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Prost! Thiensville could boast beer garden this summer

April 2, 2013

Thiensville - If Trustee David Lange has his way, you'll be able to raise a stein this summer at Village Park.

Lange and the Committee of the Whole on Monday began exploring the possibility of using the two octagonal structures at the park for a beer garden modeled after the successful Estabrook Park version, opened last year by Milwaukee County and Old German Beer Hall proprietor Hans Weisgerber III.

"It got me thinking about how we could do this," Lange said.

After Glendale-based Sprecher Brewing Company lost out to Weisgerber in a bid to supply Milwaukee County beer gardens, Lange said, he got in touch with the brewer about the possibility of bringing their beers and sodas to a Thiensville garden.

A cut of the Estabrook garden's profits go to Milwaukee County to help fund maintenance of the parks system. Lange said the fire department, which owns the two octagonal buildings, could similarly receive a commission on sales to help support its budget.

Tentatively the idea would be to run from Thursday through Sunday between June and August.

However, other trustees were hesitant to support the idea, expressing the concern that a beer garden could take sales from other Thiensville businesses.

"Anything that increases overall business activity is a good thing," Village President Van Mobley said. "If it cannibalizes business activity, then it's not such a good thing."

Trustee John Treffert said local restaurants like Skippy's, Remington's, and Chuck's need to be consulted before proceeding with the idea.

"We certainly need some sort of buy-in from the nearby vendors," Treffert said.

Trustee Ken Kucharski similarly commented that the village needs to do its homework before making any decisions.

"Comparing Estabrook Park to our park is night and day," added Trustee Ken Kucharski. "We're a family park and we have to keep that in mind."

Lange commented after the meeting that he hopes the beer garden would draw patrons to the nearby businesses, and that Sprecher "have the intent of working with" Thiensville businesses to design promotions.

The Committee of the Whole and Village Board will take up the topic again at a later date.

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