After a 102-year absence, the steam plume from a brewery has returned to the Washburn skyline. On Nov. 30, South Shore Brewery’s kettle fired up its inaugural batch of Nut Brown Ale, which will be bottled on Solstice Wednesday, Dec. 21.
South Shore Brewery was founded in May 1995 with brewing facilities in the basement of the Deep Water Grille in Ashland. It was northwestern Wisconsin’s first microbrewery and the state’s seventh. Bo Bélanger, South Shore’s original brew master and president, bought the business in 2004.
In February he expanded operations into Washburn, opening the Lake Superior Tap House, a satellite tasting room and retail outlet. The recent move of the brewing facilities to the Washburn operation was done with the goal to make the brewery more efficient and competitive while increasing output.
In addition to the expanded brewing facility, the Lake Superior Tap House features a tasting room with a variety of South Shore beers on tap, windows that look into the brewery, and a shuffleboard table handcrafted from a piece of bowling lane preserved from the old Super Bowl Lanes, which previously occupied the building.