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Wausau city council approves expansion plans for Bull Falls Brewery


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - Wausau city leaders have approved a pair of measures to help Bull Falls Brewery expand their operations in Wausau.

The city council unanimously approved measures that would rezone a number of residential properties on East Thomas Street as well as close parts of East Thomas and Saint Paul streets near McIndoe. They also approved a precise implementation plan for the new plant.

The properties are already a part of Tax Incremental District Number 9, and the expansion is part of a plan to expand brewery operations at Bull Falls. A plan issued to the city says the move could employ 5 part time and 5 full time staff.

Brewmaster Mike Zamzow says he's happy with the decision. "It's a start and we'll work from there." He says the business has been stuck in how far it can distribute their beer because they're full on all their orders.

The new facilities will allow for canning and bottling of beer. "Up until now, all our sales have been half barrels and sixth barrels." Zamzow says all that new production will have to be done mostly by hand, so any increase in work will mean an increase in the number of jobs for the area.

Mayor Jim Tipple says the city is very excited about the plans. "If you can give a little encouragement from the city side and have success on the other side, that's what public private partnerships are all about."

City council president Lisa Rasmussen is hoping for a success for the city like New Glarus Brewing was for New Glarus. "No one knew where New Glarus was until the brewery came along." She says that an established brewery like Bull Falls could help put Wausau on the map the way Wausau Insurance used to, but can no longer do.

The expansion is slated to cost around $1.5 million, and the city has agreed to loan Bull Falls $400,000 of that money.