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Alumni-Owned Business Network Spotlight:

Fifth Ward Brewing Co.

1009 S. Main St., Oshkosh


Ian Wenger ‘14 and Zach Clark met while cooking at an Oshkosh pub in late 2010 and began homebrewing together in the spring of 2012. After catching the brewing bug after only a few batches, they began looking into what it would take to open a brewery and a business plan was drawn up shortly after. Once the plan was revised and polished with the help of the UW Oshkosh Small Business Development Center, the quest for a location and financing began. It was during this “blind date” phase the two were united with Mo, their third partner, and a small group of passionate individuals that shared the dream of opening a brewery. With the team assembled, they quickly got to work on procuring the building Fifth Ward now calls home. Financing came about a year later and the plan was set into motion. Building plans were drawn, equipment was ordered and installed, permits were granted and on Oct. 20, 2017, the first batch of Fifth Ward beer was produced.

Now deep into their sixth full year of operation, the business has expanded from serving the taproom and a handful of local bars and restaurants to now distributing across northern, eastern and central Wisconsin through two separate distribution outlets. Fifth Ward also employs 14 people. The brewery has produced over 100 different beers and has been awarded Oshkosh’s best beer bar and brewery honors several years in a row. Open year round, the taproom has 22 taps, locally made frozen pizzas, board games and cards, an outdoor beer garden and all the free popcorn anyone can eat.

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If you’d Like to be included in UWO’s Alumni-Owned Business Network, please complete the submission form.