Brewer Bios

Steve Lonsway – Brewmaster

An illustration of the Stone Arch brewmaster Steve Lonsway Steve started home brewing as a college student in 1990. At first he dabbled in lighter style beers and an occasional wine. That all changed in 1992 when he traveled to England for a study abroad program. Living in the outskirts of London, Steve frequented the many local pubs and fell head-over-heels in love with the beers as well as the English pub scene.   While sipping a pint of bitter at the Queens Head in Ealing, England, Steve began a business plan to open a home brewing store in Appleton. That dream became reality in April of 1993…Homebrew Market. For the first several years Steve ran the store meanwhile reading every beer book he could get his hands on (as well as brewing A LOT of beers!).   Now married to his long time sweetheart, Sara, it wasn’t long before Steve realized that brewing was his destiny and enrolled in The Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago in 1996. After he graduated, a friend notified him of a brewing opportunity in nearby Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In April, 1997 Steve took the Assistant Brewer position for Fox River Brewing Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin while their second location in Appleton was being constructed. When the Appleton location opened, Steve was promoted to Brew Master of the new facility. After a short while, the same position opened up in Oshkosh and he accepted an offer to become the Corporate Brew Master in charge of both brewery operations. Steve had a great run there winning several national beer awards and still finding time to add a daughter to his family. Steve vacated that position in 2002 to focus on growing another beer related business he started in 2001…Happy Tap. Happy Tap is a company that installs and services draft beer systems throughout North East Wisconsin. In 2004 his second daughter was born. Shortly thereafter, he and his father purchased Adler Brau Brewery and Restaurant. They continued to use that name until January, 2005 when they changed it to Stone Cellar Brewpub to better accent the atmosphere.   Since that fateful day in 2004, Steve has added to his family a dog and a bunny, won several more national beer awards, sold his Happy Tap business, established Stone Cellar Brewpub as a destination restaurant and expanded the brewery to triple the annual production and sold Homebrew Market to his brother Rob.   In Steve’s little free time, he very much enjoys camping with his family, traveling, biking, attending Chicago Bears football games as a season ticket holder, and sampling craft beers in his “Parlor”.   Steve has built his life around craft beer and his passion shows in the beers he creates.
 

Craig Welch – Head Brewer

Let’s say it’s December 11, 1977. Craig, nearly 6 years old, is sitting on his father’s lap in their favorite chair watching the Green Bay Packers QB, Lynn Dickey, lead their beloved Pack to yet another embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears. Holding on to his dad’s bottle of Blatz Beer, Craig took a taste…and it was all uphill from there. From his first sip of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in 1992 and his first taste of Celebration Ale in 1993 (which is still Craig’s favorite beer), Craft beer became his passion. As so many in the brewing industry, Craig began home brewing in 1999 brewing up ideas and continuing to learn more about the craft. He joined the Stone Cellar Brewpub staff as a part time pint slinger and beer aficionado on the lunch shift in September 2008. In spring of 2012, Craig became part of the Stone Arch Brew House team as a brewery assistant where making “good beer” became his drive. With that pursuit and his passion for the craft, Craig began to pick up some commercial brewing knowledge through books ,seminars and on the Job training. In June of 2013 He completed a two day microbiology for brewers coarse offered through UW Stevens Point and in August of 2015 Craig completed the Concise Course In Brewing Technologies through the World Brewing Academy and Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. He is now the Head Brewer at Stone Arch Brew House. Having fun and loving every minute of it!   On the rare occasion that Craig is allowed to leave his brewery cage, he is an outdoorsman who loves to Winter camp with a nice Russian Imperial Rye Stout to keep him warm, kayak with his friends and some All Day IPA’s in the summer, sip on a Sierra Nevada Nooner after a long days hunt with his brother in the Fall, indulge in a Badger State Green Chop IPA at La La La Lambeau field in December or just R-E-L-A-X on the couch with a Stone Arch Sessions Pale Ale, his wife and their dingo, anytime he can.
 

Erika

  Erika became intrigued with beer around 1988, at the Sailor’s Pub on Washington Island, after a day salmon fishing. A precocious nine year-old, Erika wondered what this “Labatt’s Blue” that everyone kept ordering pitchers of, tasted like so she snuck a sip. Well it was bubbly enough to stick in her mind until about age 18, when Guiness really got the ball rolling, and a trip to Belgium in 2007 caused an outright avalanche!   After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 2004, Erika lived a nomadic life, traveling, studying and chasing the wind until landing in Madison in the winter of 2013. She started bartending and managing at Next Door Brewing Company, eventually getting her foot in the door in their brewhouse washing kegs and helping out with cleaning. After two years she took a break from the brewing industry to learn about craft cocktails and spirits at the Avenue Club and the Bubble Up Bar. While mixing up colorful spirits she went back to brewing in earnest by enrolling in the Craft Beer and Brewing Certificate Program. After completion, she was hired as a brewer at Capital Brewing Company in Middleton, WI. But like the Starks of Westeros, Erika knew she belonged in the North, and joined the team at Stone Arch where she generates a lot of laundry for herself, and annoyingly insists on brewing Belgian styles.   When she is not brewing, her life is dictated by her Boston Terrier, Olive. Erika and Olive divide their time between Appleton, Washington Island, and the Wisconsin State Park System, and once and while Olive lets her do things like art or clean the house.
 

Tim Rhodes

  Around 2008 is when Tim found himself taking his first trip down to the subterranean brewpub that he had heard so much about. He liked beer before that first trip, but like wasn’t a strong enough word to describe the feelings he had after that first visit. He fell in love with the establishment. Not only a love for the beer, food, and unique atmosphere, but for the ideals that seems to envelop this micro community. This is a “cool person magnet” as he called it. “Cool people work here, and cool people patronize here.”  He went from serving, to supervising, to managing, and finally ended up where his heart always belonged, the brewery.