Waunakee brewer’s expansion projected to bring 150 jobs

Octopi Brewing announces a major expansion that is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the...
Octopi Brewing announces a major expansion that is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the Waunakee region.(WMTV-TV/Kylie Jacobs)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 1:43 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Dane Co. brewer is pouring tens of millions of dollars into a dramatic expansion plan that is expected to bring scores of new jobs to the region.

On Wednesday, Octopi Brewing detailed the project, which will see the company more than double the size of its current facility on Uniek Road, in Waunakee, and add a whole new 200,000-sq.-foot building across the street. On top of that, Octopi will lease another warehouse located a few miles away.

“We’re growing almost 10 times in size, going from a 65,000-square-foot facility to over half a million square feet of space,” founder and president Isaac Showaki said. “Adding new equipment will give us even more product capabilities as the innovation beverage market keeps growing.”

Octopi Brewing announces a major expansion that is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the...
Octopi Brewing announces a major expansion that is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the Waunakee region.(WMTV-TV/Kylie Jacobs)

The project calls for Octopi to add 150 new workers over the next five years. Beyond that, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation predicts the expansion could indirectly lead to 200 additional jobs in the area. WEDC estimates the combined direct and indirect hires would add $806,446 to the state’s coffers, which nearly matches the maximum amount the agency authorized in state income tax credits.

“Octopi has grown into a tremendous success and is a significant creator of family-sustaining jobs in the Waunakee area,” WEDC CEO and secretary Missy Hughes said. “WEDC has supported Octopi from its early days and is proud to continue doing so with this latest expansion.”

In its statement, Octopi noted that this is the third time WEDC has approved assistance for its expansion efforts with the previous two instances, in 2017 and 2019, totaling over a half-million dollars in tax credits.

Octopi Brewing announces a major expansion that is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the...
Octopi Brewing announces a major expansion that is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the Waunakee region.(WMTV-TV/Kylie Jacobs)

Recounting how he had only six employees when he founded Octopi seven years ago, Showaki noted his brewery now employs more than 200 full-time workers. The company works with clients who are not able to buy or building their own equipment develop, design, and merchandise alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, the WEDC explained.

Showaki credits his recent expansion to Octopi’s ability to court “bigger and better clients who want more production volume,” adding, “anything that can go in a bottle, can or keg, we can do it.”