THE LAND + HISTORY
The land the brewery sits on was purchased in the 1980s by the Polesel family who immigrated from Italy. With nothing but a lone cabin and plenty of overgrowth and debris scattering the property, the family set out to clean up the land and began transforming it into what it is today.
Antonio Polesel brought with him his love for Italian wine as he planted grapes and began winemaking on the 40 acre plot. He also constructed a home for his family that sits just north of the brewery. In 2000, the family decided to bring their love of wine to the public and so Villa Antonio Winery was founded. With 10 acres of Norton, Chambourcin, Seyval Blanc, Cayuga, and Chardonel grapes outside our brewery doors, we know we are some pretty lucky brewers. On the land also sit persimmons, chestnuts, blackberries, cherries, spicebush, sassafras, Eastern red cedar, and other plants that we plan to use for brewing.
Fernanda "Nanda" Polesel brought with her a deep knowledge of Italian cooking. Her talents can still be tasted from our kitchen, affectionately deemed Nanda's Kitchen, in her wood-fired pizzas and other Italian favorites prepped from scratch. Our chef + brewers' garden beginning this year will also allow us to serve the freshest, seasonal ingredients possible.
While much has changed on the land since the 1980s, the brewery and winery still remains family owned and operated. The lone cabin mentioned earlier is still standing and after some renovations now serves as a suite for wedding parties for on-site events.
The brewery came into the picture in 2019 which, of course, was just in time for a global pandemic. On the other side of that, the brewery bounced back and underwent a re-launch in 2022. Since then, staying true to the ethos of Antonio's ambition to plant grapes for winemaking, we've planted a hopyard in hopes of making Midwestern fresh hop beers from hops grown just beyond the vineyard.
While the brewery only has a short history on this special piece of land, we couldn't be more excited to become more a part of it in the years to come.