Madison's bike beer tour will make its way to Milwaukee this summer. Plus: Grynder on the Beer Capital Beer Summit, Madison Craft Beer Week, and more.
Hop Head Beer Tours is on a roll. The outfit from Madison started with bus tours of Wisconsin breweries. Last year, they added a Madison bike beer tour. This summer, that bike tour comes to Milwaukee.
“We launched our brewery bike tours in Madison last summer and nearly sold all 10 of them out at 20 people per tour,” says co-owner Justin Schmitz. “Expanding our bike tours to Milwaukee while also making them different from our Madison bike tours looks like the best way to get a foothold in Milwaukee. And since Milwaukee has such a rich brewing history, it made sense to give the bike tours a history focus.”
The bike tours will burn off at least a few beers along the nearly 10-mile route. Each ride starts at 10 a.m. at Lakefront Brewery and proceeds to Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst and Miller Brewery. Along the way, a guide explains the history of each brewery and its place in Milwaukee’s growth as a city. The tour stops at Milwaukee Ale House for some sampling, swings by Lake Michigan for some scenery and ends with Lakefront Brewery tour.
Six Saturdays are slated for beer tours in 2015: May 23, June 29, July 18, August 22, September 19 and October 10. The cost is $55 and includes two knowledgable tour guides, two full beer sample pours and the Lakefront tour. Learn more and reserve a spot at HopHeadBeerTours.com.
Survive Milwaukee Beer Week? It’s Time for Madison
So, just at Milwaukee Beer Week ends Madison Craft Beer Week begins. The festivities run from May 1 to May 10. Find the events worth the hour trip west at MadBeerWeek.com. If you want an expert to tell you the best places to be, follow Madison beer writer/guru Chris Drosner (@WSJbeerbaron). He’ll have a preview of Madison Craft Beer Week on Wednesday.
Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) was given the OK to open a patio this summer. Expect a few tables and chairs to show up along North Avenue in the next few weeks. And there was much rejoicing.
Draft Magazine addressed the topic of session beers last week. One of the best I’ve had recently is Oskar Blues Pinner IPA. I can’t get enough.
Chicago’s Metropolitan Brewing is coming to Wisconsin in May. This oddly funny video proves it.
Barley Pop of the Week
I was under the weather and couldn’t make it to the Beer Capital Beer Summit last week at Lakefront Brewery. Unfortunately, I missed the unveiling of Two Lakes Triple IPA with Grapefruit, a Lakefront and Tyranena collaboration. This bad boy is extremely limited and just a dozen or so kegs will be hitting the Milwaukee area. Area beer aficionado and certified beer judge Tom “Grynder” Ciula gave the brew a try at the event and here’s what he thought:
Fresh cut grapefruit almost sizzles the nasal hairs. It calms down a little and you can detect some of the orange and pineapple of the Citra hops. Malt is pretty much a no-show in aroma. Flavor is full on orange and tangerine marmalade. It literally has that tang of grandma’s pie, some Werther’s caramel floating as the minor balancing act, and grapefruit shows up again in the swallow. The ghost of alcohol lingers for a second. One of the most amazing things about this beer is the gently fruity layer left on the palate after the swallow. Satisfying in every sense. A sure highlight of 2015, and bound to be the talk of the town once it is released.
Wednesday, April 29: Bierklasse tackles sours at Cafe Hollander (2608 N. Downer Ave.) The tasting starts at 7 p.m. costs $30. Email Bierklasse@LowlandsGroup.com to reserve a spot.
Thursday, April 30: Furthermore is bringing barrels of Viking Afternoon and Floating Fire to Ray’s Growler Gallery at 5 p.m. Furthermore, you can try other samples from the Spring Green brewery in Ray’s Wine & Spirits at the same time.
Thursday, April 30: The Milwaukee Beer Society samples brown ales from 6 to 9 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.).
Saturday, May 2: The courtyard at Best Place is the site for American Homebrewers Association Big Brew. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Milwaukee Beer Society will be brewing. It’s a great day to hang out at and learn from the best.
Saturday, May 2: Try beers that pair well with food at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.