LEDGEVIEW — After three years of planning, including during the pandemic, and dealing with supply chain issues, De Pere resident Matt Walters and his brother Mike were finally able to accomplish their dream of opening their own brewery.
Cocoon brewing is in Ledgeview, just outside of De Pere.
The business is celebrating its opening weekend, after overcoming many challenges before being able to open.
"There was curve ball after curve ball in the project from, you know, losing the banking funding to waiting for windows to come in or just endless numbers of small hurdles," said Walters.
Walters says he decided to set up his own brewery in his garage one day six years ago. He never knew that small garage brewery would one day grow into what it has become now.
"I had a little extra time on my hands on the weekend one day and i just said I'm going to try to brew a batch of beer, and that went decently, so i just kept adding equipment to my kitchen and then my garage," said Walters.
While Wisconsin is famous for its breweries, Walters says he saw a need for one in the De Pere area with how quickly it's growing. With other breweries in Green Bay, Walters knew he had to create something that would differentiate themselves.
Walters says one of the most unique features of Cocoon Brewing is the four distinct buildings they call cocoons. Each has a distinct theme to it and can be reserved for small group gatherings.
The idea, Walters says, came to him even before the pandemic sparked outdoor dining options like igloo tents.
"We were actually at another brewery and they had saunas set up in the back of their brewery actually, and the crowds were going in for saunas at the brewery, and we're like, that's the weirdest thing I've ever seen," said Walters.
That's when they came up with the idea to create cabins.
Another unique aspect to Walters' business is his membership model, which includes discounts on beer on certain days.
Walters says he believes this will help the business with a stable revenue stream while also providing unique experiences for loyal customers.
"It's just sort of an incentive to get, you know, regulars in here and get a real bunch of fervent supporters," said Walters.
A group of supporters that the Walters brothers hope will keep growing.