Last week news broke about Anheuser-Busch InBev gobbling up another brewery. Golden Road Brewing, the largest brewery in Los Angeles, is being acquired by the big beer behemoth. I’ve been to Golden Road, and it’s one of my favorite brewpubs (I’m hoping not much will change at the cool industrial location). The Los Angeles Times commented on what the move means for Golden Road and LA’s vibrant craft beer scene.
Like it or not, it’s hard to argue with AB InBev’s strategy here. If you can’t brew beer with flavors that appeal to craft aficionados, the next best thing is to buy breweries that do. I’m guessing that acquisitions like Elysian, 10 Barrel and Golden Road are just a start for AB InBev, and that’s what scares me.
Keep the Weekend Open
Bay View is where you’re going to want to be on Saturday. The Vanguard (2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) and Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) are teaming up for FalloberFest, a two-bar pub crawl. Each bar plans to have an impressive list of fall brews on tap, sausages (because everyone loves sausages) and even live polka music from Vern & The Originals. The celebration starts at noon on Saturday, Oct. 3 and ends whenever you decide it does.
Great American Beer Festival Winners
Wisconsin breweries took home a lot of hardware at the Great American Beer Festival last week in Denver. O’so won a gold in the American-Style Wheat Beer with Yeast category with The Big O. Green Bay’s Titletown Brewing Company had a good visit to the Rocky Mountains. It was honored as the best large brewpub and also snagged a silver with both S.S.A. (Smoked Beer) and with Johnny Blood Red (Irish-Style Red). The other silver went to Algoma’s Ahnapee Brewery for Long Goodbye (Munich-Style Helles). Bronze medals were earned by New Glarus Golden Ale (Brett Beer), Lakefront Eastside Dark (German-Style Schwarzbier), Red Eye Brewing’s A Cart Ride to Mexico (Bock), and Vintage Scaredy Cat (Oatmeal Stout). Cheers to the medal winners.
Barley Pop of the Week
Surly Brewing is commemorating its ninth anniversary in a tasty way. Surly Nein Imperial Smoked Hefeweizen is a well-balanced brew that takes the banana and clove tastes of a hefeweizen up a notch. I’m not normally a fan of rauchbiers, but the wisp of smoke flavor offered by Nein, imparted by oak-smoked wheat malt, isn’t overpowering. And, Nein is aged on charred oak, which adds complexity to the potent brew. Give it a try at Café Bavaria on Monday (see below). I can’t wait to see what Surly has in store for its 10th anniversary.
Sprecher announced last week that its 30th anniversary beer, named XII Belgian Quad, is ready for consumption. The extremely limited brew is available to take home at the Sprecher Gift Shop (701 W. Glendale Ave.). I recommend getting a bottle or two.
Props to chefs Paul Zerkel and Lisa Kirkpatrick of Goodkind (2457 S. Wentworth Ave.). The two were part of the amazing Crooked Brews & Chef Dudes beer dinner last Saturday in Denver during the Great American Beer Festival. That’s great exposure for the locals.
Monday, Sept. 28: Surly is bringing a few brews to the taps at Café Bavaria (7700 Harwood Ave.). The highlight is the Nein Imperial Smoked Hefeweizen (see above). The brew celebrates Surly’s ninth anniversary and will start pouring at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29: Tickets for events at Ray’s (8930 W. North Ave.) usually sell out quickly. Take advantage of the few spaces left at Goose Island cheese and charcuterie pairings class. Learn the perfect pairings of cheese and meat with Goose Island brews (makes sense right?). The tasting starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs just $15.
Wednesday, Sept. 30: The Milwaukee Beer Society examines sour beers at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.) starting at 6 p.m. The cost is $15 and the $10 membership fee.
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Dogfish Head is brining plenty of samples to Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) has a treat for Belgian aficionados. Try Prearis Grand Cru aged in either Ardberg scotch or Jack Daniels barrels. Or get a pour of the Prearis Saison or aged Prearis Quad. The taps open up at 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2: Try 3 Sheeps brews paired with gourmet cheese at the Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) starting at 7 p.m. Cost is $18.
Friday, Oct. 2: Bourbon County fans need to head to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m. Goose Island will be handing out samples of Fulton Street Blend Coffee Ale and Oktoberfest, but they’ll also be raffling off a mixed year four-pack of Bourbon County Stout. That’s big.
Saturday, Oct. 3: Sample pumpkin beers during the weekly free tasting at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.