Sipping a beer at Full Mile Beer Co. & Kitchen, downtown Sun Prairie’s newest brewery and restaurant, roots down in a tradition more than thousands of years in the making.
But owners Nathan Kinderman and C.J. Hall are focused on making an impact one pint at a time on the history of beer making.
The childhood friends — Hall a home brewer and Kinderman, an experienced restaurant owner and bar manager — crystallized their vision in the spot at 132 Market St. with an eye on good brews.
“Homebrewing was cool, but it became an obsession so trying to make a job out of it was the idea, that was the big driver for me,” Hall said.
Not willing to fall down on the job, literally and figuratively, the two were smart enough to hire Skyler Kottwitz as the head brewer—who journeyed into the role with experience from New Glarus Brewing and Octopi Brewing.
On task to brew 600-800 barrels a year, the brewery has 8 to 10 beers on tap with American IPAs, ales, lagers, Belgian saisons and Bavarian hefeweizen. The house American IPA “Green Wire”, an homage to the prop that was used to keep the doors open during construction this winter— has grapefruit, mango and papaya notes. Buoyant Regards, a Belgian saison, lures in with pear, bubblegum and the spiciness of cloves.
Ask Kinderman what Full Mile beer excites him right now. “They all do,” he said.
“That’s true,” Hall agreed. “We brew what we like. I especially like the lagers—they are starting to make a comeback and it’s pretty unusual for a brewery of our size to have 5-6 lagers on tap.
“That is something that I am proud of,” Hall added, “the variety of our tap list, so there is something for everyone.”
The “Danger Closer” honors the older school European lager but with a twist of all-American malts and hops—and a taste of caramel. A Helles lager and dark lager, are other highlights on the tap list.
Both beer and food get equal billing, not only in name of the business but on the table.
“What’s on the tap list board complements the food and vice versa,” said Kinderman, the former owner of Madison-based restaurant Gates & Brovi and bar manager of Sardine.
Appetizers include cheese curds, fried smelt, wurst board—with Bavaria Sausage Weisswurst complimented with mustard, sauerkraut, house pickles, cheese sauce and farmer’s bread.
Burgers, fried perch and fried chicken highlight the sandwich menu. Signature dishes of mac and cheese, mussels, fish fry (Friday only), tacos and salmon. Seafood influences were brought over from Kinderman’s other restaurant experience.
The kitchen’s wood- fired oven offers up pizza pies—traditional Margherita, Wild Child-white sauce, mozzarella, spinach, fire-roasted tomatoes and leeks, and mushrooms. Just shy of a dozen pizza offerings, the Primo rounds out the menu with skirt steak, roasted garlic, mozzarella, arugula, caramelized onion and blue cheese.
Food is sourced locally with Sun Prairie’s Bean ’n Creams, along with Fischer Family Farms, Jones Dairy Farm, Hooks Cheese Co., and Bavaria Sausage Inc.
“It’s the right thing to do to buy local and honestly it shows in the quality of the food, it’s more flavorful,” Kinderman said.
New menu offerings are planned in the future, with a promise to more global taste buds.
“We have the food that expected—cheese curds and fish fries—but ultimately we want to push the envelope a little bit,” Kinderman said.
“People drink beer all over the world and it doesn’t have to be with cheese curds and pizza,” Kinderman added. “We want to continuously evolve the menu and throw in some things that are not so obvious and a little more adventure.”
With more than a decade living in Sun Prairie, Kinderman felt the city’s downtown was the right place for Full Mile—it’s in a small city but has big city aura—“it’s casual, urbane, lively and happening,” he said.
The restaurant/brewery features live music—with a variety of genres—and Kinderman said events and brewery tours are in the works. The duo purposely designed Full Mile with their own atheistic tastes — high ceilings, garage doors that open to let the sun and air in, colorful murals, and wooden tables that they hand-crafted themselves.
There were months of construction and logistic setbacks before the December 2018 opening but the lengthy lead-up brought them to just the right place.
“The beer, the booze, the food, the space—the overarching theme is a great experience and there are a lot of facets that go into that,” Hall said, “and I think we nailed that.”