Checking Out the Local Food and Drink Scene
Feb 20, 2014
10:48 AMThe Chow Down
MobCraft Named Best New Brewer in Wisconsin
The accolades keep rolling in for Madison brewery MobCraft Beer.
Earlier this month, MobCraft was named the 2013 Best New Brewer in Wisconsin by ratebeer.com, a website dedicated to beer enthusiasts and the beers they love, and in January its beer Black Bretty, made exclusively for the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Festival, took home an award for best sour beer. The brewery was also recently featured on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Part of MobCraft's allure is its business model, which differs significantly from your typical craft brewery. Launched last May, MobCraft produces small-batch, custom craft beers based on recipes suggested by and voted upon by its customers. In an ever-growing craft beer scene, this unique crowd-sourcing model—the first of its kind—provides consumers a sense of ownership, and without a doubt sets MobCraft apart.
“It’s what connects the brick and mortar of a physical brewery to the tech entrepreneurship crowd and the investing community,” says Henry Schwartz, one of three MobCraft founders.
Schwartz also says the ability to receive immediate feedback from customers allows MobCraft to make some really fun beers. February’s winning brew, Rabbit’s Bounty, is a dark caramel colored ale with hints of honey, carrot and nut. Other varieties include Mayan Chocolate Chili Ale, Chocolate Banana Stout and Wasabi Ginger Wheat.
These out-there beer recipes would be just that, recipes, if not for co-founder and brewer Andrew Gierczak, who previously worked at a brewery in Milwaukee. It’s up to Gierczak to bring the crowd-sourced flavors to life—no easy task when such unconventional ingredients are thrown together. “[It] just blows my mind,” Schwartz says.
Schwartz credits Page Buchanan at east-side brewery House of Brews as the mentor who helped get the business off the ground. MobCraft, whose beers are available in several local liquor stores, bars and restaurants, has been brewing its beer at House of Brews since its launch. But the company is planning to expand into its own location this year. The brewery recently bought a bottling machine and is in the process finding a location and a food partner to run the restaurant side of the company.