Central Waters Brewing
Nationally recognized barrel-aging program and award-winning sustainability practices
This year, Anello Mollica and Paul Graham, owners of Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst, Wisconsin, are celebrating the brewery’s 20th anniversary. Perhaps one of the most underrated craft breweries in the country, Central Waters made its name with Bourbon barrel-aged beer and produces a solid line-up of award-winning ales, stouts, porters and lagers.
The brewery is constantly expanding and prides itself on being one of the most environmentally sustainable breweries in the nation. Mollica and Graham met as undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and began home brewing in their free time. It was a hobby that turned into a passion and ultimately a career.
Graham joined the Central Waters brewing team in 1998 and eventually bought out the original owners, Mike McElwain and Jerome Ebel, in 2001. Mollica joined shortly thereafter, and in 2006, the duo moved the brewery from Junction City to Amherst, where they created a solar-powered brewery with an emphasis on sustainability, managing energy and resource consumption.
Central Waters was the first brewery granted entrance into Wisconsin’s Green Tier program, which recognizes businesses that are sound environmental stewards, and it is the only brewery in the state’s Green Masters program.
Aside from its recognition as one of the ‘greenest’ breweries around, Central Waters also crafts some pretty remarkable beers. They are considered one of the first in the state to experiment with barrel aging (2001) and each year, they release a special limited-edition Bourbon barrel-aged beer at the highly anticipated anniversary party - a party that draws people from as far away as Texas and sells out of thousands of tickets within a minute of being on sale. You could say these beers are in high demand.
While Central Waters’ barrel-aging program is certainly a success, Mollica and Graham are just as dedicated to crafting their range of hoppy brews and do those just as well. They have garnered several awards for their extensive line-up and continue to build their presence in Central Wisconsin. We are please to have this fine brewery featured in our Craft Beer of the Month Club for our members to enjoy.