1858- Let’s Build a Brewery
Anton Fischer, a German immigrant, settled in the area in 1858. Along with helping to build the Fox River canal system, he built this building – the first brewery in Outagamie County! It was built in the era when Puritan resolve in the Appleton area was being tested by “Yankee” progression. The Puritan conviction did not allow selling or brewing intoxicating beverages within the confines of the city. Although it was a Puritan city, and despite opposition, Appleton did not prevent their citizens from enjoying the fine beers the brewery provided.
1860- Beer Garden
Anton sold the Fischer Brewery to Carl Muench, a young foreman from the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee. Carl added the popular outdoor beer garden that came to be known as an “institution” in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The building became ablaze in fire, but was thankfully able to be saved before everything was ruined. The establishment was quickly rebuilt and continued its brewing the same year.
1918- Walter Brewery Company
The business was sold to the Walter Brewery Co., established by George Walter. The doors of the Walter Brewery were closed temporarily during the Prohibition Era, but were opened again after the law was repealed for Wisconsin in 1929, and nationally in 1933. George Walter and his brewery introduced a mild, light lager called Adler Brau (German for Eagle Beer). It soon became the most popular beer in the area, and remained so until the 1970’s
The Walter Breweing Company closed its doors for the last time, unable to match the sales and marketing budgets of the national breweries. The brewery in downtown Appleton was torn down and the building Stone Cellar resides in was remodeled to become the “Between the Locks” Mall.
1989- Adler Brau is Back
Adler Brau beer was back in production, not with the George Walter Brewery, but with new ownership as the Adler Brau Brewery and Restaurant. At the time, it was Wisconsin’s third Brewpub.
2004- Stone Cellar Brewpub is Born
Father and son partners Tom and Steve Lonsway take over the brewery and restaurant. The oldest and second oldest brewpubs in Wisconsin close leaving Stone Cellar Brewpub the oldest, continually running Brewpub in the state of Wisconsin. All this in a building built over 150 years ago to house a brewery!
2005- Small Batches
We brew in seven barrel (217 gallon) batches in an old, yet reliable brewhouse and can produce up to 1,000 barrels per year. We also have a small bottling line which allows us to sell bottles of our beers right from our bar. Stone Cellar continues to grow its external beer sales by supplying over 10 bars in the area.
2009- Local & Sustainable
Starting in late 2009, Stone Cellar Brewpub begins to focus heavily on becoming as sustainable as possible, reducing waste and energy, and sourcing locally whenever possible. We reduced waste almost 80%, began sending all our spent grain to feed animals, started composting, and started to replace old inefficient appliances. Our head chef Brady Ahrens started talking to local farmers, and we began sourcing a large amount of our meats and vegetables from local sources.
After only five years as Stone Cellar Brewpub, our brewery’s production is nearly maxed out as we began supplying over fifty different bars with our beer.
2011- Local Explosion
Stone Cellar had made a large number of connections with local farms and suppliers and we were able to switch all our meats to better options. All of our beef became all-natural and certified humane, including a 100% grass fed burger. Our chicken became all-natural, free range, and hormone free. We also started our organic and local salad bar for lunch.
2012- Stone Arch
Due to the demand for our beer, we begin a brewery expansion. The Stone Cellar Brewery is forced into a name change to Stone Arch Brew House as the Stone Cellar trademark is reserved and we begin producing bottled beer for sale externally. The Stone Arch Brew House nearly doubles in size as walls are torn down to join several spaces. Our breweries production capacity triples. Our beer is distributed to over 100 different bars and restaurants.
2013 – Stone Cellar at Riverview Gardens
Stone Cellar expanded again, this time opening an offsite events facility called Stone Cellar at Riverview Gardens. The new venture shares the site of the former Riverview Golf Course with Riverview Gardens, a local food-cooperative and job skills training facility. Fresh vegetables are grown on site and incorporated into the dishes served. Just a block from the Stone Cellar Brewpub facility and overlooking the Fox River, this event space allows Stone Cellar to serve groups of up to 200 people.