Get your ice-cold beer right here. Mason Groben’s Madhouse Brewery, located in one of Maytag’s historic buildings, is now operational.
Housed in a 3,500 foot area leased from Iowa Telecom, the present owners of the building, Madhouse is basically a one-man operation.
“It’s pretty much just me,” Groben said. Groben will be brewmaster, bottler and marketing director for Madhouse, but will rely on a little help from a Jasper Winery distributor for getting the beer to the customer.
Groben, who started out in his parents’ Jasper Winery business, had to rely on the Iowa Legislature to pass legislation last year to allow a person employed by a class A native winery to also be involved in a brewery. Now, Groben is splitting his time between wine and beer-making, keeping him busy year-round.
Groben is currently concentrating on getting his first two beers on the market, a pale ale called Pastime, named after Maytag’s first washer, and American Wheat. Although the Iowa Legislature just passed another alcohol-related bill, allowing local breweries to produce beer with alcohol content up to 12 percent, Groben said he has no plans to make beer that potent. The Pastime has an alcohol content of 4.5 percent, and the American Wheat is 5.2 percent.
The brewery is turning out 30 kegs of each type of beer with each production, and half of that will remain in kegs and half will go into six-packs.
Madhouse Beer will be available at Hy-Vee’s Wines and Spirits store beginning Thursday, and Groben said he is working with many of the bars and restaurants in the Newton area to have it available either in bottles or on tap.
John Jennings can be contacted at 792-3121 ext. 425 or via e-mail at email@example.com.