Gathering Place Brewing Company (811 E Vienna Ave.) is a tavern and brewery in the Riverwest neighborhood. They opened in 2017 with two main goals: to make European-style quality beers with an American twist, and to be a community hub, hence their name. In 2019, they launched their $1 for Milwaukee program, where a portion of sales are donated to nonprofit groups that make a difference in the community. Each month, a new local nonprofit receives 20% of online and dining sales from every Thursday of that month.
I spoke with Joe Yeado, the founder of Gathering Place Brewing Company, who kindly shared the backstory. An amateur brewer since 2007, he loved participating in competitions. While living in DC, he competed and won awards at the Sam Adams Regional MidAtlantic Competitions in 2013 and 2014. This helped convince him to learn more about the business side of brewing.
He and his wife moved back to Milwaukee, after meeting at Marquette University, to work for a non-profit organization. He knew he would pursue his dream of starting a brewery. It was only a matter of time – funding was needed. You can only go so far with 5 gallon carboys in the pantry or basement. And once that was achieved, the Gathering Place brewery was launched. (In case you were wondering — his wife continues to work for a nonprofit.)
Corey Blodgett is the head brewer. He was lured away from the Westcoast where he had worked professionally for 20 years. They look to European traditions especially for some of their inspired lagers. All of their beers have a loyal following.
In 2019 they held a special festival, Lager and Friends, with entries from breweries across the country. It’s an annual event, which went virtual in 2021 due to COVID. In 2022, the invitational festival took place at the Old Heidelberg Park Beer Hall in Glendale. Lager lovers can visit Lagerandfriends.com for more information.
And for beer lovers, they’ve created a membership company offering exclusive monthly bottles of unique beers made on their small-batch pilot brewing system. Two different beers are produced each month and packaged in 500 ml bottles, reserved for members; unclaimed bottles are available for sale in their refreshment bar.
The whole family is welcome at Gathering Place and they have games for young and old alike. Food trucks are usually there for special events, and they plan to offer snacks in the dining room in the near future. In the meantime, customers can bring their own food or order for delivery. Arrangements can be made for parties and events ranging from company holidays to a one year old’s birthday party.
Every Monday, there is a competition from 7 p.m.
In conjunction with CheeseheadTV in Green Bay, they now bottle a specially brewed Cream Ale designed for Green Bay Packer backers wherever they are or supporting their team.
A planned satellite reception hall in Wauwatosa (7208 W. North Ave.) is now expected to open by the end of October.
For more information, hours and directions please visit their website: gatheringplacebrewing.com.
And don’t forget to drink responsibly.