Brew City Visits The Fermentorium in Cedarburg

The suburban craft brewery has a fine tasting room featuring eight tap beers, plus other worthy distractions.

Featured Brewery of the Week
I’ll admit it, with the intense buzz around new breweries opening within Milwaukee’s city limits, I seriously neglected The Fermentorium (7481 Highway 60, Cedarburg). Bad move on my part. Owner Kris Volkman perfected his craft after 10 years of home-brewing and is creating some outstanding beer in the northern ‘burbs.

Good breweries benefit from the ability to do several styles well, and a flight at The Fermentorium made it clear that Volkman is more than capable. The outstanding Citra Summer is a dry hopped wheat that has the perfect balance of fruity Citra hops and bitterness. It’s one of my favorite new summer beers. Berliner weisse is a style that isn’t one of my favorites, but the Strawberry Tart manages to keep tartness in check with just the right amount of strawberry flavor. Another standout, the limited Pilot 0x0B Hazelnut Passage Porter combines rich coffee and hazelnut flavor without being overpowering.

The 2,500-square-foot space includes a long wooden bar and a number of wooden tables and chairs for plenty of tasting.

The Fermentorium is a nice addition to the brewing boom of 2016.

“Milwaukee has always been beer city,” said Volkman. “But the craft beer boom has come a little slow to us, allowing other states and cities to become craft beer destinations. The additions of all these great new breweries will once again place Milwaukee high on the list as a beer destination. When you look at some other cities, they have as many breweries as all of Wisconsin. Not only can Milwaukee support these new breweries, but there is room for more.”

Reason to go: Really good beer paired with friendly service makes the trip to Cedarburg worth it.

On tap: Up to 10 Fermentorium brews of a wide enough range of styles to satisfy most beer drinkers.

Extras: Classic tabletop Asteroids and Millipede that can be played for free. A massive replica of the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from the movie Ghostbusters 2 inexplicably hangs in the bathroom hallway.


Barley Pop of the Week
Summer brews have benefitted greatly from the rise of session beers and the rampant addition of fruit to IPAs and other styles. Boulevard Tropical Pale Ale fits the mold. Hints of grapefruit and passion fruit flavors mix well with the citrus notes of Citra and Mosaic hops– two of several hops used in the brewing process. A slight bitterness rounds out each sip. The 5.9% ABV is notable, but still a good choice when the weather is warm and a big beer isn’t appetizing.


Quick Tap posted more details about Milwaukee Brewing Company’s upcoming expansion. Good to see it mentioned on a website that focuses on national brewing news.

Draft Magazine featured a few beers created accidentally or under duress. New Glarus Serendipity made the list.


Events Brewing
Tuesday, Aug. 16: Champps Americana (1240 S. Moorland Rd.) pays tribute to Ballast Point’s 20th anniversary with a 20 for 20 night. At 4 p.m., Champps starts pouring 20 different Ballast Point beers from its taps. All the staples will be there as well as a few nice surprises.

Tuesday, Aug. 16: If you haven’t tried Lakefront’s Brandy Barrel-Aged Cherry Lager yet, head to Story Hill BKC (5100 W. Bluemound Rd.). A barrel of the potent stuff will be tapped at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 16: Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.) hosts a Tyranena beer dinner. The menu looks pretty good to me.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: Lagunitas takes over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) and is bringing some hard-to-find treats with it. Get there at 5 p.m. to start sipping.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: Like Minds takes over the tappers at The Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) and offers three brews from 6-10 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 18: Pair four cheeses with four Lakefront brews at Uber Tap Room (1048 N. Old World Third St.) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are just $14.

Friday, Aug. 19: New Belgium hands out samples and glassware from 5 to 7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.).

Friday, Aug. 19: Sample Sierra Nevada brews and snag some glassware from 4 to 7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.).

Friday, Aug. 19: Door County Brewing pours its beer at the Humboldt Park beer garden (3000 S. Howell Ave.).

Saturday, Aug. 20: New Belgium comes to Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 2 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 20: Discount Liquor Milwaukee hosts Sierra Nevada from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 20: Unique 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. 20: Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) invites man’s best friend (and owners) to Puppies & Pints with Potosi Brewery at 3 p.m. Dogs can enjoy dog treats made from Potosi spent grain, and humans can enjoy beer. It’s a fair trade.

Sunday, Aug. 21: The Fermentorium pairs Sweettrio chocolates with beer. The decadence starts at 2 p.m. and tickets are $30.

Sunday, Aug. 21: The Brass Tap hosts a charity golf outing at South Hills (3047 S. 27th St.) starting at 9 a.m. Tickets are $110.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.