Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fulbright Announces Plan for Oshkosh Bier & Brewing Company

Jeff Fulbright is planning his return to the brewing business.

Fulbright, who ran Mid-Coast Brewing Company, the brewer of Chief Oshkosh Red Lager in the early 1990s, is now working to establish a new brewery here named the Oshkosh Bier & Brewing Company. If his current plan comes to fruition, it would be the largest brewery launch in Oshkosh since the opening of People's Brewing in 1913.

“It's going to be a 40-barrel system,” says Fulbright. “We're going to be able to do 40,000 barrels a year. That's before any expansion.” He says the brewery will sell beer from its own taproom and through distribution in 12-ounce cans.

Fulbright isn’t going it alone. “We have an advisory board of local businessmen I've put together,” he says. “I'm not going to name the guys at this time, but they're all well known, local, successful businessmen.” Fulbright describes his role as the administrator of the project.

“We want to build a 15,000 square foot building with a large taproom, and landscaped beer garden,” he says. “It's to the point now where things are coming into place. The site is picked and we're finishing up the financials and the business plan.”

Fulbright anticipates the brewery being operational in 2017. The site he refers to is located two blocks from the river at the corner of Jackson and Pearl streets. “This is a 3 to 3.5 million dollar project,” Fulbright says. “This will be a serious brewery.”

“I want Oshkosh Bier & Brewing to be more than just a beautiful brewery that makes great beer,” he says. “I want it to be part of the fabric of what is good and fun in this city and a source of pride for the people of Oshkosh. I want this to be a destination. When people come to town, I want this to be on their go-see list.”

The proposed Oshkosh Bier & Brewing Co.

Fulbright, a graduate of the Siebel Institute’s brewing program, says the new brewery will have two distinct lines of beer. “One is going to be a traditional lager line called Oshkosh Classic. And then we're going to have the craft line that's going to be called Oshkosh Reserve. That's where we get to go nuts. We'll do everything. We're going to have some great beers.” Fulbright says John Zappa, former brewmaster for Stevens Point Brewery, will act as a consultant and assist in getting the brewery up and running.

Having Oshkosh be part of the name is consistent with one of Fulbright’s objectives. “I really want to promote local involvement,” he says. “When I did Chief, the market wasn't big enough to do that. Now it is. We want to have this brewery involved with the city and work with local charities and homebrewers. We want to make it interesting for the city.”

The proposed brewery becomes the third currently being planned for Oshkosh. Fifth Ward Brewing and Highholder Brewing previously announced their intentions. If each comes into being, Oshkosh will have five breweries, the highest number in operation here simultaneously since the late 1880s.


  1. Hooray for Jeff, and best success to this venture!

  2. If the new beers are as good as Chief Oshkosh Red Lager, the new brewery will soon have a strong following in Oshkosh and the rest of Wisconsin. The artwork on the original Chief Red Lager can was just fantastic and it will be interesting to see what the new labels will look like.