THIS STORY IS PART OF OUR 2022 BAR GUIDE. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THAT FEATURE.
3145 S. HOWELL AVE
Rob Brennan is used to waiting. Most of his beers take several months to ferment with their mix of bacteria and wild yeasts instead of the standard, more predictable brewers yeast. The taproom above his tiny basement brewery took nearly two years to finish.
The patience paid off in October when he finally welcomed the public inside the cozy, unaffected space that feels very much like a Bay View home.
Supermoon’s specialty is wild ales that are less about the brewing than the aging. Wooden barrels stacked against the basement walls offer what Brennan calls a “library of flavors” he curates into varying blends of acidity, funk, sweetness, bitterness, mouthfeel and other factors. These beers feel like they’re for special occasions, a treat to have on any old weekend night. Supermoon’s mixed-fermentation offerings will change frequently, but the simpler and more reliably available Saison Bay View is an outstanding everyday drinker, too.
1128 N. NINTH ST.
It wasn’t just a brewery that bought the gleaming 4-year-old Milwaukee Brewing Co. facility this September; it was a brewery incubator. Since Pilot Project Brewing opened in Chicago in 2019, it’s helped launch more than a dozen beer and hard kombucha companies, selected from nearly 500 applicants. In addition to brewing, it offers assistance with recipe development, branding and distribution as well as legal, regulatory and insurance matters.
Pilot Project Milwaukee, on the edge of the former Pabst complex, will be the growth engine where its clients’ great ideas go big – and a consumer-facing proving ground. The massive former MKE brewery features more than 70 tap lines, including a great rooftop bar that hadn’t been open to the public nearly enough. These various spaces will reopen in phases, with the first pours planned by the time you read this.
Expect a wide and boundary-pushing variety of brews from beverage creators who might not otherwise have taken the plunge into brewing.
8520 W. NORTH AVE.
It’s been early ups and downs for this Wauwatosa outpost of a Neenah brewery. The taproom ran out of beer on its October opening weekend and then had to close after discovering a state licensing gap. But around those gaffes, Lion’s Tail has packed ’em into its great space – particularly the covered and heated outdoor patio. The beer is a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary styles, all well done. The lower-level brewery is expected to be installed sometime in 2023.
7508 W. GREENFIELD AVE.
The beer at this smaller of downtown West Allis’ new breweries skews European in style – check out the standout Manneken Sip witbier and Crystal City (Mexican) Lager – and the taproom is friendly and comfortable, the kind of place where you’ll soon be chatting with your barmates. And that could be Perspective’s co-owners and brewers Ben and Dan Naus behind the bar, so say hello if you’re so inclined.