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New Glarus Brewing Woes

Last January, when New Glarus Brewery was contemplating building a new brewery, the Village of New Glarus promised brewery owner Deb Carey that “they would chip in $2 million to pay for the utilities … things like water and a sewage treatment facility,” according to a story by local television station WMTV Channel 15 in Madison, Wisconsin. Business has been terrific for the small brewery in recent years, in part because they make some of the best beers in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad beer Dan and Deb have brewed. As a result they’re at capacity and planning to build a new brewing facility on the south side of New Glarus over looking the village. The pricetag for the brewery is $19 million and they needed the village’s help to make it work.

But now the Village appears to be reneging on its earlier promise as the $2 million is suddenly subject to a further decision. The brewery’s fate hangs on a “closed meeting Thursday night at the New Glarus village hall, when village president Tom Myers says the council will discuss the plans for the brewery, and whether the two million dollars are worth keeping it.”

Myers claims to want the brewery to stay, because the brewery increases tourism and the bigger brewery will add 60 new jobs, too. But he’s also now claiming that if the $2 million is given to the brewery, then it will have to be taken from somewhere else in the village’s meager budget. So “Carey says they are looking at other options, including moving the brewery out of New Glarus.” And that would be a shame.

UPDATE 8.4: The Capital Times is reporting that an agreement has been reached between the Village and New Glarus Brewing, so the brewery will be staying in town.

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