Milwaukee was on the cutting edge of the craft beer movement, really. Lakefront and Sprecher provided a pair of options back in the late 1980s, but eventually, Milwaukee fell behind as places like Portland, Boston and San Diego upped the craft beer ante.
But now, it’s safe to say that Milwaukee is on the crest of a serious craft beer resurgence. Breweries have been popping up over the past couple of years and this summer offers and astounding number of openings.
A comprehensive article by Donald Edwards on the Brew Studs website does a great job of providing information on 10 breweries either expanding or opening this summer. (Note: Edwards doesn’t mention Like Minds but told me he’s working on adding it to this list.)
I’m excited for all of these breweries to open, but there are four that I’m particularly intrigued about.
Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.): I talked to brewmaster Kevin Wright a couple of months ago. He has a great brewing background and I expect big things when Third Space opens in late summer.
Like Minds Brewing (823 E. Hamilton): With talented chef Justin Aprahamian in the mix, you know that the food here will be amazing. Don’t expect the beers here to adhere strictly to styles—having a James Beard award-winning chef on board allows for creativity. Honestly, in a craft beer world filled with IPAs, finding a flavor niche isn’t a bad business model. Expect Like Minds to open in late June.
Black Husky Brewing (909 E. Locust St.): Just think how much more time brewer Tim Eichinger will have to make great beers when he no longer has to make the seven-hour round trip from Pembine, Wis., to deliver his brews. Black Husky already makes great beer, and in mid-to-late summer (according to Tim’s wife Toni) we’ll all have access to even more of it.
I’m rooting for every new brewery that comes to Milwaukee, but boy, is it going to take a long time to visit them all. Good luck, brewers.
Short’s Brewing is beginning distribution in Wisconsin. The Michigan staple has a big following, largely due to its big and bitter Huma Lupa Licious IPA. Short’s Hopstache is no slouch either. The IPA is brewed with grapefruit zest. It’s a grapefruit IPA for those who prefer the bitter bite of grapefruit to fruitier versions. The beer matches bold flavor with a reasonable 5.7 percent ABV.
Be sure to get your tickets for Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America when it comes to Veterans Park (1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.) on Saturday, June 11. It’s a great event that brings dozens of breweries to town. Let’s support it so they come back. Tickets are $70 for early entry or $50 for standard entry.
Another ticket you need to get is for the World of Beer Festival on June 4 at Schwabenhof (N56 W14750 Silver Spring Dr.). Some great brews pour at this fest, which is made for true beer aficionados.
Café Hollander added to its empire this weekend with the opening of its Mequon location (5900 Mequon Rd.). Another great spot to sample great beers.
Sprecher announced it was adding Hard Cherry Cola, Hard Cola and Hard Orange Cream to its portfolio. That news just makes sense. Get them early at the Sprecher Brewery Gift Shop (701 W. Glendale Ave.).
Wednesday, May 25: Rye beers are the focus at the weekly meeting of the Milwaukee Beer Society at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.) from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $10.
Wednesday, May 25: Kenosha’s Public Craft Brewing is paying a visit to Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) and bringing some rarities with them. Get there at 5 p.m. to start trying some.
Friday, May 27: Can’t wait until State Fair to sip on craft beer at The Micro? Well, the spot is open over Memorial Day weekend (without the crowds and the cream puffs). The Micro, on the Wisconsin State Fair grounds, will be serving more than 50 craft beers on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s no cost to get, but parking costs $6.
Friday, May 27: Sprecher Brewing takes over the taps at the Humboldt Park beer garden (3000 S. Howell Ave.).
Friday, May 27: Sample brews from Veteran Beer Company at Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.) starting at 5:30 p.m. The group gives part of its revenue back to veterans and employs vets throughout the supply chain process. Support this worthy cause—all you have to do is drink beer.
Saturday, May 28: Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) recognizes the holiday weekend by tapping some special brews from Lakefront.
Saturday, May 28: East Coast 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.