BUZZ: Brewing art

Rosholt is the smallest municipality to have a micro-brewery. Now it has two.


Katie Zdriok opened McZ’s on the Main Street of Rosholt, and will serve experimental beers created on site by Stevens Point Brewery.

The tiny village of Rosholt, with roughly 500 residents, holds the claim to fame for being the smallest municipality in Wisconsin to have a micro-brewery. Now it has two, with McZ’s Brew Pub recently opening at 178 N. Main Street, right across the street from the Kozy Yak, the aforementioned microbrewery to earn Rosholt its spot on the beer map.

The location had at one point was planned to be a new location for the Kozy Yak, whose owners owned the building McZ’s is located in. They instead decided to scale back Kozy Yak, which now is open one day a week.

Enter Kate Zdroik, who once ran the Rosholt Record newspaper and currently owns the Wisconsin Territories Farm Market, also in Rosholt. She bought the building and turned it into a brew pub and artist cooperative.

Rosholt is full of surprises—it also hosts a big annual bluegrass festival—and McZ’s is one of those. In addition to serving local craft beers, the business partnered with Stevens Point Brewery and its brewmasters to create specialty beers on site. McZ’s is the location where Point Brewery will develop new brews, in addition to McZ’s brewing its own beer. Those experimental beers will be on tap at McZ’s and created using the Kozy Yak’s old brewing system (the Kozy Yak downgraded to a smaller system.) McZ’s already has become a hotspot for local musicians with a regular open mic, other music performances, and serves paninis, pizzas and soup.

In addition to being a brewery, the other half of the building is The Nest, an art studio and gallery. Zdriok fashions it as part art studio and part maker space, with pottery and painting, woods and metals workspaces. The Nest is a work in progress, Zdroik says, but already hosted an Ignite Portage County event and regularly hosts a book club meeting. A kids art class kicked off in June. (B.C.K.)

New makers market launches in Wausau Aug. 3

Scores of Central Wisconsin artisans are selling their wares online on sites such as Etsy and at art festivals around the Midwest. Few of them have a hometown location to show off their stuff, and that’s what Wausau residents Alex Eichten and Alyson Leahy are tapping into with their launch of Wausau Makers Market Co. These seasonal events kick off Thursday, Aug. 3 in downtown Wausau.

Wausau Makers Market Co. emphasizes artful products made by local people. Think farmer’s market, but with a focus on crafted goods. “There’s so many talented local people who are making these things I’ve never heard of. They’re making this cool stuff and then shipping it out on Etsy across the country,” Eichten says. “So this is about introducing local people and getting consumers to buy local.”

Eichten and Leahy both think the makers market can accomplish a few goals: provide local artists with a venue to sell their products locally; and attract a younger demographic to market-type events. The duo last year ran a succulent bar—build-your-own and take-home plantings—at the Bull Falls Farmers Market on River Drive.

Their first makers market will be held in conjunction with Wausau River District’s First Thursdays event. Booths will line both sides of a closed-off Third Street, in front of Malarkey’s Pub. Future markets could be held this fall-winter, followed by another in spring. Based on advice from other successful similar markets, they’re making their markets special events rather than weekly affairs.

Wausau Maker’s Market already has 20 vendors, mainly from Central Wisconsin but also from across the state. Eichten expects they’ll max out at 35. It’s a curated event, meaning Eichten and Leahy choose which vendors will appear. “We opened applications last week—we’re now getting two to three applications a day,” says Eichten, who works as a graphic designer at City Pages.

Wausau Maker’s Market on Aug. 3 will be open 4-8 pm. See the Facebook page Wausau Makers Market Co. for details. (M.G.)

Corrected: This post has been updated to correct the spelling of Kate Zdroik’s name and that McZ’s will brew its own beer.