Door County Brewing Co. Named Door County Entrepreneur of the Year
The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) announced today that the McMahon Family with Door County Brewing Co. has been awarded the annual Door County Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The announcement was made this afternoon during the sold out DCEDC annual investors meeting at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.
The story of Door County Brewing Co. began in 2012, a concept of John and Angie McMahon and their sons, Danny and Ben, as a way to bring the boys back to Door County. Danny was living in Minneapolis after graduating from Hamline University; Ben was attending University of Santa Fe, New Mexico and studying music. The idea was to use each family member's skills and passions to create a brewery and community gathering place. Danny's skill and passion was brewing, Ben's music; Angie is an event planner extraordinaire, and John spent almost 30 years in the high tech industry in Illinois, California, New York and Australia.
In 2013, the McMahons opened the original brewery and taproom in Baileys Harbor at the corner of Park Road and County F in a building with decades of history. Brewing in Baileys Harbor started booming in 2015 and Door County Brewing Co. began distributing products throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, then Illinois and Indiana. Taproom and distribution sales grew, and they realized their true potential for growth was right here in Door County. In 2017, 67% of Door County Brewing Co.'s distribution was in Madison and Milwaukee followed by 15% in Door County, 6% in Northeast Wisconsin, and the balance from the remaining markets. The new Door County Brewery and Taproom were built on Highway 57 in downtown Baileys Harbor and celebrated with a Grand Opening on July 1, 2017. But the McMahon's haven't stopped there.
In August 2017, the family made their love of music a main ingredient of the newly built brewery and taproom and renamed the property "Door County Brewing Co. Taproom and Music Hall". Musicians from around the US and Canada are gracing the stage every weekend year round, elevating Baileys Harbor as a destination in Door County for live music. In September 2017, the McMahon's launched Magnolia Cheese Co., purveyors of custom cut Wisconsin artisan cheeses for restaurants, taverns and bars.
And on February 3, 2018, the McMahon family launched their newest venture, Hacienda Beer Co., an alternative brewing and brand project of Door County Brewing Co. with a focus on unique, small batch, artisan beer styles and sours. The Hacienda brand will have limited distribution outside of the Baileys Harbor taproom.
All of this has led to consistent growth in sales and improvement in operating results. In 2017 after only 6 months in their new brewery and taproom, Door County Brewing Co. saw a 44% year-over-year increase in "own-premise" sales.
After a full year of the new taproom in 2018 and additions of Hacienda and Magnolia, sales are expected to grow an additional 30%.
Door County Brewing Co. and the McMahons are focused on being good corporate community members, sponsoring six athletic events in Door County, bluegrass music events in Madison, and serving the Door County community via various non-profit business and arts-related organizations. Door County Brewing Co. supports many Door County non-profits including: Baileys Harbor Community Association, The Ridges Sanctuary, Door County Community Foundation, United Way, Peninsula Preschool and Door County Economic Development Corporation. Door County Brewing Co. also supports MACC Fund and American Cancer Society.
The McMahons and Door County Brewing Co. exemplify what it means to be an entrepreneur. The family developed their dream into a business that is self-fulfilling, and helps to attract more tourists to Baileys Harbor and all of Door County. Their successful formula balances sound business practice, marketing, social media, financing, employment and growth. The company is known throughout the state, and has created many full-time, year-round jobs in Door County.
"It is our great pleasure to recognize the McMahon family and Door County Brewing Co. with the Entrepreneur of the Year award," said Caleb Frostman, DCEDC Executive Director. "The McMahons have invested their heart and soul into Baileys Harbor and Door County with their businesses, the most visible of which is their new tap room and music hall. They are a significant employer in Northern Door County and a new experiential destination for visitors and residents alike. We are confident the McMahons and their businesses are destined for many more years of success in the county."
The Entrepreneur of the Year award celebrates individuals who have taken the initiative to start and grow a successful small business in Door County. To be eligible, businesses must have fewer than 50 full time employees, exhibit exciting growth potential, and that have at least three years of successful business experience. Last year's winners were the Johnson family, owners of Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik.