EagleHerald Staff Writer
MARINETTE—A new brewery is slated to open this year in the Dunlap Square building in downtown Marinette.
The establishment will be the second branch of the 100% family owned Westallion Brewing Company. Owners Erik and Kim Dorfner both worked in breweries before deciding to open their own establishment in 2017 in the Milwaukee suburb West Allis.
Erik said that he and Kim had never been to the City of Marinette until about two years ago.
“We just fell in love with the area,” he said. “I feel very comfortable in towns that display a patriotic-type attitude and where family values mean something. Seeing the naval ships over by Marinette Marine is something that’s very warming to someone who’s a Marine Corps combat veteran. Every single time I make the trip up to Marinette, I feel very good to be there. When I saw the for lease sign at Dunlap Square, I just recognized an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”
Erik, who went to school for history, said that “part of the draw was the building itself and its historical value.”
“I’m interested in making sure that the building is brought back to its historical originality before it opens,” he said. “When you’re doing business in a city, you’re doing business with a city, and we want to have a positive impact on the community, part of which is preserving its history.”
He said the Marinette location of the brewery will be a tribute to the U.S. Marine Corps, where Erik served for about five years, and the city’s marine tradition.
The Westallion Brewing Company serves up a spectrum of beers from classics like Pilsners and Oktoberfests to brews on the stranger side like the Cotton Candy Berliner Weiss and the Peanut Butter Porter, which Erik said is their most famous beer.
The Dorfners have also named some of their beers after local West Allis historical figures, such as Billy Mitchell, and plan to highlight the history of Marinette and Menominee in the same fashion.
Kim, who previously worked as an events coordinator and specialized in organizing wedding ceremonies, said that the brewery will also have two spaces that can be rented out for weddings, fundraisers, rehearsal dinners and other events. She said that the two spaces combined can host just under about 150 people.
“We think that this area around Dunlap Square is a bride’s dream,” she said. “It’s really great for photo ops, and there is a hotel right across the street from us, so it could be potentially a one stop shop for a wedding.”
Kim said they plan to also host scheduled events at the brewery such as live music.
The Dorfners said they hope to have their Marinette location open sometime around the middle of next year.