Not long ago, I used to take a day off from work and spend the first Friday of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Hooligan’s. They were long days, starting before noon and ending close to midnight. If I lived in the western suburbs, Champps Americana (1240 S. Moorland Rd.) would be the place I’d head to watch the Big Dance now. Champps has established itself as the place for craft beer lovers to go to watch the opening rounds of the NCAA tourney. Check out the amazing beer schedule. Turns out that beer pairs really well with hoops.
Thursday, March 17
- 11 a.m.: Ballast Point Victory at Sea Porter made with Samoa Girl Scout cookies
- 1:30 p.m.: Avery Barrel-Aged Rumpkin Imperial Porter and Pump(KY)n Imperial Porter
- 4 p.m.: Boulder Shamrock Shake Chocolate Porter
- 6:30 p.m.: Goose Island Lolita Belgian Ale
Friday, March 18
- 11 a.m.: Three Floyds Zombie Dust Pale Ale
- 1:30 p.m.: Surly Nein Imperial Smoked Dunkelweizen and Todd the Axeman IPA
- 4 p.m.: Lagunitas Bloodshot Few Brew Imperial Stout
- 6 p.m.: Great Lakes Rise N’ Hop Coffee IPA
Saturday, March 19
- 11 a.m.: Founders Mango Magnifico and Misty Mountain Hop Brown Ale
- 1:30 p.m.: New Holland Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout with Coffee and Chocolate and Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout with Bourbon and Cherries
- 4 p.m.: Left Coast Barrel-Aged Voodoo Stout
- 6:30 p.m.: Karben4 The Great Single-Hopped Red Ale. Note: The only place where you can find this one-off beer is Champps.
Sunday, March 20
- 11 a.m.: Central Waters invades and is brining the amazing Black Gold Imperial Stout, Illumination IIPA, Bourbon-Barrel Barleywine and HHG American Pale Ale.
Barley Pop of the Week
I picked up a four-pack of Toppling Goliath pseudo Sue Pale Ale at Ray’s last week. This year’s batch is pretty amazing. Citra hops gives the brew a tasty citrus flavor with a moderate amount of bitterness. It’s astonishing to me that a beer this good comes out of little Decorah, Iowa.
I sat in on a podcast with esteemed colleagues from Milwaukee Magazine. We talked in depth about the beer scene. Check out the podcast online later this week, and subscribe to The Milwaukee Magazine Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher to get it right away.
I got a text this weekend from a friend in Lincoln, Nebraska raving about the barrel-aged Lakefront Beerline Barley Wine. Nice to know that beer lovers like my friend Bennett are enjoying one of Lakefront’s best far from Commerce Street.
I say this every year, but please people, don’t drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.
Monday, March 14: Pair eight Girl Scout cookies with four different beers all week at Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.). A Samoa paired with a chocolate stout sounds pretty good to me, but I’m a sucker for Samoas.
Monday, March 14: 5 Rabbit Cerveceria takes over the taps at Matty’s Bar & Grille (14460 W. College Ave.).
Tuesday, March 15: Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.) hosts beer school at 6 p.m. The topic is Belgian beer and participation costs just $10.
Wednesday, March 16: Head to Café Centraal to learn about sours at Bierklasse. The tasting starts at 7 p.m. and costs $32.64 (with convenience fees). You can buy tickets online.
Wednesday, March 16: Pearl Street Brewery makes the trip from LaCrosse to Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) to take over the taps at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, March 16: Milwaukee Beer Society heads to Milwaukee Brewing Company (613 S. 2nd St.) for a private tour from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $10.
Thursday, March 17: Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.) is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day right by hosting Bell’s St. Out’s Day. Starting at 3 p.m., the bar is pouring four rare stouts from Bell’s including Sweet Potato Stout, Harry Magill’s Spiced Stout, Milchkaffee Coffee Stout and Bear Hug Imperial Stout.
Friday, March 18: MillerCoors (or whatever its called now) brings Blue Moon samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 5 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 19: Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) hands out samples from Wisconsin Brewing from noon to 3 p.m. and Blue Moon from 5 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 19: West Coast beers are the sample of the week at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.