20+ Milwaukee-Area Breweries Hosting Black Friday Beer Releases

Lakefront Brewery turned Black Friday into a local beer holiday in 2012, and now dozens of area breweries are planning special releases for the day.

Expect long lines to form outside of Lakefront in the wee hours of the morning before the doors open at 8 a.m. It has become a Black Friday ritual. This year, the throngs will be waiting in line for bourbon barrel-aged Black Friday Imperial Stout; rum barrel-aged Black Friday Christmas Cookie made with vanilla, cinnamon and honey; Black Friday Double Barrel, a barleywine aged in bourbon and rye barrels; and Black Friday 5, an imperial stout that has been in rye barrels since 2017.

After you secure your allotment at Lakefront, there are plenty of other releases to explore. And if you’re planning on being on the East Side or downtown, there’s a free shuttle bus running between Dead Bird, Eagle Park, Good City, Hacienda, Explorium, Pilot Project, Wizard Works, Indeed, Torzala, Broken Bat, Component, New Barons and 1840 Brewing.

Here’s a rundown of the day’s festivities. Good luck getting to as many of these as you can.

1. 1840 Brewing Company

342 E. WARD ST St.

The Beer: BA Hawaiian Drinking Chocolate aged in Heaven Hill barrels and conditioned on cacao nibs, toasted coconut, macadamia nuts and Ugandan vanilla beans; and Plumpy Black, an oat cream ale with blackberry, black currant, black cherry and lactose.

Details: 1840 is open from noon to 10 p.m. and Trouble Makers Cocina will be there from noon to 4 p.m. Presale starts at 9 a.m.

2. 3 Sheeps Brewing


The Beer: The Wolf X Weller aged in Silver Oak cabernet barrels that once held Weller Bourbon, and The Wolf  aged in bourbon barrels with maple wood staves and cocoa nibs.

Details: Cans of both are available at 11 a.m. when the doors open.



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3. Amorphic Beer


The Beer: Major Particles, a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.

Details: Try the beer out when Amorphic opens at 9 a.m.

4. Biloba Brewing

2970 N. Brookfield Rd.

The Beer: Night Out Bourbon Barrel Stout, barrel-aged Old John Barley Corn Barleywine, Strawberry Rhubarb Lambic, Cherry Lambic, Raspberry Lambic, and Impossible American Stronger Ale that has been bourbon barrel aged for three years.

Details: Biloba is open from 1 to 9 p.m. and all are available to go.

5. Central Waters Brewing

1037 W. JUNEAU AV.E 

The Beer: Windy Treat Burnt Marshmallow S’Mores Style Stout. It’s an imperial stout blended with bourbon barrel-aged stout and made with graham crackers, cacao nibs, toasted marshmallows and vanilla beans.

Details: Available in the Milwaukee tap room at 10 a.m.

6. Company Brewing


The Beer: Holiday Party Rum Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad and Holiday Party Rum Barrel-Aged Quad made with orange peel and chai.

Details: The Holiday Party begins at Company when the doors open at 10 a.m.

7. Component Brewing Company

2018 S. 1ST ST.

The Beer: Stampede Black Currant kettle sour, Swirl S’mores Imperial Stout, Ho Ho Hold My Beer Christmas Spiced Ale and Barrel-Aged Ho Ho Hold My Beer aged in Heaven Hill barrels.

Details: The release starts at noon. Rot’s Hots will be there providing sustenance.

8. Dead Bird Brewing

1726 N. 5TH ST.

The Beer: Dead Bird is tapping three barrel-aged brews–Boudicca Whiskey Barrel Dark Wheat, Scotch Barrel-Aged Imperial Red and a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Gingerbread Barleywine. They’re also pouring a Pilcrow Coffee Porter on nitro.

Details: The specialty beers start pouring when Dead Bird opens at noon.

9. Delafield Brewhaus


The Beer: Sleigh Wreck Ale, a blend of barrel-aged scotch ale, barleywine and imperial stout.

Details: Available on tap and in bottles when the doors open at 11 a.m.

10. Eagle Park Brewing


The Beer: DDH Bowie’s Space Suit Cashmere IPA, Double Barrel Fly By Night Imperial Stout conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans. But here’s the biggie—BBA Koko Kleiber is a collab with Horus Aged Ales, a small outfit in Oceanside, California that makes some amazing beer. Koko Kleiber is brewed with maple Csyrup, bourbon barrel-aged for two years and conditioned on toasted coconut.

Details: The beers are available at 11 a.m. at both Eagle Park locations. Available on tap and in cans.

11. Explorium Brewpub

5300 S. 76TH ST. AND 143 W. ST. PAUL AVE.

The Beer: Five variants of Milwaukee County Stout—aged in Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace, J. Henry & Sons, J. Henry and maple—are available at both Explorium locations. More variants are popping up at a few other locations. Four Roses is at Consumer Beverage (5313 S. 108th St.), Buffalo Trace and Rebel Wheat are available at Timer’s Beverage Center (3800 Northwestern Ave., Racine), Ezra Brooks and Yellowstone are at Total Wine (three locations), Aman’s Beer & Wine (two locations) will have Russel’s Reserve and The Bottle Shop (1239 12th Ave., Grafton) will have Limosin Rye.

Details: The Greendale location opens at 6 a.m. with a breakfast buffet, bloody mary bar, a fire pit and all sorts of barrel-aged stouts. The Third Ward location opens at 10:30 a.m. and the release starts at 11 a.m.

