If buildings could talk, they’d have stories to tell. One-hundred years ago, the building that now houses Mosinee Brewing Company in central Wisconsin was a bustling grocery store in the paper mill town of Mosinee. As time marched on, new tenants
converted it into a discount store and then for many years it sat empty, slated to be condemned.
But, just like the original owner of the building one-hundred years earlier, Jacquelyn Forbes Kearns had a vision for what this building could be – a craft brewery, taproom, outdoor beer garden and event space – and how it could help revive
her local community.
“We received a phone call from a possible client who wondered if we could come save her building as its roof had just caved in,” said Ryan Wanta of Wanta & Son Inc., a top commercial and industrial construction and contracting business
in central Wisconsin. “From that point on, we worked together with a shared vision to restore the original brick structure and replace the cobbled-on additions with a sleek, modern metal building as a way of marrying the old and new.”
While the idea came easy, the execution of the idea had many challenges.
“Fitting a new metal structure with an old brick building proved to be quite the challenge, particularly when there were conflicting ideas of what ‘square’ meant,” said Wanta. “We could tell the original builders had built
it as best they could to fit the lot, but that meant some of the walls weren’t exactly straight. It was also obvious this structure had been remodeled and added onto over the years and some jobs were done better than others. After we were able
to peel back the layers, we were able to make it come together.”
Wanta said even after measuring, measuring and more measuring, he still made sure to allow for some wiggle room when joining the structures.
“We were dealing with a load-bearing wall that wasn’t exactly straight or level so we had to make sure to leave enough room to fill in any gaps without making it look like a patch job,” said Wanta. “Plus, having the extra room
allowed us to add some additional insulation to make sure we wouldn’t lose any energy at the connection point.”
When it came time for product selection, Wanta & Son partnered with Star Building Systems, part of the Cornerstone Building Brands family, the largest
manufacturer of exterior building products in North America, to deliver the best metal building solution.
For the roof system, Wanta used Star’s Double-Lok® panels, which provide a high degree of weathertightness, in Galvalume Plus®. They also used a full-width, interior-style gutter placed inside the low eave of the single slope roof structure.
Wanta explained that this interior gutter solution allowed them to forgo an exterior gutter and downspout, which, in colder climates like Wisconsin’s, often gets compromised with snow and ice.
“The interior gutter allows the heat from the building to keep it thawed and provides a nice, clean, modern appearance around the building,” Wanta said. “In addition to the aesthetic appeal, it also allowed us to pass the savings to
our customer by not having to install more flat roof EPDM rubber membranes.”
For the wall system, Wanta & Son chose PBR panels in Galvalume Plus®, which feature deep ribs for an even-shadowed appearance, and MBCI MasterLine 16® concealed fastener metal wall panels in Charcoal Gray.
“We used the PBR as a ‘drainage plane’ behind the MBCI MasterLine 16 with the outermost ridges of the PBR panel acting as a ‘strapping’ to attach the exterior panel,” Wanta said. “The steel wall panels allowed
us greater expanses for windows.”
Dan Smith, who has been affiliated with Star Building Systems for about 35 years, currently as a district manager and an Authorized Star Builder before that, supported the Mosinee Brewing Company project working behind the scenes with Wanta & Sons,
“The Mosinee Brewing Company project is a perfect example of the Star Building Systems approach, which is empowering builders to advance their business,” said Smith. “My goal is to train them to understand our products so they can effectively
sell the project to their customers. My job is to make our Authorized Star Builders like Wanta & Son the expert, not me.”
In addition to education, Star Building Systems also provides its builders access to a comprehensive portfolio of tools, training, and technology – all backed by a full range of the highest-quality building products.
This partnership approach, combined with the vision and determination of the building owner, transformed Mosinee Brewing Company into a major attraction for Mosinee-area residents and central Wisconsin visitors alike, ensuring this building will have
stories to tell for years to come.
“The Mosinee Brewing Company started a wave of revitalization in downtown Mosinee,” said Jay Ritger, operations manager for Mosinee Brewing Company. “The Governor of Wisconsin even stopped by to extend his appreciation for restoring
this building and opening a gathering place that would put downtown Mosinee back on the map.”
With a new hotel opening next year, Ritger said downtown Mosinee is becoming a hotspot people want to visit versus a place people drive through on their way to a bigger city.
“Even though we’re in a small town, when you step inside the brewery you get that large-town feel,” Ritger said. “People who moved away are now proud to come back and bring their friends to the brewery and downtown Mosinee, which
is what we set out to achieve – being a place where people could gather with old friends and make new ones.”
The project included the following team members: Builder - Wanta & Son, Inc., Hatley, WI; Architect - Ryan Wanta, Hatley, WI; and Building Manufacturer - Star Building Systems, Oklahoma City, OK.