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Grafton tavern taps into the thirst for craft beer PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:49

After a year in business, The 024 Taproom has found success is exposing customers to brews they haven’t tried before

    Since opening last year, The 024 taproom has found a niche market in the Village of Grafton by offering customers a variety of craft beers.
    “I didn’t know what to expect,” co-founder Rick Steger said. “The neat thing we knew was that Grafton needed a place like this because we wanted to bring new beers to the area that people haven’t been exposed to.”
    The taproom celebrated its anniversary with about 100 patrons on Jan. 4 at its location at 1300 14th Ave., formerly The Glass Palette wine bar.
    According to owner and bartender Paul Alexander, he plans to host a special event each week this month to commemorate the occasion.
    “We’ve been starting to host more events and parties,” Alexander said. “We’re now going to start having live music inside — during the summer we had it out on the patio a couple of times.”
    You don’t need to be a beer connoisseur to enjoy some of the other offerings at the bar. On Wednesday, the taproom hosted a “Film and Froth” showing of “The Kentucky Fried Movie,” and later this month there will be a book signing and discussion with local author Matt Janzen, who wrote “The State of Craft Beer.”
    The 024 is also partnering with The Bottle Shop of Grafton to host a beer festival in early June.
    “We want to have 20 to 25 breweries on the bridge, and it’s going to be called Beer on the Bridge,” Alexander said. “I want to bring some more juice to downtown Grafton to give people more of a reason to come to Grafton.”
    The clientele ranges from young professionals to locals who want to grab a drink after work.
    “What’s nice about this place is it’s so different compared to a bar that just has soda pop-beers, and it supports local Wisconsin breweries as well,” patron Tina Albright said.
    Alexander has lived in the village for 20 years, and before he opened The O24 he was a sales representative for Potosi Brewery. While working for the brewery, he noticed that craft beers were becoming popular in Wisconsin.
    “As a rep, I was trying to sell beer here and nobody was bringing it in. The town has changed in the last 20 years. This used to be a very blue collar area, and I’m sure they were happy drinking their PBR and Miller drafts, not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he said. “Grafton has become such a more affluent suburb and people are looking for different things, so I wanted to fill that niche.”
    Alexander said he constantly rotates his selection, which consists of a variety of craft beers from around the country, but he tries to maintain five to 10 local beers on tap at a time.
    “I know the beer portfolio pretty well from when I sold,” he said. “I get about six different sales reports every Monday and I try to differentiate myself from everybody in the immediate area.”
    Alexander said he also offers mass-produced domestic beer like Miller Lite along with wine, high-end whiskies and other spirits.
    “We’re a new thing for the community,” Alexander said. “We’re not afraid to stick our neck out a bit to try new and different things for the people of Grafton and beer drinkers.”


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