Combining axes with alcohol might sound like a recipe for disaster, but if you ask Jolene McMahon, co-owner of Tapped on the Lakeshore in Two Rivers, or any of the venue’s patrons, it’s really the makings of a good time.
Tapped on the Lakeshore, which opened last September, offers 24 craft beers on tap, plenty of interactive games and a golf simulator. Ax throwing, however, is its most popular activity.
McMahon says her fascination with ax throwing began during a vacation to Austin, Texas. “The only thing I wanted to do on that vacation was throw axes because it was something I had never done before. It ended up being the highlight of our trip,” she says.
When a friend of hers, Craig Pautz, mentioned running a brewery would be his ideal job, their wheels started turning. Not long after, Tapped on the Lakeshore was born.
“We’ve created an environment that’s very inviting and is just a place for people to gather and have fun,” says McMahon, adding customer response has been overwhelmingly positive.
While McMahon understands why the combination of beer and something potentially dangerous like ax throwing might raise some eyebrows, safety really hasn’t been an issue. The World Axe Throwing League was a big help in figuring out the insurance piece, and Tapped on the Lakeshore makes sure to have an ax coach designated to each of the lanes.
“Safety is our top priority,” McMahon says. “Even if you’ve thrown before, we provide that ax coach to keep things safe as well as keep track of scores.”
McMahon and Pautz are thrilled with the progress of Tapped on the Lakeshore and have other goals, including improving the ax throwing league so they can eventually send someone to compete on a national level.
But above all else, they look forward to running a business that makes them — and plenty of others — happy.
“People always seem to have a smile on their face here,” McMahon says.