Monday, September 13, 2010

Capital Tap Haus

Coming soon to 107 State Street. 100% Capital Beer. Capital Merchandise. Capital name. Not owned by Capital Brewery.

Got to love licensing. [ed note: per Kirby below, there is no licensing arrangement]

Interestingly, the original Capital Brewery, Hausmann's Capital Brewery, used to be on a brew-pub on State Street in the late-1800s (though closer to State and Gilman, if my memory serves me correctly).


  1. What, no legal discussion of three tier and tied house law? You're gettin' soft on us Mr. MBR!

  2. Well, what do you want me to say?

    It's a great move for Capital. All the benefits of a brewpub with none of the downside. Personally, I think this the future of beer/brewpubs in Wisconsin. They don't have to run a restaurant. And, in fact, won't lose ANY money on the deal. They have a retailer who is committed to buying Capital's beer from their distributor at markup. There's no reason for either party NOT to do it.

    In the usual case of brewpubs the cost savings are in not having to buy beer at distribution markup. Here, though, the cost savings come from the building's owner (also owns the Ivory Room) who owns the restaurant and thus cuts himself a sweet deal on rent (although the deal isn't really THAT sweet - $30/sq ft, I think in the ALRC app).

    All three tiers are respected. There's no common ownership. The only possible point of issue would be if the trademark license from Capital to the retailer provides that the retailer can ONLY sell Capital beer - then, it MIGHT be an illegal tied house (retailer is TIED to a particular brewery, usually under common ownership). But even that's not entirely clear because the ownership rules are clearly followed.

  3. Just so the facts are known there is no licensing agreement. The relationship Capital Brewery has with them is being a supplier to a customer.

  4. Really? No licensing agreement? I'm very surprised. With the Tap Haus inevitably being connected very closely with Capital in the minds of consumers, if I were Capital, I would want some control over use of my valuable trademark plus to retain the goodwill. I would think that Capital would want to keep a little more control over their mark and goodwill. Obviously, I was not "in" on any discussions, and I have no idea why the decision was made, but from the outside, that seems ... odd.

  5. I'm with Erin that I sort of assumed there was a licensing deal there. Sorry for the confusion.

  6. Cool could there be cask conditioned brews in the future? Like Supper Club on cask condition or Island Wheat aged in Bourbon barrels?

  7. Anonymous - I nearly fell off my chair...and I haven't had a beer yet today!

  8. Hey Anonomie,

    We have 3 that have been on wood for 10-11 months at the moment, Aut Fire, Eisphyre, and Imp Doppelbock. Coming along nicely.

  9. I have to say, that Barrel Aged Imperial Doppel is pretty awesome, can't wait for that to be public.


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