Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fifth Ward Brewing Company Update

Back in April, I wrote about the plan of Ian Wenger and Zach Clark to launch a new brewery named Fifth Ward Brewing Company on Oregon St. in Oshkosh. Clark and Wenger are still at it, but some aspects of their original plan have changed.

The building Clark and Wenger were trying to secure at 611 Oregon St. is no longer an option. It was recently sold to another party. They've now shifted their focus to a building located at 1009 S Main St., previously occupied by Canteen Vending Services.

1009 S Main St.

Clark and Wenger have an agreement to purchase the building contingent upon site-plan approval, variances and the like required by the City of Oshkosh. The building is large enough, 7,500 square feet, and well suited for a brewery. And it's an area that could sorely use this type of development.

"We'll be the first ones to have to redevelop one of these sites down here," Wenger says. "Anything we do to it will make it look a thousand times better than what it looks like now.

The re-design they've had drawn up for the space includes a sizeable taproom looking out onto S. Main and a beer garden behind the building. They're also considering re-opening a blocked-in entrance to the building and replacing it with glass to allow a view into the brewhouse from the street.

Overall, the S. Main property is a better prospect for the venture than the original site on Oregon. "Not getting that building turned out to be a blessing in disguise," Wenger says. "It worked out really well."

Equally important at this point is that Clark and Wenger have now raised the capital needed to move the project forward. "We have all of our financing in place at this point," Wegner says. "We'd like to close on the property at the end of January or early February. And right now, we're looking at putting in our down payment on equipment in January."

The lead time required for delivery of a full brewhouse will be at least five to six months. With that and the work required for converting the building into a brewery, Clark and Wenger could possibly have Fifth Ward operational by late summer 2016.

I'll post more on the progress of Fifth Ward as things develop.


  1. Good luck guys and let me know if you will be around Waupaca any time around the holidays. I would love to see the new building.

    Mark Maglior

  2. Good luck Ian and Zachary!
    Nice location, plus the south side has a rich history of breweries. Save me a table in the beer garden.

  3. Love reading about these two! Congratulations Ian and Zach. Very well deserved!

  4. Thanks great news for everyone, especially Zach and Ian! Looking forward to it. Let all of us know if you need cleanup help in the brewery!

  5. I think Randy meant to say "let us all know if you need any help sampling massive amounts of beer while leaning on a mop".

  6. A little Birdy tells me Planet Perk just over the bridge might be in the market to serve some local beer... Ken(the owner) is a huge advocate of local businesses. Give him a call and see what might be a win win relationship!!! Personally looking forward to more life on South Main- welcome to the neighborhood!

  7. OK guys, how can we get together to discuss Fifth Ward being my exclusive beer provider? I would need to sample and discuss with you your tap and bottle operations, deliveries, promotional materials, etc. Call me at 902-203-8870.

    We are a small coffee house that is currently expanding and adding a bar that will serve ONE brewery only and ONE vineyard only.

    Our timeline is to serving this Spring at the latest.