The Rock County Brewing Company is a well-known nano-brewery that is located in Janesville, Wisconsin. The company is housed in the historic Carriage Works building, which is located in the heart of downtown Janesville. The brewery has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and it is known for its delicious craft beers and friendly atmosphere. In this article, we will take a look at the history of the Rock County Brewing Company and how it came to occupy the Carriage Works building.
The Carriage Works building was originally constructed in the late 1800s and served as a factory for the Janesville Carriage Company. The company was one of the largest carriage manufacturers in the Midwest and was known for its high-quality products. However, as the automobile became more popular, the demand for carriages decreased, and the Janesville Carriage Company eventually went out of business.
After the Janesville Carriage Company closed its doors, the Carriage Works building was used for a variety of purposes, including as a warehouse and a storage facility and was owned for a time by General Motors when they purchased it to house Samson Tractor engineering. However, the building fell into disrepair over the years and was in danger of being demolished.
In the early 2000s, a group of investors saw the potential in the Carriage Works building and decided to purchase it with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. After several years of renovations, the building was transformed into a mixed-use facility that included retail and office space as well as residential apartments.
Janesville residents Andy Walker, along with John Rocco, who owns Janesville home-brewing retailer Farmhouse Brewing Supply, and Rockton, Illinois, resident Ed Sundstedt, an employee at Rocco’s store, formed Rock County Brewing Company had the desire to bring delicious beer to their community, and opened Rock County Brewing Co. in January 2017 to serve the public, brewing on a three barrel system.
The taproom featured a rotating selection of beers brewed on-site, ranging from traditional styles like pilsners and stouts to more experimental offerings like sour ales and barrel-aged beers.
The response from the community was overwhelmingly positive, and the brewery quickly became a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. In its first year of operation, the Rock County Brewing Company produced over 600 barrels of beer and won several awards at local beer festivals.
The Rock County Brewing Company has continued to grow and evolve since its opening. In 2019, the brewery expanded its brewing capacity with the addition of two new fermenters. The founders have also continued to experiment with new beer styles and flavor combinations, keeping their offerings fresh and exciting for customers.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rock County Brewing Company has remained a beloved local institution. The brewery adapted quickly to the new realities of social distancing and began offering curbside pickup and delivery of its beers. The outdoor beer garden also provided a safe and spacious place for customers to gather and enjoy a pint.
In just a few short years, the Rock County Brewing Company has made a big impact on the local beer scene. Its founders have taken a passion for homebrewing and turned it into a successful business that has become a beloved community gathering place. With its commitment to quality, creativity, and community, the Rock County Brewing Company is sure to be a fixture in the Janesville area for years to come.
IPA – Quadruple
Quad Hopped DIPA. This year’s Flannel Fest beer is one of the biggest DIPA’s to date coming in at 8% ABV! We judiciously hopped this with 4 separate dry hop additions and 4 varieties of hops… Amarillo, Citra, Idaho 7 and Mosaic meld together to create a wonderful fruity, juicy and slightly dank… hop dripping flavor profile!
Stout – Russian Imperial
Our first ever Russian Imperial Stout, this beast was aged for 8 months in a Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. Bourbon barrel, and finished on vanilla beans. Big roasty flavors, with a strong rye barrel character, expect the vanilla to come out as the beer warms.
IPA – Red
This Red IPA features medium-high bitterness. Malt flavor is clean with malty-sweetness up front with medium-dark caramel, toffee, malt flavors. The hops are piney and dank with just a hint of citrus in the finish. As the beer warms you may get some more tropical and berry flavors from the hops. Judicious dry-hopping leaves this beer with a slight haze.
Brown Ale – American
This beer incorporates the crisp components of a light wheat beer with lemony goodness to deliver a punch of citrusy refreshment.Sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty and caramel notes. Light toasted and biscuit finish. Medium bitterness balances the malty sweetness.
Porter – English
This tasty beer is our English Porter that set up residence in our Brett C barrel for 6 months. Nice fruity Brett nose, dark fruits, chocolate and a mild oaky vanilla flavor. Tannins from the barrel accentuates the dry finish. Perfect for a crummy, chilly night.