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Manufacturers, including Good City Brewing, lead the 50 fastest-growing companies in Milwaukee area

Friday, June 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Patrons sit at Good City Brewing's taproom across from Fiserv Forum on Friday. Good City is among the 12 manufacturers on the Future 50 list of fastest-growing companies. (Photo: Angela Peterson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
 
 

The rapid growth of Good City Brewing is easy to see. 

The brewery opened a downtown location across from Fiserv Forum that was jam-packed during the Milwaukee Bucks' playoff run this spring. On Milwaukee's northwest side, Good City bought a building in Century City Business Park for its corporate offices and warehouse operations. 

The additional capacity is putting the brewery on track to produce close to 6,000 barrels of beer this year, said co-founder David Dupee. Good City doubled the amount of beer it made from 2017 to 2018 — to about 4,000 barrels, Dupee said. 

Good City was one of 12 manufacturers to be recognized on this year's Future 50, compiled by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

"We’ve always made things here in Milwaukee," Dupee said.

"Breweries have been central to that over the years. It’s cool for us. We’re bridging the gap from proud manufacturing past to innovative future that Milwaukee is moving toward. We are putting our own different twist on it. The heart of it is our brewery."

Good City opened its original brewery at 2108 N. Farwell Ave. in 2016. 

The MMAC names 50 of the fastest-growing companies in the seven-county Milwaukee Region to its Future 50 list each year. See all 50 companies in the full list below. 

"The Milwaukee Region is a place where we never stopped designing and making things, and our continued strength in manufacturing is well-represented on this year’s Future 50 list,” Stephanie Hall, Council of Small Business Executives' executive director, said in a news release.

"Other traditional strengths, such as construction, remain well-represented. But our region’s economy isn’t defined solely by a few industries.”

Manufacturers led the 2019 Future 50, with the next largest industry — construction — being represented with 10 companies. Other industries represented on this year's listing include business/professional services (eight), information technology (six) and finance/insurance/real estate (five).

The 2018 Future 50 list had seven manufacturing companies. Construction companies led the listing in 2018 with 14 firms. 

Three of the 12 manufacturing companies on the 2019 list make goods related to the craft beverage industry: Good City, Central Standard Craft Distillery and Spike Brewing Equipment. 

Central Standard more than doubled its production from 2017 to 2018 to package around 50,000 bottles, said co-founder Pat McQuillan. By moving to a new production facility, the distillery has grown its capacity more than 30 times, McQuillan said. 

When Central Standard first started making booze and serving cocktails from its facility at 613 S. 2nd St., McQuillan said nearly all of its revenue came from the tasting room. Now, around 80% of the company's revenue comes from selling its products, he said. 

The distillery sells its products in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. Central Standard is launching Hard2O, a flavored vodka water, in July. McQuillan said the company will add up to five new employees by the end of the year. 


Central Standard Craft Distillery owners Pat McQuillan and Evan Hughes show off the new, larger still at their new facility in 2017. (Photo: Tom Daykin / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


The growth of other manufacturing companies on the list isn't as high profile. 

Tool-and-die maker Diversified Design and Manufacturing Inc. in Mukwonago grew revenue 26% last year, said Chief Marketing Officer Ron Pence. The company, which specializes in high-precision tooling, has 25 employees in its 10,000-square-foot property. With continued growth this year, Diversified Design and Manufacturing has plans to double its space, Pence said. 

Plastic injection molder Plasti-Coil LLC in Lake Geneva has purchased three new presses in the last two years to fuel its double-digit growth, said Chief Financial Officer and Director of Business Development Patrick Austin. Plasti-Coil is now looking to add another press, for a total of 39, Austin said. 

The company and its 50 employees have room to grow after adding 25,000 square feet to its facility, he said. 

The list is compiled by the MMAC and its Council of Small Business Executives by using independently verified financial data. To qualify for the award, a company needs to be headquartered within the seven-county region, independently owned, in business at least three years, and demonstrate strong growth in revenue and employment.

The Future 50 program started in 1988.

In all, the 50 companies pulled in revenue totaling more than $924 million, according to the MMAC. That surpassed the revenue generated by the 2017 companies by 28%, the MMAC said. The companies employ more than 3,000 people. The MMAC has around 1,800 business members. 

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