Hacienda Beer Co. Caters to the Adventurous Drinker
The East Side bar scene lost an old friend in 2017 when G-Daddy’s BBC closed after two decades. Today, there’s exciting new life in that iconic triangular building on the corner of North and Farwell avenues—Hacienda Beer Company Taproom (2018 E. North Ave.), featuring experimental craft brews, food and a weekend brunch.
Hacienda is an experimental side project of Door County Brewing Company (8099 Highway 57, in Baileys Harbor), which was founded in 2013 by John McMahon, his wife, Angie, and their sons, Danny and Ben. They branched out with Hacienda in February 2018 to have fun and be creative. “The Door County brand is more of a commodity brand, but we wanted to create something that we had a good time making, a more experimental type of beer,” McMahon says. “The target market is much more defined than the brands we do in Door County.”
With Hacienda, they do both mixed and wild fermentation. While the Door County brands are standards like porters, India Pale Ales (IPAs) and wheat ale, Hacienda branches out with hazy or milkshake IPAs, as well as milk stouts. McMahon says they’ll play around with lactose (milk sugar), wild ingredients and more fruit. There are also a few saison-style brews, also known as farmhouse ale.
The McMahons opened a taproom in Milwaukee because they wanted a place that didn’t operate just seasonally, like their Door County taproom and music hall do. They also sought to bring the Hacienda brand to the southern part of Wisconsin. When McMahon heard about recent East Side’s revitalization efforts, he says it felt like the right place to be.
Barthenheier Construction and 360 Degrees did an extensive overhaul of the space, which includes a new bar design and an open interior layout. The décor was lightened up with aquamarine tones and mid-century touches, giving the space an open, airy feeling. The taproom opened at the beginning of June.
McMahon affirms that under Hacienda, they make what they want to make and when they want to make it. They don’t operate on any kind of seasonal schedule. The taproom offers 12 tap lines with a rotating selection of Hacienda’s beer. When a beer variety runs out, it’s swapped out for another one, so it’s always a fun surprise to see what will be on tap.
“We’ll never have the same things all the time,” McMahon affirms. “With our Hacienda brand, people try a lot of different things. We run a wide spectrum of styles, and they’re all interesting to people who want to try interesting beers. Our clientele is more experimental than sticking with a single brand or a certain style they’re loyal to.”
Beer is also available to go in cans and bottles, but like the tap beers, it’s hard to say what will be available at any given time. McMahon notes their grab-and-go cooler sells out quickly.
Hacienda Beer Co. has a full menu with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The daily happy hour, from 4 to 6 p.m., features $2 tacos and $1 off drafts. There’s a fish fry on Fridays. McMahon says they’re transitioning the menu to reflect Southern border foods influenced by the Mexican Baja California and southern Texas regions. Most menu items can be made vegan or vegetarian.
For more information, visit haciendabeerco.com.