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Growling Good
Ray's new Growler Gallery, Lakefront beer syrups and more.

                                                Photo from Ray's Growler Gallery

Ray’s Growler Gallery

I was fortunate enough to go to the preview of Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) last Monday. The unique brews on tap were an exciting hint of what’s to come. Hinterland IrRAYSistible Rye IPA was smooth but potent and created just for the Growler Gallery. Karben4 Tokyo Sauna Pale Ale, Solemn Oath Hexafoos Farmhouse Ale, and 3 Sheeps Bam-Ba-Lamb Black Honey Saison were other excellent choices (and I tried each).

So here’s how the place works. Customers get to choose from six different beers on tap – beers that you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. You can try three one-ounce samples to make sure you’re picking something you like and then have a growler (in four sizes, ranging from 32 ounces to a two-liter King) filled with the deliciousness. Bring home the brew and drink the contents of the growler. Rinse, repeat.

“The main goal is to make rare, elusive and normally ‘craft beer bar only’ beers available for folks to enjoy in the comfort of their home, tailgate, party (or wherever),” explained Orey Laev, vice president of Ray’s. “The Growler Gallery will hopefully serve as a platform to elevate and expand craft beer culture in Wisconsin by providing clients with the absolute best beer possible, while at the same time supporting local Wisconsin craft breweries.”

The new spot had its grand opening on Saturday, June 14. It will be open four days a week (Thursday through Sunday).

I’m all for Ray’s Growler Gallery, and I think you will be too.


Turning Lakefront Brews into Mixers

Apparently Stack’d Burger Bar (170 S. First St.) is turning Lakefront beer into (not so simple) syrups and using them in cocktails. The Brew City Old Fashioned combines Kinnickinnic whiskey with Bittercube bitters and Riverwest Stein syrup; the Hopped Fashioned uses Bulleit rye, Bittercube bitters and Lakefront IPA syrup; and the Wit Fashioned is a mix of W.L. Weller bourbon, orange bitters and Belgian White syrup. I haven’t tried these ingenious cocktails yet, but a fair amount of research may be necessary. Crazy alchemists.


Barley Pop of the Week

I picked up a bottle of Black Husky Howler at Ray’s last week, and I’m glad I did. The limited IIPA is an intriguing sipper. Hop bitterness is significantly muted by the addition of honey. The noticeable sweetness provides balance and a rich, slightly boozy finish. Black Husky never disappoints, and this flavorful beauty is no exception.


Quick Taps

This week’s specialty beer served during the Lakefront Brewery fish fry (Friday from 4 to 9:30 p.m.) is a Belgian White with Citra hops. Yep, you read it right.

New Glarus Scream IIPA is hitting store shelves. I’m hearing great things about the new brew and hope to try it, pronto.

Kudos to Sprecher Brewing for snagging eight medals at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition last week. Sprecher won gold medals with Special Amber, Stout, Mai Bock and Pipers Scotch Ale. Beyond Braggot snagged a silver medal, and IPA2, Generation Porter and Shakparo earned bronze medals.


Events Brewing

Tuesday, June 17: Vintage Brewery brings some rarities to Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.) for a beer dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Try brined pork tenderloin with barrel-aged Dedication Dubbel Ale and three other similarly delicious courses. Cost is just $40. Call 414-762-5010 to make a reservation.

Wednesday, June 18: Try IPAs at a Milwaukee Beer Society tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). Cost is $10.

Friday, June 20: New Holland brings samples to Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, June 20: Sample brews from Capital from 4 to 7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.).

Saturday, June 21: Capital is at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, June 21: Try a variety of pilsners at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 21: Dine on four Wisconsin grilled cheese sandwiches paired with local beers at Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) starting at 7 p.m. That’s really all you need to know. Tickets are $25.

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