According to a press release, the friendly decision was reached after numerous discussions about the grow opportunities for both companies, which will operate under Lucid Brewing, LLC, but maintain their separate brand identities.
Lucid Brewing, started in 2011 by Jon Messier and Eric Biermann, brews approachable year-round beers and adventurous limited edition beers such as the beer/wine hybrid, Hallucidation, and its version of a traditional German gose, Goslar. Lucid is also well known for its homebrewing competition, Brewer for the Day, which offers the winning homebrewer a chance to brew a production batch of their recipe at Lucid’s brewery.
American Sky Brewing was founded in 2012 by Greg and Molly Harris in the couple’s hometown of Hudson, Wisconsin. The American Sky name commemorates the military service of the couple’s grandfathers, who fought in World War II and the Korean War. The brewery’s Tailgunner Gold Blond Ale was born from the first recipe Greg Harris and Molly’s step-father, Ron Fronk, homebrewed and is a nod to Molly’s grandfather, who was a tailgunner in WWII.
Under Lucid’s management, American Sky will continue to operate its popular Hudson taproom, The Hangar, and distribute throughout western Wisconsin. American Sky’s draft and bottle production is expected to move to Lucid’s Minnetonka facility before the end of summer.
Lucid is no stranger to sharing its brewhouse space—the Minnetonka brewery was also the home base for alternating proprietors Badger Hill Brewing and Bad Weather Brewing before they went on to build their own breweries in Shakopee and St. Paul, respectively.
“Having Lucid on board represents a positive growth for the American Sky brand,” says Kati Shenz, General Manager of American Sky. “The Lucid team brings a different set of skills to the table. They have experience with larger scale production and a wider distribution network, which is exciting for growing American Sky.”
“We’re really excited about the American Sky team and taproom,” says Lucid co-owner Jon Messier. “Since we began in 2011, our focus has been on production and distribution. We are one of a handful of breweries without a taproom, and running one is not in our wheelhouse. The American Sky team is talented and we are excited to work together to improve the customer experience at The Hangar.”
September 11, 2015: On August 22, American Sky Brewing Company posted on Facebook that their taproom, The Hangar, was closed and their beer could only be purchased in growlers from Lucid Brewing’s Minnetonka headquarters.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal confirmed the closure on September 10, reporting that Lucid co-owner Eric Biermann called the action a “licensing issue” in an email. He did not reply to the Journal’s inquiries about when the taproom closed or what the licensing issue was.
On September 8, American Sky responded to a Facebook question regarding plan for a new Hudson taproom with this: “Right now we’re taking the time to re-establish our distribution and grow our partnerships with local restaurants, bars and liquor stores. We’re also looking to bring A.S. to MN. Opening a new taproom will be on the back burner until we’re up and running.”
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