Working Draft was founded in March 2018, emerged as a collaborative endeavor between four individuals: Ryan Browne, Ben Feifarek, Clint Lohman, and J Bowen. The driving force behind this venture was their shared passion for crafting top-notch beer. Each member of the team brought a unique set of skills and experiences to the table, which played a pivotal role in the brewery’s success.
Ryan Browne, with a background in writing and composition, contributed his expertise in creating compelling narratives and effectively communicating the brewery’s story to customers. Browne, hailing from Colorado, embarked on his brewing journey during his inaugural year of grad school in 2006. It was during this time that he crafted his very first batch of homebrew, meticulously recreating the beloved and widely recognized Fat Tire, a flagship beer from New Belgium Brewing Company. This initial foray into the world of brewing ignited Ryan’s passion for the craft and set the stage for his future endeavors in the beer industry.
J Bowen’s involvement in strategic marketing and corporate development helped shape the brewery’s brand identity and establish its presence in the market. Ben Feifarek, who owned the Wine and Hop Shop in Madison, brought his deep knowledge of brewing ingredients and an understanding of the local beer community. Clint Lohman, with prior commercial brewing experience in Madison, provided invaluable insights into the technical aspects of the brewing process.
However, transforming their shared passion into a cohesive organization required extensive research and planning. The team dedicated significant time and effort to understanding the intricacies of the brewing industry, analyzing market trends, and identifying their target audience. This research phase allowed them to develop a clear vision and strategy for the brewery.
One of the crucial aspects of this planning stage was finding a suitable location for the brewery. After careful consideration, they settled on a site in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison, with its thriving craft beer scene and supportive community, provided an ideal environment for Working Draft Brewing Co. to flourish.
With the location secured in the building that formerly housed both RP’s Pasta and Just Coffee, the team of Working Draft Brewing Co. faced the logistical challenges of setting up their brewery. Working Draft embarked on its journey by investing in top-of-the-line brewing equipment, including a 7-BBL/2-Vessel Brewhouse. This particular brewhouse was a noteworthy addition as it was one of the earliest installations from Sprinkman’s Pub & Pilot Brewhouse product line.
Leading the brewing operations is head brewer Clint Lohman, who had previously worked alongside the founders at the Wine and Hop Shop. Clint had garnered valuable experience from his brewing stints at Vintage Brewing Co. and Wisconsin Brewing Co. Lohman also utilizes a 1-barrel pilot brewery, created by Spike Brewing located in Milwaukee, to craft unique experimental beers as well as special brewings.
When you step foot into Working Draft Beer Company, your attention is immediately drawn to its vibrant and eye-catching blue exterior. The bold choice of color sets the brewery apart, hinting at the unique experience that awaits inside. As you enter, you’re greeted by a clean and well-lit interior that exudes a sense of warmth and welcoming. The design incorporates wooden elements throughout, including tabletops, bench-backs, and a bar that has been crafted from repurposed wood sourced from the lanes at Badger Bowl.
Against one wall, a captivating mural created by artist Jenie Gao adds a striking visual element to the space. Its vivid colors and intricate details command attention and spark curiosity. The mural serves as a dynamic backdrop to the wooden surfaces, which emanate a calming and natural charm, much like the brewery’s subtly crafted beers.
The deliberate contrast between the bold exterior and the serene interior mirrors the diversity of the beers brewed in the back of the room. Working Draft Beer Company takes pride in producing a range of brews that cater to various tastes and preferences. From hop-forward IPAs to smooth stouts and refreshing lagers, the brewery offers a nuanced selection that satisfies a wide spectrum of beer enthusiasts.
The choice to use salvaged wood from he Village Lanes bowling alley in Monona, for the bar and table tops not only adds character to the space but also reflects the brewery’s commitment to sustainability. By repurposing materials, Working Draft Beer Company embraces an eco-friendly approach that aligns with their values.
As you take in the ambiance and absorb the subtle beauty of the wooden surfaces, it becomes evident that Working Draft Beer Company has crafted a unique atmosphere where visitors can relax, connect, and savor the experience. Whether you’re enjoying a conversation with friends at a wooden table, perched on a bench-back, or sitting at the reclaimed bar, you’ll find yourself immersed in an environment that encourages camaraderie and appreciation for finely brewed beer.
Pilsner – Other
Collaboration with Fair State Brewing Cooperative. Uses Rahr Northstar Pilsner malt, Mt. Hood and Crystal hops. Beer is slow poured, a traditional German pouring technique aimed to soften carbonation & enhance tasting notes! Technique requires around 5-7 minutes for a pour.
Sour – Fruited
Collaboration from Working Draft Beer Co. & Lupulin Brewing Company. We wanted to see what happens when you ferment an English-Style Barleywine at 95 F with Norwegian Farmhouse Ale Yeast. The results are big notes of toffee & caramel from English barley & rye with subtle notes of holiday spice & fruit cake from the Kviek yeast. For being 11.1% ABV, this beer is deceptively smooth.
IPA – New England / Hazy
Brewed in collaboration with our friends at Nehemiah and Justified Anger. This West Coast Hazy IPA is drier than our other Hazy IPAs and features Strata, Simcoe and Mosaic hops for a big burst of guava, blueberry and dank tropical fruits. A simple grain bill of 2 row barley and flaked oats keeps things simple yet soft.
Golden Ale – Other
Fruited Dry-Hopped Belgian Golden Ale. Brewer Ryan Jennings’ crew brew is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale with a couple twists. Belgian & French Pilsner malts provide a clean, malty base. Simple sugar helps boost the ABV while keeping things nice & dry. Tart cherry puree gives wonderful fruity notes and a beautiful blush color. Sabro dry hop additions add notes of peach ring, pineapple & coconut. Put all these together and you get a dangerously crushable Belgian ale that tastes like a Tiki drink.
IPA – Imperial / Double New England / Hazy
Just when you thought it was safe to open the fridge, SWAMP THANG delivers a fierce bite of bright citrus and tropical fruit flavors and a huge, hazy, hoppy high from Simcoe, Enigma and Citra hops. Beware – this monster double IPA from Lake Louie Brewing and Working Draft Beer Company get you shook