MEET ANDREW HOLZHAUER
Head of Operations, Funk Factory Geuzeria
About Andrew Holzhauer
Andrew moved to Madison in 2012, and worked at Old Sugar Distillery and Karben4 Brewing before becoming Head of Operations at Funk Factory. He's always been passionate about sour and oak-aged beers, so it's been a dream come true for him.
What three words would you use to describe your company?
Spontaneous. Innovative. Distinctive.
How would you describe Funk Factory – in more than 3 words?
Funk Factory Geuzeria is a blendery focusing on spontaneously fermented, lambic-style beers. Since 2011, it has grown from a single barrel in founder Levi Funk's basement to more than 250 barrels and nine foeders, as well as a taproom. Most beers are aged in oak for 18-30 months prior to blending, and many are refermented on locally produced fruit or honey prior to packaging.
What’s something that makes your business unique?
We don't add yeast to our beers, and instead rely on ambient wild yeast and bacteria to spontaneously ferment them.
How did you get involved in craft beverage making?
I quit my job at a local software company after four years and applied to local craft beverage producers. Fortunately, Old Sugar Distillery was looking for help at the time and agreed to hire me!
What’s one thing people may be surprised to learn about your job?
All of our barrel-aged beers use the same recipe, but we see large variations between batches based on the wild yeast and bacteria that were in the air on the evening we brewed the beer. My job involves a lot of blending to create cohesive, desirable flavors and if applicable, to complement certain fruit varieties.
What’s your favorite thing about making your beverages?
I love the flavors that come from spontaneous fermentations and how distinct they are from pure, lab-acquired yeast strains. It's a laborious and time-intensive process, but I don't think the flavors are recreatable without putting in the work.
What makes your products different from others?
We don't add yeast to our beers/the spontaneous fermentation.
What does a visitor have to try when they come to Funk Factory?
Cherry Meerts: oak-aged sour beer made with Montmorency cherries.
If you could only drink one of your products for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Four Winters: a blend of three different year's barrels that conditions in the bottle for an additional year.
Why should someone come to Madison for the craft beverage scene?
Wisconsin has a strong brewing history, but it's great to see breweries like us, Working Draft, and Untitled Art start to leverage that experience into making innovative styles as well.
Describe Madison in three words
Casual. Outdoorsy. Thriving.
What is your favorite thing to do in Madison?
Hike with my dogs at Prairie Moraine dog park.
If a visitor comes to your business and wants to keep exploring the neighborhood, where should they go next?
There's a Mexican restaurant down the road called Taqueria Guadalajara that serves amazing tacos.
Thirsty for more? Be sure to read more "Meet the Makers" profiles here.