Third Space Brewing is one of the many new breweries set to open in the Milwaukee area this year. We chat with Brewmaster Kevin Wright about moving from the West Coast to Milwaukee. Plus: a new brewery on the East Side, events at Lakefront, and more.

I’m thrilled that a few breweries are scheduled to open in Milwaukee this summer and fall—including big names like MobCraft and Black Husky. Another one that I’m excited about is Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.), which is slated to open in the early summer.

Brewmaster Kevin Wright has an impressive pedigree. The Milwaukee native graduated from the University of California-Davis master brewing program and worked for years at Hangar 24 Brewing in Redlands, Calif.

“I’ve worked my whole professional career up to this point on the West Coast which is known for big, bold flavors and pushing the envelope of what a style is,” said Wright. “My background in brewing is very technical, and quality, above anything, has been drilled into my head since day one. I think all of those dynamics will be showcased in the beers we brew. Big flavors and expanded style borders but brewed with a great balance and a focus on drinkability and always of the highest quality. “

Expect good things from this new player in the Milwaukee brewing scene, and plan on it being a great summer for local beer lovers.

“There have been great craft brewers (in Milwaukee) for a long time,” added Wright. “However, we don’t have a large number of breweries for a city of our size and the beer culture we have. That is going to change in the next few years. There will be a fair number of new breweries opening, and we are really excited to be part of this next chapter in Milwaukee beer history.

Barley Pop of the Week

I think that we tend to downplay the word “craft” in craft beer. New Glarus clearly understands that brewing can be an art and the Thumbprint Series Oud Bruin illustrates this. The Flander’s style ale expertly balances malty sweetness and tart sour fruit, which ensures that the beer isn’t too cloying or painfully sour. The complex blend of tastes results in a pretty amazing beer—one definitely worthy of being called craft.

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Quick Taps

The brewery boom continues on the East Side. Good City Brewing today announced it will be opening on Farwell Ave. this summer.

Last week, beer guru Tom “Grynder” Ciula mentioned a beer festival in the works for this summer that would pit Wisconsin breweries against Illinois breweries. I think it’s a fantastic idea, and I’ll let you know when I hear more and details are ironed out.

New Glarus Spotted Cow earned a mention on Draft Magazine’s list of 10 Retro American Beers.

The beer hot tub made the rounds last week. If I’m ever in Austria, I doubt this will be near the top of my list of things to do.

Events Brewing

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Lakefront Brewery (1872 N. Commerce St.) hosts a cool event at 7 p.m. with John McGivern. An episode of “Around the Corner with John McGivern” that features the Brewers Hill neighborhood will air for free at the brewery.

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Lakefront takes over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.). Russ Klisch will be pouring treats like Hop Jockey IIPA and My Turn: Todd Quadrupel.

Wednesday, Feb. 24: The Milwaukee Beer Society heads to Pourman’s (1127 N. Water St.) for a charity bottle share. Bring a bomber of a tasty brew as well as items for a homeless shelter. Check out the list of items that the shelter needs.

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Thursday, Feb. 25: Try samples from Founders at The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) starting at 5 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 25: Taste four different beers from Door County Brewing paired with four outstanding cheeses at Uber Tap Room (1048 N. 3rd St.). The tasting starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are just $14.

Thursday, Feb. 25: Lakefront takes over the taps at Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) from 6 to 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 26: I know Sheboygan is a drive, but I thought the Johnny Cash-mere Hammer night deserved a mention. 8th Street Ale Haus (1132 N. 8th St., Sheboygan) hosts the 3 Sheeps event that commemorates Johnny Cash’s birthday and also includes plenty of Cashmere Hammer Nitro Stout. A limited Vanilla Rye Stout keg will be tapped in the morning and at 4 p.m. a cask of Cashmere Hammer with coffee will start flowing. The 3 Sheeps crew will be on hand to hear your accolades. And, oh yeah, tunes from The Man in Black will be playing all day.

Friday, Feb. 26: Sample beers from Bell’s at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 26: Ballast Point brings new brews like Pineapple Sculpin and Watermelon Dorado to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 27: Try Ballast Point beers at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 27: Bell’s heads to Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 27: Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th  St.) is hosting a great event on Saturday. From 1 to 5 p.m. you can drink Schell’s Bock and have it “poked”. The party takes place outside where a red-hot poker is used to caramelize the brew and create a unique flavor.

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