I missed Milwaukee Beer Week, but I had a good reason. I headed east to watch my brother Pat run in the Boston Marathon (it was his first marathon and he did indeed finish). I spent nearly a week in Boston, where Pat lives, and besides the amazing experience of the marathon, I also experienced some outstanding beer. Here are the highlights:
- Night Shift Brewing, just north of Downtown. I’ve had plenty of their brews before, but the taproom was well worth the visit. An inviting patio, expansive bar area and free video games make drinking the tasty Whirlpool Pale Ale even better.
- Marathon Monday was an amazing display of city pride and support for those brave souls who decide to run for 26.2 miles (better them than me). I jumped at the chance to try a Samuel Adams 26.2. The wheaty and light brew is decent but much more enticing because it is limited to tap lines near the running route.
- Armsby Abbey in Worcester, easily one of the top three beer bars I’ve been to. Four of the many taps pour Hill Farmstead brews, and the beer is made better by a rustic interior and laid-back vibe.
- Ample beers from Trillium Brewing. When I arrived my brother’s fridge was filled with bombers from one of the best brewers of IPAs in the world (I’m serious). Double Dry Hopped Fort Point, Scaled Way Up IIPA and Mettle IIPA were big, juicy and outstanding. I swung by their small brewery to pick up a couple of Fort Point’s to bring home—truly world-class IPAs.
The Goose Island Conundrum
Market Watch posted a great article about Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition of Goose Island in 2011 (maybe it’s just me but the $38.8 million seems paltry just five years later). The deal certainly made an impact. Goose Island is an interesting case in the craft beer community. No doubt, Bourbon County Stout and its variants are exceptional beers. But the craft beer geeks who are happy to wait in line in November to get their hands on a bottle of BCS, are often the same ones that slam breweries like Elysian and Breckenridge for “selling out” to A-B InBev. You can’t have it both ways.
My trip to Armsby Abbey gave me the chance to try a couple of beers from Hill Farmstead, the legendary world-class brewery in Greensboro, Vermont. Edward American Pale Ale is a great example of the craftsmanship going on at Hill Farmstead. The hazy pour is a perfectly balanced blend of fresh citrus and hop bitterness that was present but not overwhelming.
The revamped Bavarian Bierhaus (700 W. Lexington Blvd, Glendale) opens this week. The former Bavarian Inn includes a small brewery, beer hall, craft beer bar and restaurant, and two beer gardens. The massive space should be worth checking out.
Speaking of renovation, the expanded 3 Sheeps Brewing taproom in Sheboygan is up and running. Good luck to Grant Pauly and the crew at 3 Sheeps.
Wednesday, April 27: Save yourself a trip to Oconomowoc, Sweet Mullets Brewing is headed to Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) at 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 28: I’m a big fan of animal rescue organizations. You can help out Milwaukee Pets Alive by drinking New Holland beer at Palomino (2491 S. Superior St.). The bar will donate two dollars for every beer purchased. Cheers to a great cause and a great bar.
Thursday, April 28: Fulton Brewing pays a trip to The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) and is handing out samples from 5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 28: Café Hollander (2608 N. Downer Ave.) hosts the La Trappe Bier Dinner at 7 p.m. The five-course dinner, paired with five beers, costs $45. Make a reservation by calling 414-963-6366.
Friday, April 29: Head to Kohler for the Kohler Festival of Beer, which runs all weekend. This isn’t a beer fest with just one big tasting. Nope, events throughout each day—like beer and chocolate pairings, grilling tips and a craft beer trends presentation by beer dude Phil Kuhl—provide plenty of variety.
Friday, April 29: Sample Krombacher beers at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 3 to 6 p.m.
Friday, April 29: Sprecher Brewery (701 W. Glendale Ave.) is hosting a radler release party from 6 to 9 p.m. Prepare for summer drinking by trying the new orange, mango and peach radlers.
Saturday, April 30: Try beers from Krombacher and Brenner Brewing from noon to 3 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.).
Saturday, April 30: Lesser-known beer styles are the weekly sampling at both Three Cellars locations (7133 S. 76th St., Franklin and N72 W13400 Lund Lane, Menomonee Falls) from 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 30: Lakeside Supper Club and Lounge (37238 Valley Rd., Oconomowoc) hosts the Summer’s a Brewing Beach Party. At 11 a.m., Lakeside will start tapping 20 limited brews, including the release of Deschutes Hop Slice and Nitro Cream Ale.
Saturday, April 30: Ray’s Growler Gallery is tapping beers from “up and coming” breweries, Bent Kettle Brewing and CT Melms Brewing. Try out the little guys at 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 30: Lakefront celebrates the release of My Turn: Evan Mexican Dark Laker at Nomad World Pub (1401 E. Brady St.) at 6 p.m.