In September, a new microbrewery and taproom opened in Lake Geneva near the intersection of Edwards Boulevard and Veterans Parkway. MashTun Brewing and Social Taproom is the brainchild of Riccardo Kettle and his wife, Kristen, who have lived in Lake Geneva since 2016, following stints in Chicago and New Zealand.
The idea for the brewery came to the couple during COVID-19 lockdowns, when they found themselves sharing a beer with their neighbors over a fence on their properties (“sharing a fencie,” as they called it). “Instead of socializing over the fence, why not socialize around the mash tun?” they eventually suggested. (A mash tun is a large vessel where the mashing of malted barley, hops and yeast eventually leads to the creation of beer.)
Riccardo was a home brewer and had worked for a beverage distribution company in New Zealand. While there, he had collaborated with one of his company’s brands, leading a team which opened a brewery and tap room, so he knew what it would take to expand their neighborly happy hour to a wider audience. Working toward this goal, the Kettles further immersed themselves in the science of brewing and then purchased a small commercial brewing system and rented space for their new endeavor.
Using this equipment, MashTun Brewing makes several original beers. This fall, there were seven on tap and another seven in the works, with names like Lake Daze Mosaic Hazy IPA, Campfire Amber Ale and L8ke Life Pilsener. Local response to the beers has been extremely positive: MashTun is now available on a rotating tap at Lake Geneva supper club Mars Resort, with plans to expand to other bars and restaurants in the coming months.
In addition to beer brewed on site, the taproom adjacent to the brewery serves cider and non-alcoholic drinks, plus pretzels, soup and several variations of grilled cheese sandwiches. Kristen Kettle says that, since opening in September, business has been “gangbusters”: “We already know that we need to expand,” she explained. “There are times when it’s standing-room only.” The taproom space is also available to rent for small events of up to 30 people. For hours and information, visit mashtunbrewing.com.