The brewery prepares for its official August 3 opening, plus a revisit to Draft & Vessel and discovering Cedarburg's The Fermentorium.

Big Weekend for Black Husky
The much-anticipated opening of Black Husky Brewing (909 E. Locust Ave.) happens this Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. and starts with a visit by Mayor Tom Barrett and Alderman Nik Kovac.

Over the weekend, the brewery hosted a soft opening that I was honored to attend. Owners Tim and Toni Eichinger have done a great job with the 5,100-square-foot space in Riverwest. It’s airy and welcoming and features a sizable outdoor patio. An impressive (and massive) chainsaw carving done by Cheryl Campbell of the Eichinger’s beloved dog Howler oversees a tasting area filled with a smattering of comfortable lounge chairs. On Friday night, they poured staples including Pale Ale, Sproose Joose and a tasty 2014 Twelve-Dog Imperial Stout. Expect plenty of tap options when you head there.

I got a chance to talk to the Eichingers and they both seemed thrilled with the opening and excited for what’s in store after moving the brewery from Pembine, in the northern reaches of Wisconsin.

There was one important question posed by beer guru Tom “Grynder” Ciula: “Where is Tim going to get the spruce tips?” that he uses in massive amounts to give Sproose Joose its piney flavor. I’m sure he’ll find a way.


Revisiting Draft & Vessel
I spent time at Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) for the first time since the place expanded. Expansion doubled the size but didn’t ruin the welcoming vibe. Ample woodwork keeps the Shorewood place cozy, and the constantly changing beer list has a nice variety of styles and breweries. I’ve been to some of the best beer bars in the United States, but few if any are able to match the ambiance of Draft & Vessel. The place is truly a gem.

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Barley Pop of the Week
I discovered The Fermentorium last week. The Cedarburg brewery is making some tasty beer, and one example is Citra Summer. The Citra hopped wheat has a nice citrus flavor and a fairly crisp finish. It’s not overly bitter and pairs nicely with warm weather. I’m keeping my eye on this brewery, and it’s off to a great start.


Quick Taps
The Brewers Association released a mid-year report about the state of the craft brewing industry. Check out the great breakdown of the numbers by Jess Baker.

The weather for Saturday’s Milwaukee Brewfest was ideal. When the weather cooperates, and it seems to every year, the beer fest on the lakefront is one of the best in town.


Events Brewing
Tuesday, Aug. 2: MobCraft pours four of its brews at The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa) starting at 5 p.m. The lineup features Crimson Commander Imperial Red, Sour Support with Ginger and Raspberries, Laughing Clown Milk Stout and barrel-aged Mystique IPA.

Wednesday Aug. 3: One of my favorites, Bell’s Brewery, is taking over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery. The Oracle IIPA is on the list. Show up at 5 p.m. to get some.

Thursday, Aug. 4: Great Lakes pours samples at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 4: Camino (434 S. Second St.) hosts Hoppy Sour Hour at 5 p.m. Among the tasty pours is Une Annee Non Je Ne Regrette Rien, a session sour with lime that’s dry-hopped with Citra, and Alamanac Hoppy Sour El Dorado, a sour blonde ale aged in wine barrels with Brettanomyces and dry hopped with El Dorado.

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Friday, Aug. 5: Great Lakes comes to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 5: Lake Louie Brewing pours its brews at the Humboldt Park beer garden (3000 S. Howell Ave.).

Saturday, Aug. 6: Wisconsin beers are the subject of 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, Aug. 6: Beer tastings are part of Art on Tap at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (205 Veterans Ave., West Bend). This weekend 3 Sheeps, Brenner, The Fermentorium, Lakefront, Lithia, Milwaukee Brewing, Riverside and MillerCoors are pouring samples from 2 to 5 p.m.