Hacienda North Avenue

5 New(ish) Milwaukee Breweries and Taprooms You Need to Check Out

The craft beer scene in Milwaukee continues to thrive, whether it’s the emergence of new breweries and taprooms, or the expansion of existing ones. Here are a few relatively new additions to check out.




Sahale Ale Works

Where: 1505 Wisconsin Ave., Grafton  |  Opened: July, 2019

What’s On Tap

An intriguing mix of styles like an extremely well made dunkel, the insanely smooth Let’s Get Nuts Peanut Butter Stout and a few outstanding IPAs (on the hazy side) that are worth the drive. Be sure to try It Rhymes with Koala, a delicious juicy double IPA made with Galaxy hops. The name also illustrates the proper pronunciation of Sahale (Sa-HAL-ah).

The Setting

The cozy taproom in downtown Grafton has a few barstools, and a smattering of booths and small tables ideal for conversation. Sahale relies on a digital jukebox for entertainment instead of myriad flat screens, which ups the intimate feel a notch.

Why You Should Go

Brewer Matt Hoffman is skilled at his craft and has a resume that includes stops at St. Francis Brewery, Lakefront, 3 Sheeps and Avery Brewing. His nimble three-barrel brewing system should allow him to experiment a fair amount, and that’s a good thing.Sahale Ale Works




Indeed Brewing Company

Where: 530 S. 2nd St.  |  Opened: September, 2019

What’s On Tap

The Minneapolis-based brewery makes some fine IPAs and there are plenty of them to choose from. But I sided with crisp. Hello Milwaukee, a collab with 1840 Brewing, is a refreshing lager that’s more than a little reminiscent of High Life.

The Setting

Don’t be fooled by the relatively nondescript entryway. Walk down the hall and you end up in a massive taproom. Indeed isn’t messing around. There’s plenty of room for beer drinkers here, and the space is located on a revitalized stretch of 2nd Street just a block away from the beer-focused bar, Camino.

Why You Should Go

Indeed is legit, and the fact that they decided to invest in a taproom and production facility in here is another reminder that the Milwaukee craft brewery scene is as robust as it ever has been. The Indeed taproom combines well-made beer with plenty of space for imbibing, and that’s a pretty good combo.

Photo courtesy of Indeed Brewing.




Dead Bird Brewing

Where: 1726 N. 5th St.  |  Opened: September, 2019

What’s On Tap

Some big brews with ABVs not for the timid and a handful of pale ales and Belgian styles. Get a short pour of Devil Monkey IIPA, a bold brew that doesn’t shy away from the bitterness that IPAs used to embrace before the juicy revolution.

The Setting

The large, open space on the edge of Brewers Hill has something that other taprooms do not—an arcade. More than a dozen sand-up video games and a pair of pinball tables line the edges of the taproom, but they’re not distracting. You can still spend quality time on a barstool at the small bar without worrying if your high score on Centipede still stands.

Why You Should Go

See above. It turns out that video games pair nicely with potent brews. And, I don’t personally know founders Nick Kocis and Jeremy Hach, so I can’t verify if the “gentlemen” part of their slogan “Outstanding Beer by Upstanding Gentlemen” is true. But it certainly is solid marketing.Dead Bird Brewing




Hacienda Beer Company

Where: 2018 North Ave.  |  Opened: June, 2019

What’s On Tap

A significant amount of dry hopped IPAs, which is a good thing because Hacienda makes really good dry hopped IPAs. But the dozen taps aren’t short on variety either and interesting saisons and well-made stouts aren’t out of the norm.

The Setting

Hacienda absolutely nailed it with interior design and the taproom is arguably the most visually appealing in Milwaukee. The transformation of the old BBC includes massive windows peering out on the lively corner of North Ave. and Farwell Ave. Lightly-colored wood stools tables and benches work extremely well with amble blue and green hues. A shiny turquoise and white tiled back bar tops it all off. The space is energetic and just feels cool—a much needed addition to North Ave.

Why You Should Go

The atmosphere is unlike any taproom in town and the beer is outstanding. But the food menu is worth the trip too. Scallop ceviche just doesn’t show up on many taproom food menus.Hacienda North Avenue




Enlightened Brewing Company

Where: 2020 S. Allis St.  |  Opened: May, 2019

What’s On Tap

The same standbys that were available at Enlightened’s much smaller taproom at the Lincoln Warehouse like The Imperative APA and the tasty Cream City Brix Cream Ale.

The Setting

Enlightened’s previous location was certainly cozy. It featured 1,700 square feet devoted to both a production area and the taproom. The new space is completely different. The airy taproom boasts high ceilings, skylights and 3,000 square feet of space devoted to a long bar, ample seating and a pool table.

Why You Should Go

It’s big for sure, but the space still manages to retain a friendly vibe. Plus, dogs are allowed inside so you can share a beer or two with your best friend.



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.