Family-friendly microbrewery coming to Lumberyard 1505

By Melanie Boyung

Dec. 26, 2018

 The retail space of the Lumberyard 1505 development on Wisconsin Avenue in Grafton is all spoken for now that a proposed microbrewery got the OK.
Photo by Mark Justesen

GRAFTON — Brews, bicycles and board games are coming to the Lumberyard 1505 in Grafton.

Mequon resident Matthew Hofmann got the all-clear from the village of Grafton Plan Commission last week when it approved a conditional use permit for him to open a microbrewery in the final unclaimed retail space of the Lumberyard 1505 development. Sahale Ale Works is expected to open in summer 2019.

“My hope for the business is that it can become a central part of the community. Not just seen as a tavern, but a place families – including my own – will want to come and hang out,” Hofmann said last week.

 “(Grafton) has got a lot to offer and the area is only getting better. Best of all is the building I will be located in,” Hofmann said. “That location is what sealed the deal with its two large garage doors that open out on to a 1,400-square-foot patio. It is right on Wisconsin Avenue and feels like it can be a central point of the downtown area.”

Sahale will be a taproom, but it will also have food, board games and nonalcoholic beverages like soda made from locally sourced ingredients, according to Hofmann.

The paperwork he submitted to the village for his new business stated Sahale will serve snacks, as well as fare that can be managed in a small-scale kitchen. The taproom will not have a fullscale kitchen, according to current plans, but will have a menu with such items as paninis and cheese plates, among other options.

“While beer is the focus, we will also offer a unique, quality food menu,” Hofmann said. “The chef who will run our little kitchen likes to focus on sandwiches and fare that is inspired by street food from around the world. He is classically trained and has worked extensively with cooking and pairing with beer.”

While the chef is focused on food and Hofmann is focused on beer – his professional profile lists him as brewmaster for Saint Francis Brewery in Milwaukee with previous experience and Lakefront, Avery and 3 Sheep breweries – the patrons can be focused on entertainment.

Hofmann said there will be board games available for playing in Sahale Ale Works, and possibly some free video games.

While it will not be a sports bar, there will be a projector to show local and major sporting events. For soccer fans, Hoffman has hopes of opening at 8 a.m. Saturdays for Premier League games.

“Another hope is that we can become a model for what a small, family-owned business can contribute to the culture and health of the community,” Hofmann said. “We are looking at hosting weekly bike rides, maybe have a running club and continually finding ways to support causes that we and the community care about. My vision is that we will be a place where people can have their birthday party no matter what age or celebrate their wedding, anniversary, graduation, etc. in our taproom.”

The operation plans submitted to the village indicate the space is 2,745 square feet inside, plus the 1,400-square foot patio. The village documents show normal business hours for Sahale will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Hofmann said build-out of the space to meet the needs of his microbrewery and taproom will be finished by mid-June at the latest, and the taproom open for business as soon as possible after that point.

Other tenants at the Lumberyard are Grafton Orthodontics, a dry cleaner and Fiddleheads coffee shop. The other space will be occupied by an Edward Jones office during the new year.

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