*This is the eighty-third post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
5 on tap, 12 recipes.
2) How long operational?
2013 in Paddock Lake, 2016 in Racine.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Migrant worker nearby, settled down with homebrewing.
Kegs only for now.
5) What sets you apart?
Heavy mouthfeel, balanced flavor.
6) How did you get your name?
In honor of Ben Franklin, his bifocals, and his quote, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Jim Kennedy has literally traveled the world; from his home in Idaho, through tours in Afghanistan, to working as a traveling nuclear plant worker in the Midwest. He started homebrewing once back from overseas, and opened up The Benjamin Beer Company in small Paddock Lake while working a rotation at a nearby nuclear plant.
After quickly outgrowing their first home, Jim started searching for a nearby town to expand in.
“Racine opened their doors for us and invited us in.”
With three-times the space as the first location, TBBC’s Racine building still features plenty of additional room for more patrons, more beer, and even a possible food vendor.
Jim claims to focus more on making what tastes good to him and his customers, rather than catering to the increasingly nitpicky and sometimes pretentious craft beer industry movers and shakers.
Calling back to his home of Idaho, Jim brews in what he described as the “Northwest United States brewing style.” The heavy mouthfeel but balanced flavor he’s aiming for was evident in the four we tried that night.
Belle City Blonde
Juicy, bubbly, a hint of honey and maybe jasmine?
Zombie Candy IPA
A tightrope walk between hops and malt, straddled well. Leaves you with a full mouthfeel.
Stout front, smooth hop finish.
Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Very drinkable; a stout baseline.
The beer’s balanced and low-key flavors mimicked Jim himself. As we got a small tour of the brewing space in back, it was clear that The Benjamin Beer Company is a labor of love, with the intention that people can come and find a little happiness in a comforting glass of beer.