Catching up with Lost Valley Cider's owners and a roundup of chug-worthy beers.
6 Beers to Sip This Season
Milwaukee Brewing Company
The prevalence of sweet malts and a manageable 5.5% ABV make this one a good choice for fall imbibing.
That this is a lager helps the beer avoid being cloying and lets the mix of spices remain subtle and perfectly balanced.
Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
Central Waters Brewing
A perfect intro to the barrel-aged style for those new to big, bold beers. Keep an eye out for this in early November.
Black Top Black IPA
New Glarus Brewing
For those who like their IPAs with a fair amount of roasted malt.
Its tasty caramel malts are a fine way to get you through the colder months.
Autumnal Fire Doppelbock
A potent sipper with the bready caramel flavor of a doppelbock, but with a decided kick.
A cider taproom owner talks about a world far beyond Crispin.
Lost Valley Cider Company (408 W. Florida St.) opened its doors in June 2016, smack in the middle of Milwaukee’s craft brewery uprising. Stuart Rudolph, who owns the taproom/bottle shop with his daughter Chandra, explains how the place is finding its niche and educating newbies about this versatile beverage.
What constitutes a cider?
51 percent of it should be [made from] apples. In reality, most ciders, even if they’re flavored with other fruits, will be 80 to 90 percent fermented apple juice and a small amount of additional flavoring.
Do you see evidence that it’s becoming more popular?
Cider was on a very rapid growth path thanks to some of the more mass-market brands. It’s a growth pattern that’s following behind, but mirroring, the explosion in the craft beer industry.
Do you think that the recent craft brewery boom in Milwaukee benefits you?
I think it’s synergistic not only with craft brewing, but with craft distilling. We’re in an area where you’re walking distance to four breweries and two craft distilleries. We get people that come into our place to try cider who are also going to try the breweries or distilleries too. It’s a win-win situation for all of us.
What misconceptions do people have about cider?
That it’s a sweet pop-like drink. Cider can be very dry. It can have wine-like characteristics. It can be fruity. It can be hoppy. It can have all kinds of herbs. The flavors of cider are just as diverse as the flavors of craft beer.