Local brewery planning for location upgrade

Lazy Monk Brewing busily working toward better spot

Local brewery planning for location upgrade


Story by Glen Olson, Chief Copy Editor

Two down, one to go.

After being unanimously approved for their purchase of the old Charlson building on Madison Street by both the Waterways Commission and the Planning Commission, Lazy Monk Brewing will only have to get approval from the City Council at their May 12 meeting to make the move.

Currently at 320 Putnam St., the brewery started in 2010, beginning brewing in Spring of 2011.

Leos and Theresa Frank have been working toward creating an authentic German or Eastern European beer hall feel in Eau Claire, and the move will give them the space to create that atmosphere.

Lazy Monk has seven employees, with Leos as the brewmaster and Theresa doing sales and marketing.

After 4 years, the brewery now distributes to the Green Bay, Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse and Chippewa Valley areas.

Theresa Frank said they distribute themselves, which is important to create connections where their beer appears.

She said the move is going to help them continue bringing the Czech-German-style beer and atmosphere to people in the Eau Claire area.

“The craft beer market is exploding across the country and in Wisconsin,” Frank said. “We’ve been excited to grow our business and take it to the next level.”

The brewery gets its hops from Europe, and Theresa Frank said her husband, who is from the former Czechoslovakia, is dedicated to recreating the beer and beer hall atmosphere.

They hope the new location, which will house a new, larger beer hall, will give people the feeling of having stepped out of Eau Claire for a trip to the traditional halls of Europe.

Frank said that one of the biggest differences that visitors notice is the lack of big screen TVs and quiet, family-oriented focus of the beer hall.

“The biggest thing for us is that we’re not a traditional bar,” Frank said. “It’s an experience.”

The move will also greatly expand the size of the operations, which are currently in about 5000 square feet, including the offices, beer hall and brewery.

The move will most likely take place in two parts, Frank said. The tap room will come first in the winter of 2015, probably around Christmas. The brewery will be brought in later.