A Summer at Tess

Beer dinners at Tess sell out fast, so best plan ahead if you want a seat for what’s in store this summer at the East Side restaurant. Plus: beer events galore for the week ahead.

The beer dinners at Tess (2499 N. Bartlett Ave.) seem to sell out before I can mention them. The restaurant brings in good breweries and thinks their beer dinners through. In order to avoid future disappointment, plan ahead using this simple guide for summer beer dinners. And, be sure to make a reservation by calling 414-964-8377.

Tuesday, June 30 is the New Holland Hatter Days pig roast. This is a good one. For just $50 you can sample all seven Hatter beers and see how they taste with pork fresh off of the spit (or more accurately La Caja China roaster). Tickets went on sale in May, but are still available.

Wednesday, July 15 sees Central Waters and Nueske’s come to Tess. Details aren’t yet announced, but all you need to know is beer and smoked meat. Spots go on sale on June 16.

Wednesday, August 5 is a visit from Perennial Artisan Ales. Reserve your space for this beauty on July 1.

I’ll keep you posted when more info becomes available, but I reserve spots now if any of the above interests you (they certainly should).

Barley Pop of the Week

I spent last weekend in the Catskills and had plenty of time to sample some brews from the East Coast. There were a few standouts–I finally got a chance to try Maine Beer Company’s Lunch IPA and it was delicious–but one worth noting was the Whirlpool American Pale Ale by Night Shift Brewing, a small outfit just outside of Boston. I’ve been big on session beers lately, and Whirlpool is easily one of my favorites. It’s mildly hoppy but has an unexpected and refreshing hint of peach at the finish. The beer is big on citrus flavor and extremely drinkable.

Quick Taps

As a proud native Nebraskan, I’m glad to claim this guy as a fellow Husker.

I like the citrus bite of Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin so much that it has affected my ability to fully enjoy the standard Sculpin (which is an amazing beer). I just thought I’d share that.

Lakefront Brewing recently expanded its reach into Korea.

The summer issue of The Beer Connoisseur includes a long article about how Wisconsinites cook brats. I for one am a fan of the par boil.

Events Brewing

Monday, June 8: Welcome Surly Brewing to town at Goodkind (2457 S. Wentworth Ave.). Starting at 5 p.m., Fight or Flight features four Surly brews paired with four small bites for just $25.

Monday, June 8: Surly makes a stop at Milwaukee Ale House (233 N. Water St.) starting at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 10: Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) hasn’t released the entire tap list for the Central Waters takeover, but I’m guessing it will be outstanding. Peruvian Morning is going to be flowing, and that’s really all you need to know.

Wednesday, June 10: Stubby U delves into the topic of hops starting at 7 p.m. at Stubby’s (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.). For $20 you can learn, sample and hear from an expert from Lagunitas. Reserve a spot by emailing

Wednesday, June 10: Miller Time Pub & Grill (509 W. Wisconsin Ave.) teams with Lakefront Brewery for a five-course beer dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. All you have to know is that dessert is a maple whiskey glazed doughnut paired with East Side Dark. Cost is $45 and you can make a reservation by emailing or calling 414-271-7250. See the menu.

Wednesday, June 10: Homebrew night means you get to try homebrews by members of the Milwaukee Beer Society from 6 to 9 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). These guys know their beer, I’m guessing they can homebrew too.

Thursday, June 11: I’m guessing that with its access to great cheese, the Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich. At 7 p.m. the place is hosting a grilled cheese and beer pairing. For $20 you can try four grilled cheese varieties alongside local brews.

Thursday, June 11: Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) hosts a Surly Brewing takeover.

Friday, June 12: Try Lakefront’s Wisconsinite, Growing Power and New Grist Ginger from 4 to 7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.).

Saturday, June 13: Try beers from Guinness at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 6 p.m. Get engraved Guinness glassware with a purchase.

Saturday, June 13: Sour beers are the weekly sample at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday, June 13: Three Cellars provides the beer and wine at Tasting in the Gardens from 6 to 9 p.m. at Boerner Botanical Gardens (9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners). Cost is $35 in advance and $40 at the door.

Sunday, June 14: The awesome Locust Street Festival Beer Run starts at 11:30 a.m. The 1.8-mile run includes four beer stops and costs just $25 to participate. I recommend it.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 15 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for close to 25.