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An Anniversary and a Creative Brew
Central Waters celebrates the big 15, and Sprecher releases alcoholic root beer.

Sprecher Hard Root Beer
I heard about this release through an email from Sprecher and a note from loyal reader Tim (I have at least six “loyal readers” at last count). It’s generating quite a buzz (pardon the pun) among beer types. I’ve got to hand it to Sprecher for coming out with a root beer with a 5 percent ABV. They do an amazing job with the standard root beer that it just makes sense. I picked up a four pack at Sprecher Brewery last week and cracked one open. Initially the flavor isn’t much different from non-alcoholic variety – which is the idea. It has an almost floral finish that includes a slight bite of alcohol. I’m pretty sure root beer fans will find this limited release to be a fine libation. Credit to Sprecher for getting creative. Try some for yourself at quite a few locations in the area. 

Happy 15th Anniversary Central Waters
Central Waters Brewing is one of Wisconsin’s gems, and its barrel-aged beers stand up to some of the best out there. The standout brewer celebrates its 15th anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 26, and I’m pretty sure it will be worth the trip to Amherst. Central Waters will have live music, plans to release the delicious Peruvian Morning stout and a special 15th anniversary release, and will tap some other surprises. If you sample too many, don’t worry about driving because the brewery is running shuttles to hotels in Stevens Point all night. The festivities run from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Germantown Beerfest
Beer tastings are slim in January, but one at BuBs Irish Pub (N116 W16218 Main St.) in Germantown breaks up the monotony. Beerfest takes place from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. Proceeds from the fairly sizable event benefit youth baseball and softball through the Germantown Diamond Club. More than 100 beers on the list include good stuff by Furthermore, Tyranena, Hopothesis, Unibroue, Great Lakes, Lakefront and more. But here’s the kicker: The list also includes some samples that reside in the “not so good” category. A “brown bag” selection of brews includes Mickey’s and Steel Reserve. And you can wash down a Chimay Grand Reserve with a Hamms or Old Style. Now that’s variety. Cost is $30, call 414-737-5866 for tickets.

Barley Pop of the Week
Bell’s Hopslam is back and showed up on shelves last week. Some things just don’t live up to ridiculous hype (eg: the Notre Dame/Alabama national title game, the Dreamliner, the McRib), but in my opinion Hopslam does. It’s a well-balanced brew that mixes a touch of honey and malt with grapefruit and citrus flavors and finishes with a hoppy bite. This year’s version seems slightly more bitter than last year’s, but that might just be because the bottles I had were extremely fresh. It’s simply one of my top three favorite beers. 

Quick Tap
I really wish I had to worry about what beer to drink during the NFC Championship, but unfortunately, I no longer care about the game.

Events Brewing

Friday, Jan. 25: O’so Brewing is bringing samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4-7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 25: Pair samples of four different Milwaukee Brewing Co. beers with four cheeses at the Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) at 7 p.m. Cost is just $10. Register here.

Friday, Jan. 25: The Dinner Club at Blue’s Egg (317 N. 76th St.) is hosting a beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited and the price is $65. Call 414-659-1900 for more info.

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