Milwaukee’s sudsy history dates to beer barons such as Frederick Pabst and Joseph Schlitz, but within the past 18 months 15 craft breweries have debuted in the city.
It’s only fitting that one of the city’s newest luxury apartment buildings—Vim + Vigor, just north of downtown—comes with a cool amenity exclusively for residents: a homebrew studio.
Vim + Vigor opens for occupancy this summer, with 274 units priced from $1,030 to $2,090 a month, ranging from a studio to a three-bedroom apartment. In a separate building, the homebrew studio is scheduled to open in early 2019.
What inspired the brewing amenity is an effort to appeal to today’s renters. “Their apartment is no longer a place where they go to sleep,” says Jake Dietrich, director of development for Milhaus, the project’s developer. “One of the first questions potential residents—especially transplants—will ask is ‘What kind of people live here?’”
In addition to the homebrew studio, Vim + Vigor offers courtyard space with bocce courts, grilling stations, and a fire pit, as well as a fitness center and coffee bar.
“We’ve found in locations like this that who ends up renting are people who appreciate being close to the action but not in dead center, everyone from grad students to young professionals who are a couple of years out of college even to empty nesters who are looking for a place downtown,” says Dietrich.
Another inspiration was a nod to local heritage. The building is located on the site of the former Pabst Brewery, which closed in 1996. Over the past decade, the land was repurposed to include a boutique hotel, restaurant, event space, and tap room serving Pabst beers. This apartment building will be the glorious suds on top of these already established businesses.
And while this is the first homebrew studio Milhaus has taken on, Dietrich says it’s not the first nationwide.
“With each property that we do, we really try to pay attention to the context and the history of the neighborhood in which it’s located,” says Dietrich. In this case, that means beer.
Vim + Vigor
For the homebrew studio, Vim + Vigor is partnering with a local supplier, Northern Brewer, to inform equipment purchases and teach classes.
“Because it’s the first time that we’ve done this, it’s going to be a little bit of just seeing how the residents use it overall,” says Dietrich. “You’re going to have to be 21 to use the space. We’ll be controlling access to the space, but there won’t be a fee because it’s an amenity we’re offering.”
Residents need only to bring their own ingredients to whip up a potent brew.
“We will provide all the main equipment necessary—the burners, the stoves, and the kettles,” says Dietrich. “We want to provide enough there for somebody who might have an interest in brewing to get started or to take their brewing to the next level.”
Dietrich hopes the studio will attract a variety of residents.
“We designed the building to attract a wide multitude of users,” says Dietrich. “We have everything from a micro unit with 350 square feet and a Murphy bed to studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three-bedrooms.”
Raise your glass if you’re ready to move in!