Here's Who's New, Growing and Gone in Milwaukee's Brewery Scene

The year in changes in the Milwaukee brewery scene



Dead Bird Brewing | 1726 N. Fifth St.

After nearly four years making beer at other breweries, Nick Kocis and Jeremy Hach opened a taproom in Halyard Park in Septem- ber, and Dead Bird will have a brewery of its own when it res up its on-site three-barrel system early next year. In the meantime, the taproom offers more than a dozen arcade and pinball games alongside Kocis’ potent Belgian-inspired brews and straightforward IPAs. Who knew how nicely Centipede pairs with an imperial witbier?

Foxtown Brewing | 6411 W. Mequon Rd., Mequon

Fromm Family Foods owner Tom Neiman has restored the site of the Opitz-Zimmerman Brewery, founded in 1857, into a breathtaking taproom atop two underground levels of aging caves that will be open to the public during brewery tours. Early buzz sets a high bar for both the kitchen and the beer, with a wide and well-executed range of styles from landbier (a German country lager) to hazy IPA.

Indeed Brewing | 530 S. Second St.

When Minneapolis-based Indeed began drawing up the company’s Milwaukee outpost, founder Tom Whisenand insisted that guests be required to walk past the brewery to get to the gorgeous taproom and bar. It’s a sign that, yeah, we’re from Minneapolis, but we’re making beer here, too. A line of Milwaukee-only beers includes Hello, Milwaukee, a light lager evoking the Cream City’s brewing golden age.

Sahale Ale Works | 1505 Wisconsin Ave., Grafton

First things first about this brewery that opened in July in downtown Grafton: Sa-HAL-ah. If you can’t remember that, perhaps a glass of It Rhymes With Koala imperial IPA will help. The cozy taproom showcases owner and brewmaster Matt Hofmann’s talents with a tap list that includes smooth, well-made stouts, juicy IPAs and a surprise or two.


Broken Bat Brewing | New location: 135 E. Pittsburgh Ave.

A wiffle ball game won’t break out in this brewery, located in the cozy basement of a Third Ward office building. But next spring, it’s game on. Broken Bat’s new Walker’s Point brewery will include a much roomier taproom and production space – and an indoor wiffle ball field. It’s on track to open in early April, about a week into MLB’s season. 

Enlightened Brewing | 2020 W. Allis St.

Tucked unobtrusively into a corner of the new Enlightened Brewing taproom is a pool table that would have occupied pretty much all of Enlightened’s previous space in the Lincoln Warehouse. The new dog-friendly, skylit space is expansive, and the brewery in the back has boosted Enlightened’s production ceiling some tenfold. A canning line has been sending sixers of Cream City Brix Cream Ale and the like into local stores since May.


St. Francis Brewery

We’ll remember this brewpub, which opened in 2009 and closed abruptly in October, for its series of beers named after the seven deadly sins, including the excellent Lust hefeweizen. At press time, it was unknown what will become of its handsome building and the brewery inside.

This Story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s 2019 Drinking Guide. 

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