First Look: Hopskeller Brewing Co. in Waterloo

Three years ago, Matt Schweizer was a high school history teacher with a passion for homebrewing. Today, he’s the owner and brewer at Waterloo’s newest brewpub, Hopskeller Brewing Co., which opened at the end of September. As Sauce reported in July 2015, Schweizer had support from several Waterloo residents, including Mayor Tom Smith, who approached him about starting a brewery in the area.

Schweizer spent more than a year renovating the building at 116 E. Third St., which was constructed in 1853. He exposed much of its original design, including brick walls and floor joists. Rehabbed beams from an Illinois barn and a functioning wood-fired oven from 1854 were also brought into the space.

Schweizer’s tap list features a lineup of mostly English and American-style ales, including an American amber ale, a Northern English brown, a pale British mild ale and a dark British mild ale. A selection of wine from Illinois’ Hedman Vineyards and Starview Vineyards is also available, along with a small cocktail list featuring Illinois distilleries like Stumpy’s and North Shore. While they sip on house brews, hungry customers can step up to the kitchen counter and order a wood-fired pizza or a sausage piled high with toppings from sweet cherry peppers to pineapple.

Hopskeller is open Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Waterloo’s newest brewery: