New unique businesses in Wausau tap into their artistic side

Forward Beverage Co. serves non-alcoholic drinks and Venado Ceverceria offers beer, wine and a tapas menu
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 4:50 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Some unique businesses have recently popped up in Wausau’s downtown. Forward Beverage Company, at 303 N. 3rd St., is set to open its doors on Friday, just in time for the city’s art festival, Artrageous Weekend, while Venado Cerveceria, located at 209 Grant St., began welcoming customers back in July.

So, what makes both of these businesses unique?

They have broken away from the types of business we normally see in Wausau and are trying to bring something fresh and new to the area. Making non-alcoholic drinks and selling them is something that Forward Beverage Co. wanted to focus on.

“We thought, there was no real Wausau-based brand of non-alcoholic drinks, and we can do it,” said Amy and Paul Yanzer, owners of Forward Brewing Co.

Their soft cocktails and social seltzers are made from real fruit juice, natural extracts, and have electrolytes. One example is their salted guava sour which includes unique ingredients like coriander and Himalayan salt.

“Wausau is a really nice community to be a part of, so being a presence in the downtown community is something that I’m looking forward to as well,” added Amy and Paul.

Also in the downtown area, but does sell alcohol, is Venado Cerveceria. When you walk in, it doesn’t exactly feel like you’re in Wausau.

“We traveled all over the place and we were exposed to wonderful hotels, different restaurants, different cultures,” Owners of Venado Cerveceria Antonio Casarrubias and Lesli Iverson said. All of that inspired them when creating their tap room.

They specialize in different types of wine and beer and they also serve a rotating tapas menu. As for Antonio’s guacamole, that’s always on the menu and it’s become pretty famous.

“It’s very fresh, very good,” he said.

Forward Beverage Co. will be participating in Artrageous this weekend in Wausau. They gave artists reusable cups so they can stop by and get a drink throughout the weekend.