Biz Buzz: Winery bringing back Dubuque beer; woman launches massage business; accounting firm moving to former eatery

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Dyersville, Iowa, as well as Cuba City, Wis.

Local winery owners are bringing back a historic Dubuque brewery operation.

Dubuque Star Beer soon will be served in the taproom at Stone Cliff Winery, located in the historic Dubuque Star Brewery building at 600 Star Brewery Drive.

“We have people come in from out of town, and they say they want to try Dubuque Star Beer,” said Bob Smith, co-owner of Stone Cliff Winery. “Now, we’ll be able to say, ‘All right.’”

Smith stressed that Stone Cliff Winery will remain unchanged — only now it will be co-located with the Dubuque Star Brewery operation. The brewing business will be co-owned by Smith; his wife, Nan; and Jodi Bryson.

Dubuque Star Brewery was the oldest brewery in the state, having been founded by the Rhomberg family in 1898, according to the City of Dubuque.

The brewery had several owners throughout the decades. The historic building was acquired by the City of Dubuque in the early 2000s, and information on the brewery’s history is featured prominently in the building.

Stone Cliff Winery has operated out of a portion of the building for more than a decade, Bob Smith said — years after brewery operations had ceased on the property.

“After the pandemic, I started looking for ways to better protect our business in the community,” he said. “Then, one day, in the middle of the night, I thought, ‘I wonder if (the Dubuque Star Beer name) is still there.’ And I saw on the Secretary of State’s website that it was available. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.”

Smith said winery staff have worked for the last five months to prepare to sell Dubuque Star Beer in July. He said six to eight beers will be offered to start, including a lager, IPA, ale and a pilsner.

The beer will be brewed in Potosi, Wis., for the time being until a beer-brewing system is installed alongside winery operations. Smith said that process could take another year or two.

“But we won’t bottle it, and we won’t sell it to other operations,” Smith said. “It’ll be sold just here in our taproom.”

Stone Cliff Winery can be reached at 563-583-6100.

Southwest Wisconsin native enjoying success with massage therapy business

After starting her own massage therapy business, a southwestern Wisconsin native has enjoyed success in helping others.

Rachel Mueller is operating her business, Revive with Rachel, in Cuba City, Wis., at J. VanNatta Salon & Spa, 108 S. Main St. Mueller offers a range of relaxation and therapeutic massage services.

“Personally, I didn’t think at 24 years old I would be able to (open my own business),” said Mueller, a native of Hazel Green. “It’s been kind of a whirlwind, but I’ve had so many supporters.”

Mueller said she went to school for massage therapy at Zeal Salon Spa & Academy, 11938 Sherrill Road, and she continues to work there on Mondays.

However, when the opportunity came about to rent a space at the Cuba City J. VanNatta spa location, Mueller jumped at the chance to start her own business. She has been working in Cuba City for the past six months.

Mueller said she most enjoys being able to help heal people and make them feel better, and the community has been supportive of her work.

“In a five- to 10-year plan, I’d love to have my own building around the area, maybe hire out a therapist or two and get my own little thing going,” she said.

Revive with Rachel operates by appointment only, typically Tuesday through Friday. The business can be reached at 608-732-2940 or by emailing

Dyersville accounting firm making move to former eatery

A Dyersville accounting firm will move into the former Pizza Hut in the city.

BAC Certified Public Accountants, currently located at 117 Third St. SE, will open at its new location at 1845 Eighth St. SE later this year. Owner Ryan Brinkman said the property was acquired in May, and the goal is to move by Nov. 1.

“Our tagline is, ‘We’ve got your BAC,’” Brinkman said. “We’ve got our clients’ backs, and that’s something that we pride ourselves on. To keep an innovative edge and keep us accelerating forward, this was an important opportunity for us. We’re really excited that we grabbed that property.”

Dyersville’s Pizza Hut location opened in the 1980s. It was one of four local Pizza Hut locations that abruptly closed in September 2020 amidst the bankruptcy of NPC International, one of the chain’s largest franchisees.

While BAC staff have loved the current location, Brinkman said, the new building is more than twice its size. He said crews will spend the next several months renovating the former eatery’s interior into an open-concept workspace.

“We have the opportunity to have a formal conference room again and invite people into the space better,” he said. “It feels better for the staff, overall improving workflow and the livelihood of the team.”

Brinkman added that BAC is looking to add another certified public accountant to its workforce, which currently boasts six full-time employees. Brinkman said he anticipates hiring two more people by the end of the year, as well as an additional two or three people next year.

He also said he envisions building additional space on BAC’s new property in the years to come.

“This is phase one,” he said of the move. “As we continue to grow into the space, phase two would be putting in an additional building in the main parking lot.”

BAC’s office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The firm can be reached at 833-222-2721 and found online at