A look-see of a new Fifth Street craft beer operation, another new brewery under construction, our quick taps, plus plenty of events for thirsty readers.
Featured Brewery of the Week
On my first visit to Urban Harvest Brewing (1024 S. Fifth St.), the road in front of the place was torn up and undergoing some major construction – not necessarily an easy thing for a new brewery to deal with.
I don’t think early construction woes will ultimately matter for Urban Harvest because owner Steve Pribek is brewing some pretty good beers and the space is very inviting.
The old storefront that houses Urban Harvest oozes character. It has ample Cream City brick and massive windows that overlook Fifth Street and keep the interior bright.
Despite a relatively small two-barrel system, Pribek manages to have plenty of varieties on tap. There’s really a style for everyone flowing at Urban Harvest. And he plans to expand his selection of lagers in the near future. You have to appreciate a brewer who is dedicated to crafting a good lager, which can be a difficult style to brew.
The addition of Urban Harvest and MobCraft (505 S. Fifth St.) to a street that already had Brenner Brewery (706 S. Fifth St.) has created a brewery corridor in just a few months.
“Being known as a beer city for so long, it’s great to see Milwaukee starting to catch up with other cities,” says Pribek. “I think it’s just the beginning of something that is going to grow and evolve over the next few years.”
Reason to go: The neighborhood is quaint, and it’s the southernmost point on a three-brewery crawl that also includes Brenner and MobCraft.
On tap: Plenty of choices. Urban Harvest has a whopping 14 beers on tap. Not bad for a place that doesn’t have a huge brewing capacity.
Extras: Free, fresh popcorn. Enough said.
In more new brewery news, City Light Brewing is still under construction. See just how far along they are with these amazing photos from Kristine Hinrichs who is chronicling the process. It might be taking a while for City Lights to renovate, but these photos give you a pretty good idea of just how awesome the space will be when the brewery opens. I’ve been finding that the new breweries in town aren’t just concerned with the beer. They’ve also paid special attention to design, which is essential to the experience. Kudos to City Lights, and I can’t wait to see the building when it’s finished.
A Stylish Craft Beer Book
Matthew Janzen has put together a 256-page book, State of Craft Beer, documenting the craft beer industry in Wisconsin and the entire brewing process from farming to fermentation.
Janzen’s love of craft started years ago but culminated with him driving roughly 30,000 miles and visiting nearly 100 breweries.
“I was in the basement of Landmark Lanes when a friend bought me something called a pale ale,” he explains. “The smell of the hops, paired with the cigarette smoke-infused bowling alley, was such a surreal moment that I went home (after drinking a few more) and started researching craft beer. Five years later, I was still craving information about it, so I knew I needed to quit my job and get a first-hand account.”
Janzen needs help printing the stylish book in Wisconsin so he’s created a Kickstarter page. Check it out, because the book looks like a good one.
Barley Pop of the Week
The selection of great brews available to beer drinkers continues to grow exponentially. It’s important not to forget the beers that helped the craft beer industry get to this point. While having a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale last week, I realized that I take this amazing beer for granted. It’s not a rarity. People don’t line up to get their hands on some. Nope, the delicious piney hop bitterness of Two Hearted, backed up by a perfect amount of malt, is always available. We should be happy that a beer of this caliber is so easy to get.
I have to mention a couple of gems from beer guru Tom “Grynder” Ciula’s weekly newsletter about his trip to the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison.
On being there: “The fact that I am sitting here and typing away is an appreciated fact. At my age, surviving another Great Taste weekend is reason for prayers of gratitude.”
And general praise: “I love this festival so much. I don’t care what a doctor ever tells me, I can’t see ever missing this unless I am unable to get a ticket. Great location, fantastic volunteers, and planned to perfection. Madison Homebrew Club, give yourself a big pat on the back.”
Grynder’s weekly musings never disappoint.
An interesting little read from Paste Magazine where top brewers pick their favorite IPAs.
Wednesday, Aug. 24: The Milwaukee Beer Society always has great ideas for its weekly meeting. This week’s theme is “new to market breweries.” Discuss the merits of great breweries like Revolution and Stone, which have recently appeared on Milwaukee shelves and tap lines. The tasting starts at 6 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.) and costs just $10.
Wednesday, Aug. 24: Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) unveils its latest proprietary brew courtesy of Hinterland Brewery at 5 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Dublin’s (110 Wisconsin St., West Bend) may be a decent drive from Milwaukee, but I had to mention this cool event. At 6 p.m., the bar will be offering five courses paired with both a beer from Lakefront and wine from Cosentino Winery. Diners choose a winner between wine and beer for each course. What a great idea. Cost is $55 and limited reservations can be made by calling 262-338-1195.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Pair four gourmet cheeses with four 3 Sheeps brews at Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are just $14.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Ten-Ninety Brewing is headed to The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) and pairing beers with a few cheeses. The tasting runs from 5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Left Hand is bringing samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Café Centraal (2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) hosts Bierklasse with Surly Brewing at 7 p.m. Learn about beer and try some of the best IPAs in the Midwest. Tickets are $30.
Friday, Aug. 26: Introduce yourself to Revolution Brewing with a small tap takeover at The Brass Tap (7808 W. Layton Ave.) starting at 5 p.m. Citra Hero, one of my favorites, will be on tap as will a few other standards and a rarity or two.
Friday, Aug. 26: I’ve been raving about The Fermentorium for the last week or so. Try some of their brews at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m. Left Hand will also be handing out samples then.
Friday, Aug. 26: Try tastes of Guinness varieties at Discount Liquor Waukesha from 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 28: Oktoberfest comes early to Kegel’s Inn (5901 W. National Ave.). The beer tent opens at noon on both days. For just $5 you can enjoy live music and the festivities. For $20 you get a commemorative stein and some free beer. Prost!
Saturday, Aug. 27: Guinness comes to Discount Liquor Milwaukee from 1 to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27: Try beers from The Fermentorium from noon to 3 p.m. and 3rd Sign from 4 to 6 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha.
Saturday, Aug. 27: Ballast Point takes over a few of the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery at 6 p.m. Barmy Apricot Ale, Navigator Dopplebock, Orange Vanilla Fathom and to-be-determined rarity will all be available.
Saturday, Aug. 27: Beers from the northern U.S. 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.