The Lowlands Group empire keeps getting bigger. Cafe Bavaria (7700 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa) is the latest addition to a list that includes two Cafe Hollanders, Cafe Centraal, Cafe Benelux, Trocadero Gastrobar and Redstar Cocktail Club.
There are plenty of reasons for the steady crawl across the greater Milwaukee area, but the fact that the spots all have an invitingly cool atmosphere, and that they pay attention to their beer lists are two that stand out to me. Both are evident at Cafe Bavaria. Wood abounds in the airy space, and high-end picnic tables are a nice German touch in a first-floor dining area.
And if German beer is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the impressive list devoted almost entirely to brews from Deutschland. Sixteen taps include pilsners, weiss beers, bocks, dunkels and lagers from the likes of Paulaner, Schneider, and Fruh. The bottle list is no different and features an intriguing selection of three Aect Schelenkerla Rauchbiers.
A trip to Germany is as easy as driving to Wauwatosa. Prost.
North Coast’s Two-Night Run at Tess
The next beer dinner at Tess is so big that the restaurant stretched it over two days. California’s North Coast Brewing is bringing a 25th Anniversary Ale and a 2011 Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin Imperial Stout to the dinners (reason enough to attend). The five-course dinner costs just $50 and festivities start at 6:30 p.m. on both nights. Make a reservation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 414-964-8377.
Barley Pop of the Week
Despite the fact that Central Waters Peruvian Morning has been recalled because it can develop “off” flavors, I had to try a bottle before it turned. I’m glad I did. The bourbon flavor is evident but not overpowering and the Imperial Stout has a complex mix of coffee and chocolate flavors that make it one of my favorite barrel-aged stouts. My Peruvian Morning tasted just fine, I only wish I had more.
Advance tickets for Discount Liquor’s Crafts & Drafts Spring Beer Fest on April 27 are on sale now. Last year’s even earned rave reviews so it might be a good idea to buy tickets now.
Bell’s Oberon Ale is back, which usually signifies that winter is over. This year, I’m not so sure if the cold will ever go away.
Friday, March 28: Alaskan Brewing hands out samples at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m. Show up just to try the delicious Hopothermia.
Friday, March 28: Sprecher brings some gems to try at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 29: Try the “most popular beers” at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 29: Horny Goat Hideaway (2011 S. First St.) hosts an early beer fest with Tap it in the Sand from 3 to 6 p.m. Spend a Saturday with more than 75 craft beers from several breweries and tasty cheeses. Tickets (link: http://hornygoathideaway.ticketleap.com/3rd-annual-tap-it-in-the-sand-general-admission/details) are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.
Sunday, March 30: Head to Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) for a Brewery Session with North Coast Brewing from 4 to 6 p.m. For just $15 you can sample at least five 6-ounce beers.