Broken Bat Brewery founder Tim Pauly told me on Saturday that he and his partner Dan McElwee worked hard to make sure they were ready for a full-scale opening last Friday. Judging by the large and lively crowd in the Third Ward space at 231 E. Buffalo Street over the weekend, it was a good idea that they did. Appropriately, a fair number of patrons were wearing gear for the visiting Cubs or hometown Brewers at the baseball-themed spot.
“In March, 2012 both Dan and I weren’t thrilled with our work situations at the time,” Pauly explained. “We were drinking a homebrew and we looked at each other and said ‘let’s start a brewery.’ I thought it would take nine months and Dan thought it would take longer. He was right.”
The beer they were drinking on that fateful day is now their Double Play Double IPA, a definite standout among the four Broken Bat beers on tap on Saturday. Double Play, a creation of McElwee, has a delicious citrus bitterness and comes in at a potent 8% ABV.
The other taps at Broken Bat include the easy drinking Mint Condition Porter, fruity Straight Chedd Apricot IPA and the slightly sweet Climb the Wall Farmhouse Ale. A guest tap pours a Third Space brew.
“We’re going to live in the pale ale world, but not just IPAs,” said Pauly. “And we’ll definitely have seasonal beers.’
The downstairs space is decidedly bright despite being below street level. Cream City brick adds to the cozy feel, and the baseball-related décor is noticeable but not over the top—bats serve as door handles and prints of Broken Bat baseball-themed beer labels done by Mindspike Design hang on the wall. McElwee drives the brewing at Broken Bat, and Pauly brings the love of baseball.
“He’s the beer freak and I’m the baseball freak,” added Pauly.
Broken Bat wasn’t the only brewery to open in April. Westallion Brewing Company (1825 S. 72nd St.) brings the craft beer boom to West Allis. Cheers to owners Kim and Erik Dorfner. I hope to get there in the upcoming weeks.