12. Faklandia Brewing


The Beer: The Mantaycore Imperial Stout made with cinnamon, hazelut and coconut.

Details: The beer is available in bottles and on tap when Faklandia opens at noon.

13. Foxtown Brewing


The Beer: Double-Barrel Rye Stout, an imperial stout aged in rye whiskey barrels.

Details: Available when Foxtown opens at 11:30 a.m. and also available at The Bottle Shop of Grafton.

14. Gathering Place Brewing


The Beer: Two variations of an imperial blonde milk stout influenced by classic ice cream cocktails. The Grasshopper is made with mint, vanilla and chocolate.  The Brandy Alexander is brewed with brandy-soaked oak chips and cacao nibs.

Details: Only 100 bottles of each are available. Preorder for pickup at either Gathering Place location.

15. Good City Brewing

2108 N. FARWELL AVE., 333 W. JUNEAU AVE., 11200 W. BURLEIGH ST., 6300 W. MEQUON RD.

The Beer: It’s Black RyeDay. Beers on the list are Indigo Almost Midnight Rye Milk Stout, Indigo Better Off Rye DIPA and Tenacity Rye Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.

Details: The beers are available on tap and to go at every Good City taproom.

16. Hacienda Beer Co.

 2018 E. NORTH AVE.

The Beer: The Velvet Bulldozer family of imperial stouts—conditioned on cacao nibs, vanilla beans and espresso—includes Velvet Bulldozer, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Velvet Bulldozer and a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Velvet Bulldozer with coconut and vanilla (that one is for club members only). Hacienda is also releasing Entitled to Mingle a dry-hopped barrel-fermented saison.

Details: Presale has started. The beers will be available for pick up and on tap at noon.

17. Indeed Brewing Company

530 S. 2ND ST.

The Beer: Milwaukee Honey Barleywine Ale and Otto’s Salted Pecan Cream Ale.

Details: The barleywine will be on tap in and available in bottles as will a limited amount four-packs of the cream ale. The rest will be available at all seven Otto’s Wine & Spirits locations. The Indeed taproom opens at 11 a.m. and preorder has started.

18. Lion’s Tail Brewing

8520 W. NORTH AVE. 

The Beer: Two barrel-aged beers include Bourbon Trail 001 stout aged in Willet barrels for 12 months, and Bourbon Trail 002 aged in Buffalo Trace for 12 months. Lion’s Tail is also pouring Peanut Butter Porter and Imperial Cherry Pie sour.

Details: Try them all when the taproom opens at noon.

19. New Barons Brewing Co-op

2018 S. 1ST ST.

The Beer: Q is a rum barrel-aged quad made with Paraguayan molasses.

Details: Preorder bottles now and pick them up after 9 a.m. while enjoying fire pits, live music and James Bond movies.

20. Ope! Brewing Co.


The Beer: Full Send is a massive 17% ABV barrel-aged barleywine.

Details: Bottles will be available starting at 9 a.m.

21. Plymouth Brewing Company


The Beer: The Bishop Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout is the featured beer, but the taproom will also be pouring seven other stouts and porters.

Details: The Bishop is available in bottles and and on tap when the brewery opens at 2 p.m.

22. Raised Grain Brewing Company


The Beer: Raised Grain’s standard Santa’s Sack Christmas Ale made with nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and ginger, is back. It’s joined by Forgotten 1620 Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and Doc’s Brand Old-Fashioned, a barrel-aged imperial red ale.

Details: All three are on tap at 11:30 a.m. and available to go.

23. Sahale Ale Works


The Beer: Edge of the Edge is a barrel-aged imperial fruited sour ale. 

Details: Edge of the Edge snagged a silver medal at FoBAB in 2022, the second FoBAB medal for Sahale. Try it for yourself at 3 p.m. when Sahale opens.

24. Third Space Brewing

1505 W. ST. PAUL AVE.

The Beer: Two more variants of the Deconstructed Dessert: Mudslide series. The Chocolate and The Vanilla Ice Cream are both barrel-aged imperial stouts. Also, a very limited two-year bourbon barrel-aged stout called Cellar Stash is available.

Details: Third Space opens at noon. Presale is available for all three beers.

25. Torzala Brewing Company

2018 S. 1ST ST. 

The Beer: Cream City Calling, a cream ale made with Door County cherries, cranberries, oranges and honey.

Details: The taproom opens at noon.

26. Urban Harvest Brewing

1024 S. 5TH ST. 

The Beer: Deux Stappen, a Belgian strong ale, will be on tap. Cans of 2020 Whiskey Porter, 2020 Two Naught Naught Chocolate Bourbon Espresso Amber, 2020 The Brown Mumbler Ale, 2020 Big Ring Bourbon Red, 2020 WhiScotchsin Scotch Ale and 2020 Imperial Chocolate Whiskey Stout.

Details: Doors open at 11 a.m. and the Deux Stappen is tapped at noon. Preorder for the 2020 special release cans starts at 9 a.m. with pick up beginning at 11 a.m.

27. Westallion Brewing Company

1825 S. 72ND ST. 

The Beer: Schwarzer Freitag, a Bavarian style weizenbock.

Details: Available in bottles and on draft when Westallion opens at noon.

28. Wizard Works Brewing


The Beer: Kentucky Rabbit, a barrel-aged porter.

Details: Wizard Works opens at 2 p.m. for those looking for a taste.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.