Watch Now: Public Craft Brewing Co.  Celebrates its 10th anniversary in downtown Kenosha on September 17 |  local news

Watch Now: Public Craft Brewing Co. Celebrates its 10th anniversary in downtown Kenosha on September 17 | local news

About 12 years ago, Matt Jerry didn’t even know you could make your own beer.

It wasn’t until his final year at Carthage, when a faculty member invited the senior students to a home brewing party that Jerry learned about a hobby that would dominate the next decade of his life.

This month, Jerry’s celebrates the 10th anniversary of its brewery and taproom Public Craft Brewing Co., 628 58th Street, which serves more than 20 brewed on-site brews. The Anniversary Party will take place on Saturday 17th September, starting at noon and running until midnight, featuring plenty of drinks, food, and live music.

Jerry said he started brewing his own beer immediately after graduating from college in his one-bedroom apartment after buying a home brewing kit.

“I started making beer on my stove in my apartment,” Jerry said.

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While his interest in fermentation continued, Jerry said he started seeing “the writing on the wall” of his job. He decided to take an extended vacation and attended a brewing program at the Siebel Institute in Chicago.

He later signed the lease for the original location to the public, also on 58th Street, where he and his father spent months renovating the space before opening in September 2012.

“I wanted to do something downtown, something that would bring people together,” Jerry said. “So I decided to give it a try.”

Expand to a new location

While the space was more “intimate,” Jerry said he wanted to expand and eventually began making plans to move to the new location, the former Barden Store. It required extensive modernization work, although nods to the building’s long history can still be seen throughout.

“It’s exciting to take a building where people have a lot of memories, build something new and make new memories,” Jerry said.

Jerry said they moved into the new space just before the pandemic, a situation he remembers with some frowns. However, the process of renovating the old building and relocating its work had already begun, and there was no stopping without risking the loss of what had taken so long to build.

Despite their difficulties opening a commercial location during the pandemic, Jerry said they are starting to “make their headway” with the brewing side of the business, which provides beverages to many bars and events in the area.

“The year is my baby,” Jerry said. “I wouldn’t let her die.”

A long way in 10 years

The huge kettles and barrels in the back of Public Craft are a far cry from the bulky pot that Jerry started on his stove over a decade ago, though he kept that, too, for experimenting on a small scale.

“It’s hard to stop and look up day in and day out to realize that it’s been a decade,” Jerry said. “It’s crazy and cool. It goes fast.”

Quinn Ryan, Jerry’s business partner, said the anniversary event will be a reminder to people how special a decade of work is for the community.

“I’m just excited, 10 years is a long time to do something,” Ryan said. “It’s a huge achievement.”

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