By Shelby Rowe Moyer | Photos courtesy of Topsy Turvy Brewery
A 110-year-old neo-Gothic church and a brewery hardly seem synonymous, but that’s exactly the vision Topsy Turvy owner Dan Schuld had when he originally saw the downtown Lake Geneva site. “I think it’s one of the nicest buildings for a tap room in Wisconsin,” he says. “It has a lot of history.”
Once the First Baptist Church, the building has also housed a bookstore and served as an outlet for other retailers before being transformed into Topsy Turvy Brewery.
Schuld launched the brewery at the beginning of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and though its brick-and-mortar location just opened this summer, distribution of Topsy Turvy beer began around the beginning of March.
Its craft beers each pay homage to Wisconsin culture and history. Take the puckering Broken Blender Fruited Sour, for instance, which gets its name from the compact, electric blender designed specifically for home use and engineered in Racine. The Stellar Nova Hazy IPA is a tribute to one of the largest refracting telescopes ever built, which is housed in Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay. We could go on.
“Topsy Turvy is about fun,” Schuld says. “It’s about upside down, goofy things. Beer is supposed to be fun.”
A handful of other libations, including a pilsner, blonde ale, pale ale and its Dive hard seltzers, are available for enjoyment on the brewery’s patio — as well as select stores.
The massive building will eventually house the actual brewery on the lower level where church services were held. Schuld calls it the beer lab where interesting and inventive flavors are sure to sprout. His ultimate goal is to be really creative with the products they produce.
Schuld hopes to open the taproom this fall, which will be located in the upper level of the building along with an event center. There’s also space around the back of the building, where he plans to set up another outdoor area that could be rented for private parties. Once everything is open, Topsy Turvy will have a capacity of 300.
Right now, food isn’t on the menu, but can be brought in. And even though this business is just beginning, it’s been marinating in Schuld’s mind for quite some time, and he has big plans — potentially folding craft sodas and hybrid wines into the mix.
When Schuld first began the process of looking for a location, he searched around Wisconsin, but he’s glad they landed in Lake Geneva. “It’s one of the top towns in the area,” he says. “To me, it’s a dynamite location.”