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Why a beer guy is leaving his misgivings at the door.

I’m skeptical of new breweries. Sometimes, it takes them a while to find their footing, and other times, they never quite do. After my first sip of Paradocs Imperial Red Ale, I was confident that the guys at Raised Grain Brewing Company know their stuff.

The brewery’s excellent signature beer is a complex mix of caramel malt sweetness and juicy hop bitterness. The taproom, hidden away in a nondescript Waukesha strip mall, bustles with patrons sampling nine different Raised Grain brews.

The brewery mills its own grain and uses reverse osmosis to control the mineral profile of the most important ingredient – water. (You don’t have to understand science to know that the Black Walnut Belgian Stout is delicious.) The four owners of Raised Grain opened the space in late September. “We ultimately want to see the Milwaukee area back up in the same realm as craft beer meccas like Portland, Asheville or Denver/Boulder,” says part-owner Nick Reistad.

There’s some work to be done in that regard, but Raised Grain is certainly helping the cause.

‘Grain Sense’ appears in the January 2016 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find the January issue on newsstands beginning Jan. 4.

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