Planning a schedule during Milwaukee Beer Week isn't easy, but here a few suggestions to get you started.
The 10th annual Milwaukee Beer Week runs from May 4-11. Each of the eight days during the “week” are filled with great beer events, too many to mention. I can’t highlight them all, but it’s a safe bet that these won’t disappoint.
Saturday, May 4
Where: Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.)
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you’re into hazy IPAs (and the statistics seem to say that most of you are) head to Rumpus Room to try a few of them. More than a dozen breweries will be represented and pouring their juiciest IPAs. It’s a great chance to compare hazier creations.
Sunday, May 5
Crafts & Drafts Beer Festival
Where: Serb Hall (5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.)
When: Noon to 5 p.m.
Not only is this the best pick for Sunday, but this fest, sponsored by Discount Liquor, is the highlight of the entire week. Crafts & Drafts, which benefits the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance, might be the best yearly chance to taste extremely rare beers in Milwaukee. Highlights this year include a variant of Central Waters Twenty One aged in rum barrels with cherries, an extremely limited amount of Toppling Goliath’s Mornin’ Delight Imperial Stout and The Alchemist Heady Topper IPA. That’s just a few of many limited brews. Several different ticket options are available.
Monday, May 6
Three Lions/Third Space Brewing Beer Dinner
Where: Three Lions Pub (4515 N. Oakland Ave.)
When: 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Third Space is bringing a few beers to Three Lions for a four-course beer dinner. Expect a rarity or two among the five beers you’ll be pairing. Cost is $50.
Tuesday, May 7
Where: Camino (434 S. 2nd St.)
When: 9 to 11 p.m.
For the fifth straight year, Morel hosts a visit by Central Waters. Five courses are paired with five beers from Central Waters for just $85. Expect some interesting options. Call 414-897-0747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation.
Head next door to Camino at 9 p.m. for the after party. They’ll be pouring a special brew or two including the only keg of Black Gold Imperial Stout that you’ll find in Milwaukee.
Wednesday, May 8
Central Waters Takeover
Where: Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.)
When: 3 to 11 p.m.
In case you miss the Central Waters dinner the night before, you have another chance at some of Amherst’s finest. Wednesday is a pretty good night for other events, but when Central Waters comes to Burnhearts, it’s a good idea to go. The two are the best of friends and Central Waters saves some of its rarest pours for the Bay View tavern.
Thursday, May 9
Best of Barrel Aging in Milwaukee
Where: Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.)
When: 6 to 9 p.m.
I’m a fan of this event because it focuses only on the local breweries. Taste what Third Space, Raised Grain, Gathering Place and 10 other Milwaukee-area brewers are doing with barrel aging. It’s a great gauge of just how good the local brewing scene is.
Friday, May 10
Where: Stubby’s Gastrogrub and Beer Bar (2060 N. Humboldt Blvd.)
When: 6 to 9 p.m.
The wing pairing at TomKens (8001 W. Greenfield Ave.) that night is tempting, but I’m a big fan of Abraxas Imperial Stout. Stubby’s will have three varieties available including Vanilla Bean Abraxas. They’re also making St. Louis style Abraxas ribs. Other Perennial brews will be available too.
Saturday, May 11
Mic Drop End of Beer Week
Where: The Brass Tap (7808 W. Layton Ave.)
When: 11 a.m.
The Brass Tap gives over 80 taps to dozens of U.S. breweries involved in Milwaukee Beer Week. Expect to see plenty of limited releases and other interesting taps. Cheers!