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State Champions
A crew of experts selects Wisconsin’s greatest brews.

Picking the best beers in Wisconsin isn’t easy. Taste preferences mean that some like the bitterness of IPAs, while others prefer rich stouts. And the state’s slew of solid craft choices makes it even tougher. We asked a crack crew of experts to help us pick some of the best beers that Wisconsin has to offer. Here’s what these barley barons chose as their favorites, presented in no particular order.


Omar Andrietsch, Mark Bergemann & Bill Browne: The bar crew at The Rumpus Room.
Tom “Grynder” Ciula: Certified beer judge, craft beer newsletter writer, craft beer guru.

Marie Greguska: Beer buyer and co-owner of Discount Liquor.    

Jason Heindel: President of the Beer Barons of Milwaukee.

Bruno Johnson: Proprietor of the Palm Tavern and Sugar Maple, which were named by Draft Magazine as two of the country's top 100 beer bars.

Mike Romans: Owner of Romans’ Pub, another top bar selection by Draft Magazine.
Kaleb Schwecke: Beer manager at Otto’s Beverage Center on Oakland Avenue.

T.J. Tucker: General manager and craft beer buyer at Ray’s Wine & Spirits.

Shawn Vollmer: Owner of Three Cellars.  




O’so Dank Imperial Red

Ale Asylum Bedlam! IPA

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

New Glarus Thumbprint IIPA

Hinterland Luna Coffee Stout

New Glarus Thumbprint Barley Wine

Lakefront Dan Made a Baltic Porter*

Capital Blonde Doppelbock

Sprecher Black Bavarian

Black Husky Pale Ale

Central Waters Peruvian Morning Imperial Stout **

Central Waters 1414 Imperial Stout*

Honorable Mention
Capital Autumnal Fire Doppelbock, Central Waters Illumination Double IPA, Furthermore Fatty Boombalatty Belgian Ale, Hinterland White Out Bourbon Barrel Strong Ale, Lake Louie Louie’s Reserve Scotch Ale, New Glarus Black Top IPA.

*Limited release. Either a one-time creation or just damned hard to find. **Some of the  2012 Peruvian Morning batch took on an unintended flavor, and Central Waters offered refunds. I tried one that was not affected and found it to be extremely tasty.

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