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Draft Magazine’s Top 100 List: An Annual Rite of Passage
Three Milwaukee bars make the harder-than-ever-to-make list.

Sugar Maple photo by Chris Kessler

The job of picking America’s 100 Best Beer Bars isn’t a task I’m envious of. New, legit beer bars are popping up everywhere, so the standards for inclusion keep getting tougher and controversy is natural. (A solid introductory paragraph explains exactly how much Draft Mag has to scrutinize its selections.) The Milwaukee spots on this year’s list – Palm Tavern (2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) and Romans’ Pub (3475 N. Kinnickinnic Ave.) – are all definitely worthy. But it’s a shame that there isn’t room for places like Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) and Stubby’s Gastrogrub (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.) that also seem to put plenty of thought into their beer selections. I do understand that the list is limited to 100 – rarefied air that keeps getting harder to attain.


A Big Reason to Head to Amherst

Mark Saturday, Jan. 25 on your calendar. That’s when Central Waters Brewing (351 Allen St., Amherst) celebrates its 16th anniversary. It’s hard to argue with how the folks in Amherst run their business. The anniversary party is free, and if you want to purchase a few bottles of Sixteen (the delicious barrel-aged stout that marks the occasion) you can buy a ticket ahead of time. It’s fair, and it makes sense. The party starts at 3 p.m. and includes live music, taps of rarities and food. Cheers, Central Waters!


Barley Pop of the Week

Lagunitas Sucks (or Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute Ale if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) is a good reason to like winter. The limited release is an extremely well-balanced IIPA that mixes moderate bitterness with citrus flavor. If you’re hop head and see a six pack at your favorite beer store...pick some up.


Quick Taps

I mentioned Three Floyds Permanent Funeral last week. Stubby’s has a barrel of the delicious stuff waiting to be tapped in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out.

Good luck to beer aficionado Tom “Grynder” Ciula, who’s spending a few weeks fasting from beer. Grynder, you’re a better man than I.


Events Brewing

Wendesday, Jan. 15: Utah’s well-regarded Epic Brewing is hosting a tasting at Ray’s Wine & Spirits (8930 W. North Ave.) that starts at 6 p.m. and costs just $20. You’re gonna need a reservation for this one, and I’m gonna bet that it sells out.

Wednesday, Jan. 15: Epic is making the rounds. Try some brews at Stubby’s and meet the brewer. The fun starts at 8 p.m. 

Thursday, Jan. 16: Get to a barstool at Matty’s Bar & Grille (14460 W. College Ave.) well before 5 p.m. That’s when Matty’s taps a keg of the amazingly delicious Three Floyds Zombie Dust.

Thursday, Jan. 16: Epic Brewing heads to Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 5 to 8 p.m. to hand out samples and talk beer.

Friday, Jan. 17: Pair six delicious Black Husky Brewery beers with four cheeses at Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.). It’s a rare treat to drink the brews from Pembine. Cost is just $20 and the tasting starts at 7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 17: Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) is handing out samples from Krombacher from 4 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 18: Try Krombacher at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from noon to 3 p.m.

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