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
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
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
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.
<<EARLIER: Lumberyard launches phase 2