learned to love over the past few years, coexisting in our taproom and music hall.
Many of the seasonal and experimental offerings from Door County Brewing Co. will transition to the Hacienda brand. Among these transitions will be our seasonal farmhouse ales, Le Printemps, L'ete, L'automne, and L'hiver. However, these beers will all take different forms—they will utilize more unique and local (sometimes foraged) ingredients than in years past and some will incorporate mixed fermentation. We plan to take advantage of our relationship with Hidden Acres Farm and Door County Hop Farm to source a variety of local ingredients, including locally grown hops, for these beers. These farmhouse seasonals will be available in draft and bottle-conditioned single-format bottles. In Spring, Le Printemps is planned as our first bottle release under the Hacienda label. In addition to our farmhouse ales, Everything Eventually— a New England-style pale ale brewed with a heavy handful of Citra and X331 hops and a recent taproom favorite—will serve as Hacienda’s sole year-round flagship. Other Door County brands, including various IPAs, pale ales, and stouts, will be brought over to Hacienda under different names. Many of our hoppy ales and stouts will be canned and released through our taproom and through our current distribution network.
Along with our new 15-barrel brewhouse, we currently have three foeders arriving in February from Foeder Crafters of America in St. Louis, and by next year, we plan to have a mix of approximately 75 used wine and spirit barrels for our mixed fermentation and barrel-aging programs. These foeders and barrels will be housed in our original brewery in Baileys Harbor, which we will convert into a dedicated mixed fermentation and barrel-aging facility. We are also eagerly awaiting the addition of our new koelschip that will find its home in the old cabin that sits beside the beer garden of our new taproom, allowing us to produce the first spontaneously fermented beer incorporating Door County wild yeast and bacteria.
We plan to distribute Hacienda beer through Door County Brewing Co.’s current distributors (Wisconsin Distributors Inc., Flanigan Distributors, and Badger Beverage Alliance) to key accounts in select markets across WI. Although our taproom will be our primary focus, due to our new 15-barrel brewhouse, the rest of WI will see more beer produced from Baileys Harbor than ever before. We will be canning beers monthly to supply these markets with beer on a semi-regular basis.
Although our brewhouse in Baileys Harbor will be focused on producing Hacienda beer, our commitment to the Door County Brewing brand will be as strong as ever, so expect to see new brands and styles released in 2018. In addition, the core personnel at Door County Brewing will remain the same: Danny will continue to oversee all brewing, Ben will continue serving as Sales Manager, and Allyce will continue as Operations Manager.
At Hacienda, co-founders Danny (Head Brewer), Ben (Sales Manager), and Allyce (Operations Manager) will be joined by Kyle Gregorash (current Assistant Head Brewer at Door County Brewing) as Hacienda’s Assistant Head Brewer and Matt Sampson (photographer and chemist) as Hacienda’s Brand Manager and QA Manager.
We hope you share our excitement about this next chapter with Hacienda Beer Co. Through this new venture, we are eager to bring you the most delicious and creative beer ever made in Door County—beer that will help support our local community and continue to make Door County known as a craft beer destination.