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Beer Tourism and Firkin Fest
Travel for your brews or stick close to home.

                                                     Photo via Shutterstock



Beer Tourism: The Saga Continues

Over the Fourth of July weekend I took a trip to the Michigan side of Lake Michigan to spend some quality time at the beach and to visit Greenbush Brewery. The spot, in the middle of the tiny town of Sawyer, was packed on a Sunday afternoon, and it wasn’t hard to understand why. Greenbush brews pour from 14 taps in the rustic taproom, and I made sure to try samples of most of them (with some help, of course). Brother Benjamin, a potent and juicy IIPA, was the highlight, but I wasn’t disappointed by any samples. Broken Promises American Pale Ale, Mulehead Farmhouse Ale, Doomslayer Maple Brown Ale, and Sunspot Hefeweizen were other standouts. Greenbush won me over both because of the beer and the quaint small town locale. It’s worth the three-hour drive (if Chicago traffic cooperates) and should be included with the likes of Bell’s and Founders when considering a Michigan brewery vacation.

 

Firkin Fest

One weekend a year, craft beer fans in Milwaukee get a chance to try dozens of cask-conditioned brews. Firkin Fest returns to Cathedral Square Park on Saturday, July 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. If you don’t care for the non-carbonated but flavorful taste of cask-conditioned beer, there are plenty of standard-issue craft brews available as well from dozens of breweries. Tickets are $46. Click here for more.

 

Barley Pop of the Week

New Belgium Brewing is a longtime friend. Odell Brewing makes one of my favorite IPAs. So it’s not surprising that a collaboration between the two Fort Collins brewers, aptly titled FOCOllaboration, is outstanding. The American Pale Ale has a great amber color, a nice amount of malt and a moderately bitter finish made better by the fruity hint of Citra hops. The beauty of this tasty brew is that it’s only around six bucks for a bomber.

 

Quick Taps

This week’s specialty beer served during the Lakefront Brewery fish fry (Friday, 4-9:30 p.m.) is the gluten-free New Grist with rose petals.

Sprecher Brewing took home five medals at the 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championships. Sprecher Irish Stout took gold in the Classic Irish Dry Stout category, and Shakparo was named the best beer in the gluten-free competition.

I tweeted about it last week, but be sure to read Kathy Flanigan’s excellent look inside Black Husky Brewing, a state treasure. 

 

Events Brewing

Tuesday, July 15: Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd., Oak Creek) hosts its first Beer School at 6 p.m. IPAs are the topic of discussion, and tuition costs just $10. Oh yeah, light appetizers are included.

Thursday, July 17: Potosi Brewing takes over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) from 5 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 17: Try Lakefront My Turn Pilo Imperial Pilsner and Andy’s Pub Ale at Honeypie (2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) starting at 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 17: Deschutes Brewery is fairly new to town. Try Deschutes brews at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.


Friday, July 18: Head to Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) to try brews from Hacker-Pschorr (3 to 7 p.m.) and Deschutes (4 to 7 p.m.).

Friday, July 18: New Belgium brings samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha from 4 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 19: Shock Top (aka: Anheuser-Busch) brings a few samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha from 1 to 3 p.m. and Hacker-Pschorr shows up from 3 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 19: Shock Top (1 to 3 p.m.), Delafield Brewhaus (1 to 3 p.m.) and Sprecher (2 to 4 p.m.) are all at Discount Liquor Milwaukee. Sprecher is bringing the new, and intriguing, Hard Ginger Beer.

Saturday, July 19: Colorado beers are being tried at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.





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