For more information contact:
Monika Greenheck, Events Coordinator
Capital Brewery Company, Inc.
MIDDLETON, Wis. (November 2, 2005) Washington Island, located off the
northern tip of Door County and surrounded by straits known as ³Death¹s
Door,² is finding a new window to life.
Farmland that sat vacant for years is now overflowing with winter wheat crop
after this year¹s crop was harvested and sold entirely to Capital Brewery
Company of Middleton, Wis., to be used in their recently released ale,
³Islanders are excited to see existing farmland being used for agriculture
rather than commercial or residential development,² said Ken Koyen, one of
the farmers responsible for the wheat crop.
The island, about 22 square miles in size, was meant to go the way of its
nearby neighbors in mainland Door County. Over twenty years ago, many
commercial and residential developers bought land in anticipation of a boom
in the sport fishing industry that never took off. The hope for the Island
is that momentum for a thriving economy has returned.
To meet the expected demand of the popular ale, Capital Brewery is in
partnership with the Island to grow more of the crop.
³People are coming to me to see if their land is workable,² said Koyen, who
is one of the only remaining fisherman on the Island. ³By the time we¹re
done, I expect to have forty different landowners. This touches a
significant percent of the population. The interest has been so high because
the tax-break on working agricultural land has a positive impact to this
island¹s economy. ²
Over the past thirty years Washington Island hasn¹t changed much, says
Kristi Genna, owner of Genna¹s Lounge in Madison and a second home on the
island. ³We visited Washington Island eight years ago and my husband was
struck how it really hasn¹t change since his childhood vacations, unlike the
mainland of Door County. I think it¹s really cool that the community is able
to make money on their land and hopefully preserve the island¹s pristine
appeal for another thirty years.²
Genna sells Island Wheat on-tap at her downtown bar and is seeing the ale
sell well against more established wheat beers. ³People have been intrigued
by the story behind the beer but keep drinking it for its clean flavor. As a
wheat beer drinker, I like it.²
Island Wheat is currently on-tap at over 50 locations in the Madison area
and select locations in Door County. Bottles are expected to be available
for purchase in early 2006.
Capital Brewery Company, Inc. is a publicly-held company based in Middleton,
Wisconsin. Capital Brewery brews eight annual, four seasonal and four
limited release beers amounting to 17,000 barrels a year. In November 1998,
it was named the top brewery in America by the Beverage Tasting Institute of
America, an independent panel of international beer experts. For more
information about Capital Brewery visit www.capital-brewery.com or contact
Monika Greenheck at (608) 836-7100.