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A much-anticipated micro-brewery in the Menomonee Valley, the beer of the week and much more.

Third Space Opening
I was excited to see how this summer’s brewery boom was going to play out. I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far, and a preview of Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) last Thursday night continued the trend. I’ve been expecting big things from brew master Kevin Wright, who has earned his brewing chops with an education at the Master Brewing Program at UC-Davis and a long stint at Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands, California.

“We are extremely excited to finally be open,” says Wright. “It was a long and eye-opening process going through our construction and build-out but watching people enjoy our beer and our space this weekend really made it all worth it.”

At the opening night, four Third Space brews were on tap. I really liked both the hoppy Upward Spiral IPA and the citrusy Happy Place Pale Ale. Acres Edge was fairly light and crisp for an oatmeal stout (in a good way), and That’s Gold! Kolsch was a nice take on the style.

I’m a firm believer that new breweries need to do more than one thing right to make an impression in the growing Milwaukee brewery scene. Good City Brewing (whose head brewer Andy Jones was in attendance at Third Space) does this extremely well with its combination of good beer, good food and a great atmosphere. Third Space doesn’t serve food but it earns props with the interior design. Several wooden tables, ample lighting and garage doors that oversee a large outdoor beer garden combine to make the large warehouse space extremely inviting.

Tap room hours: Thurs 4-9 p.m.; Fri 2-9 p.m.; Sat 12-9 p.m.; Sun 12-7 p.m.

Third Space has done things right, and when City Lights Brewing opens a few blocks away later this year, the Menomonee Valley should become a destination for beer lovers.

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“It’s really awesome to see what is going on in Milwaukee and to be part of it,” adds Wright. “It’s such a great city with a great brewing history, and this new boom of startups will add another great chapter to that legacy. Not many cities in the country can boast to having the beer culture that Milwaukee has. Combining our brewing heritage [Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz], the pioneering craft brewers [Lakefront, Sprecher, MKE Brewing] and now the new startups will make Milwaukee a brewing town like no other. We are humbled and excited to be a part of the brewing history of Milwaukee.”

 

Barley Pop of the Week
It’s pretty amazing how good New Glarus is at sours, wild ales and the like. I opened a bottle of R&D Champ du Blanc over the weekend, and loved the balanced flavor. New Glarus manages to brew sours that are just tart enough, and don’t get into painful puckering territory. Champ du Blanc, which is a mix of aged sour blond ale and Chardonnay grapes, has more than a hint of wine flavor. It’s simply an excellent beer.

 

Quick Taps
Beer guru Tom “Grynder” Ciula used Ervtoberfest last week as an opportunity to sample a few Oktoberfest brews. His favorite was Tyranena Gemuetlichkeit. Second and third place went to New Glarus Staghorn and Revolution Oktoberfest.

Draft Magazine editor Kate Bernot breaks down a few beer stats from the Brewers Association.

 

Events Brewing
Wednesday, Sept. 21: Good City is bringing its brews from the East Side to Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) at 5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 22: Surly Brewing is bringing some samples to The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) at 5 p.m. and pouring SurlyFest at a special price. There will also be an appearance by Pentagram, a limited dark sour ale.

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Thursday, Sept. 22: I’m all for good causes, and Honor Flights definitely qualify. At 7 p.m., North Hills Country Club (N73 W13430 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls) hosts the Ultimate Beer Tasting. It’s a chance to sample small-batch brews and food pairings with Dick Leinenkugel and talk to World War II and Korean War vets. All of the proceeds benefit Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, Inc. Get advance tickets for just $50 or buy at the door for $55.

Friday, Sept. 23: Brenner Brewing pours its beer at the Humboldt Park beer garden (3000 S. Howell Ave.) to wrap up the season.

Friday, Sept. 23: The massive Oktoberfest celebration continues at Bavarian Bierhaus (700 W. Lexington Blvd.) over the weekend. It starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday.

Saturday, Sept. 24: At 3 p.m., Camino (434 S. Second St.) is grilling three new house-made sausages – spicy Polish, Thai chicken and Wisconsin bratwurst. And the bar is featuring a few specialties from Deschutes. The beer menu includes a Nitro Black Butte Porter, Big Rig Pub Ale and Smoked Gose. The latter two are the only kegs in Milwaukee. Rare brews and homemade sausage make for a nice combo.

Saturday, Sept. 24: Pumpkin 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.

Sunday, Sept. 25: Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) hosts Almanac Beer Company and its head brewer Jesse Friedman from 4 to 6 p.m. Try five samples for just $15. After the sampling is over, Sugar Maple will be tapping a highly rated Dynamo Donut Barrel Noir Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.

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