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841 Brewhouse

841 Brewhouse

841 E Milwaukee St. Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 473-8000
First Visited: August 19, 2022

841 Brewhouse is a popular brewery and restaurant located in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Its history dates back to the early 20th century when the building was originally constructed. A Supper Club has been a longstanding establishment catering to thirsty and hungry travelers since the end of the prohibition era. Throughout its history, the location has undergone various additions, remodeling projects, and changes in ownership, yet it has consistently retained a devoted following.

In 1972, Randy and Pat Cruse made an acquisition of a popular Whitewater supper club that had been operating since the 1930s. Unfortunately, the restaurant, Randy’s Supper Club, underwent a devastating event in 1989 when it was set on fire by the proprietor of a rival supper club.

After the devastating fire, Randy’s saw it as an opportunity to breathe new life into the establishment. He recognized the need for significant improvements and decided to introduce brewpub facilities. This transformative decision aimed to elevate the importance of liquid refreshments, placing them on equal footing with the food and banquet services provided. The introduction of the brewpub marked a pivotal moment for the business, establishing a new dynamic where the brewery became an indispensable component of the overall experience offered to patrons.

Determined to achieve his vision Randy got serious and managed to procure suitable brewing equipment for the establishment. Randy did his coursework at the Siebel Institute and enlisted the expertise of Karl Strauss, a renowned brewing consultant, who assisted in setting up the brewhouse and crafting exceptional recipes and opened as Randy’s Restaurant & Fun Hunters Brewery. The name Fun Hunters came from a young Gentleman’s social club, around the early 1800’s, called the Funhunters, that amongst their activities enjoyed fishing.

Throughout the years, Randy’s maintained its flourishing presence, solidifying its status as a favored spot for both tourists and locals. Despite the passage of time and the transformations that have taken place, this establishment has skillfully retained its devoted following. This enduring loyalty can be attributed to Randy’s unwavering dedication to offering remarkable cuisine, delightful brews, and genuine hospitality, creating an inviting atmosphere that continues to captivate visitors.

Following over four decades of dedicated service, the Cruses decided to retire. In 2015, he passed the torch and sold his business to Jim Burns who had long success with Rays Family Restaurant over in Egerton. Subsequently, the new proprietors rebranded the establishment as the “841 Brewhouse” and opened February 2015.

The brewing system at 841 remained unchanged, and the commitment to the original brewing philosophy persisted. The focus remained on producing exceptional examples of fundamental beer styles that harmonized with the culinary offerings of the establishment. During the transition, Randy, the original brewer, provided guidance to the new owners, ensuring a seamless handover of responsibilities. Eventually, the reins of the brewing operation were passed on to a new head brewer, who carried forward the tradition of crafting outstanding beers that perfectly complemented the dining experience.

The restaurant has undergone a vibrant transformation, exuding a contemporary and well-lit ambiance. As you step inside, your eyes are immediately drawn to a long wooden bar that greets you warmly. The dining area is tastefully arranged with a combination of booths and tables, while outside seating offers a delightful option for al fresco dining. Through the windows, you catch a glimpse of the brewhouse located at the rear of the establishment.

Upon arriving during the dinner hours, it’s easy to overlook the fact that this venue is not just a sports bar and restaurant but also a bustling brewery. The spacious layout accommodates various areas, including a generously sized bar, a section for games of chance, an inviting outdoor patio, a banquet hall, and an elegant formal seating area. Nestled in a corner of the bar, a glass enclosure showcases the brewing area, providing a fascinating view into the brewing process.

While the brewing kettles may not be the focal point of attention, 841 Brewhouse ensures that their handcrafted beers remain prominently featured. Behind the bar, four taps proudly display the brews created on the premises, while an additional eight taps are dedicated to showcasing a selection of other beers.

This thoughtful design and emphasis on their own brews highlight 841 Brewhouse’s commitment to providing a well-rounded experience for guests. From the inviting atmosphere and ample seating options to the intriguing brewing area, it’s evident that this establishment strives to offer a memorable dining and craft beer experience.

The Story of the Arson
Frank Willey owned and operated the Old Cream Top Grill and Tap Room in Whitewater. Randy Cruse and his wife owned and operated Randy’s Supper Club and were Willey’s main competitor. In mid-July 1989, Willey hired John Piscopo to set fire to Randy’s Supper Club. Willey agreed to pay Piscopo approximately $20,000.00 in installment payments. Piscopo persuaded Paul Fleisher to assist him with the arson. Shortly before the crime took place, both men recruited Michael Forbes to actually set the fire.

On August 16, 1989, Piscopo, Fleisher, and Forbes traveled from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Whitewater. They went to Randy’s Supper Club that evening for dinner to give Forbes the opportunity to inspect the layout of the restaurant. After dinner, the three men went to a service station, purchased a one gallon metal can, and filled the can with gasoline. At approximately 4:00 a.m. the next day, the three men returned to Randy’s Supper Club. While Piscopo and Fleisher remained outside as lookouts, Forbes broke into the building, poured the gasoline onto the floor of the restaurant, and set the building ablaze. The three men immediately fled Whitewater for Fort Lauderdale. Willey was purposely out of town on the night of the arson. The fire damage to Randy’s Supper Club was later estimated in the $1,000,-000.00 range.

The police investigation into the arson made little progress until 1991 when Piscopo and Fleisher were arrested in Florida on unrelated charges. Fleisher identified himself, Piscopo, and Forbes as the arsonists.The police later arrested both men. Piscopo agreed to cooperate with the police. Wearing a body wire, Piscopo met with Willey. Willey told Piscopo that he would pay him $100,000.00 if Piscopo would not implicate him in the arson. Willey told Piscopo that he would flee to Canada, if necessary, to avoid arrest. Based on Willey’s statements to Piscopo, a criminal complaint was issued against Willey, and federal law enforcement agents arrested him in Fort Lauderdale. The court sentenced Forbes to twenty-eight months, and hen sentenced Willey to a forty-two month concurrent sentence on each count that he was indicted on.

A favorite spot among locals and college students alike. We can't wait to share our craft with you!

Beers Tried

Warhawk Wheat

Wheat Beer – American Pale Wheat

4.0% ABV

Rating: 3.29

Session IPA

IPA – Session

4.9% ABV

Rating: 3.20

Oatmeal Stout

Stout – Other

4.3% ABV

Rating: 3.48

Carnival Rye

Rye Beer

4.3% ABV

Rating: 3.26


Red Ale – American Amber / Red

4.2% ABV

Rating: 3.34

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