When his son was diagnosed with a rare disease he didn’t ask “why me”, instead he asked, “what can I do to open up the brewery experience to people with disabilities?”

Jonathan’s story starts back six years ago when his son was born with a rare disease that only affects 200 people in the world. He admits that, “before he was born, I didn’t really have accessibility or anything like that really, kind of, on my radar.” It wasn’t until after Mac was born that he started to think about ways to make the brewery more accessible for people with disabilities.

Kowalske Family Photo

Jonathan Kowalske




Jonathan Kowalske, a proud alumnus of The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was born and raised in Milwaukee. Together with his wife, he is devoted to improving the lives of those with rare diseases and disabilities.

Passions and Contributions:

Actively involved in breeding and socializing service dog puppies, Jonathan and his wife go beyond the basics. You might catch Jonathan in action, guiding service dogs through real-world experiences.

Family Life:

A loving father to three hockey-playing boys, Jonathan adds an extra layer of excitement and activity to his already busy life.

Brewing Journey:

In 2010, Jonathan began his home brewing journey, inspired by the rich flavors of his first IPA. This passion evolved into the creation of Component Brewing, a venture he embarked on with two of his cousins. Initially located on the second floor of the Lincoln Warehouse in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, Component Brewing took shape in 2018.

Entrepreneurial Success:

April 2022 marked a significant milestone for Component Brewing, expanding from a 1-barrel to a 7-barrel brewhouse. Now occupying the first floor of the Lincoln Warehouse.

American Sign Language (ASL) Brewery Tours

As Jonathan thought about ways in which he could make the brewery more accessible to people with disabilities the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) of which Jonathan is a proud Alumnus came to mind. Jonathan knew they had an ASL program and reached out to see if they would be willing to help him with an ASL Brewery Tour. “They seemed really excited and so we ended up doing our first tour as an ASL guided tour as well,” Jonathan explains.  The second tour went a little better as we all had an idea of what we were doing after the first tour, and we are looking forward to hosting more ASL tours in 2024.


Zebra Hop – Join The Herd!

Unlike many other diseases, Milan Syndrome affects only 200 people worldwide, leading to limited funding for research. Jonathan, determined to make a difference, reached out to fellow brewers globally to ask for their help in raising awareness and funds for Milan Syndrome.

Jonathan’s hope is that in the spirit of community, the craft brewing industry will unite to brew a special beer, the Zebra Hop (www.zebrahop.com). This collaborative effort uses cutting-edge brewing methods to symbolize advancements in medicine, aiming to find cures for all rare diseases. The craft brewing community has a history of supporting causes like Mental Health awareness, Black is Beautiful, and aiding in the aftermath of devastating events like the Maui fires.

Jonathan invites his peers in the Craft Beer Community to join the cause, supporting the 1 in 10 Americans, such as Mac, living with rare diseases or disabilities. You can make a difference by donating (making a donation here), spreading the word, and encouraging your local brewery to check out the website and bring Zebra Hop to your community.  JOIN THE HERD!

The Zebra Hop Logo

Promote the Brew’s Clothing Styles and Design Workshop for Fall/Winter 2018


July 18, 2018

at Lakefront Brewery from 8:30 to 11:30am

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