Fermentorium set to open second location in Wauwatosa
Facility to allow for ‘sour’ beer production

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Staff

Feb. 20, 2018

CEDARBURG — With a strong local fan base now in place since opening in 2016, Cedarburg’s Fermentorium announced plans this week to open a second location in Wauwatosa, at 6933 W. North Ave. as part of the East Tosa development.

“When we first opened, it was always part of the plan to have a second facility that would allow us to make sour beers,” said Fermentorium owner Kris Volkman.

The expansion plans actually filled a practical need if the Fermentorium was to ever pursue sour beer production.

“Beer is produced by fermentation and using yeast,” he explained. “Sour beers incorporate bacteria into that process, and you really don’t want to do both in the same location because you will have cross contamination in your brewing. The second location will enable us to produce sour beers without having that concern.”

He noted that the Wauwatosa location will have a similar feel and front operation much like the location at 7481 Highway 60 in the town of Cedarburg. The 3,000-square foot space will occupy part of what used to be a former Bartz Party Store.

Volkman said they will not serve food at their new location.

“There are quite a few restaurants in that area and we hope that we’ll be able to work with them,” he said.

He noted that the emphasis at the second location will be that of a tasting room and not as a production facility.

“You won’t be able to look in and see the stainless steel through the windows,” he said of his Wauwatosa production facility. “Sour beers age for an extended period of time in oak barrels and in fouders, which are large wood barrels. These vessels allow the bacteria to thrive.”

Volkman said he’s quite excited at the prospect of moving into the east Wauwatosa neighborhood, an area that seen quite a resurgence in the past few years.

“We’ve been eying a second place to do sour beers and we’ve looked at a number of locations,” he said. “I was approached by the developer of the East Tosa Centre with the possibility of it becoming a second tasting room.”

After analyzing the business environment and the neighborhood itself, he thought it was a good fit.

“There’s a lot of business collaboration and business activity down there; it reminds me a lot of what happens in downtown Cedarburg,” he said. “There’s a strong population density that’s into craft beer, and there are not a lot of craft beer outlets in that particular neighborhood, which has a great feel to it and is one we want to be a part of going forward.”

He expects the Fermentorium’s Wauwatosa location to open in June.