The taproom at the newly opened Vennture Brew Co on Milwaukee's west side is clean and open, like a lot of hip, young companies design their business spaces these days. Even on a dreary Saturday afternoon, the open garage door walls keep the room awash in bright daylight. It's a welcoming sight in an on-the-up part of town where they promise the neighborhood “Coffee, Beer and Community.”
Typically, nothing elicits a Tina Fey-sized eyeroll from me more than a brewery that endlessly broadcasts its perceived importance to the community. But from my end of the bar on this day, I see a microcosm of the Washington Heights neighborhood: a group having an animated meeting in the corner, a couple having a post-run drink, a family of four playing tabletop games with their kids, beer-lovers with a half dozen five-ounce samples each, and an endless line at the La Marzocco that keeps the room filled with the intoxicating aroma of fresh espresso.
It’s not your typical brewery crowd, but everyone seems to belong—and enjoy being—here.
“These are the people we love, that we want coming back,” co-founder Simon McConico tells me.
I have a few beers and grab a cold brew for the road.
I think they will come back. Me too.