Look for some changes to the Lake Country Dockhounds (American Association) in 2023, as Wisconsin Brewing will rebrand as Lake Louie Brewing and add a five-barrel brewhouse to the Oconomowoc ballpark.
The Dockhounds play out of Wisconsin Brewing Company Park; Oconomowoc is in the far-western Milwaukee suburbs.
Wisconsin Brewing launched in 2013 by Kirby Nelson and other investors after a departure from Madison’s Capital Brewery. It acquired the Lake Louie line in 2019. Lake Louie has a typical Wisconsin brewing origin story: home brewer begins brewing in his back-yard shed and finds success with the popularity of his wares. Lake Louie, by the way, is the pond in back of the back-yard shed. With the rebranding, Lake Louie will be the only consumer-facing branding for WBC; we’ll see if the rebranding carries over to the ballpark. But, with the five-barrel brewhouse, the Lake Louie name will be more prominent.
Traditionally, however, ballpark breweries on the minor league level have not been hugely successful; fans express delight in fresh beer and then end up buying the cheaper Bud. Then again, this is Wisconsin. When a new Northwoods League ballpark opens in Hudson in future seasons, it will be accompanied by a Lift Bridge Brewery taproom and brewhouse. A microbrewery is planned for a new Edmonton Prospects ballpark. And don’t forget: the popular Blue Moon beer was developed at a ballpark brewery, Sandlot Brewery, inside Coors Field, with an original moniker of Belly Slide Wit.