New Craft Beer and History Tour Officially Launches

Fun Beer Tours Milwaukee is now open for business. Tours will begin and end at Brenner Brewing and make frequent stops in the old Pabst Brewery neighborhood. Plus: Central Waters’ limited beer release, beer dinners, exclusive tastings, and more.

Paul Hepp is ready to show beer aficionados what Milwaukee has to offer when it comes to craft beer and brewing history. The history buff is launching Fun Beer Tours Milwaukee this summer. Brenner Brewing (706 S. 5th St.) serves as the departure and return spot for each tour and Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub (1203 N. 10th St.), in the heart of the old Pabst Brewery, is a frequent stop.

“I’ve been active at Brenner Brewing giving tours, tending bar, working beer fests, and more,” said Hepp. “As my fondness and knowledge of craft beer increased, I decided to combine that with my history background to form a craft beer and historical brewing tour company.”

Hepp offers a few different tours. Each one involves beer, a history lesson, and The World’s Smallest Traveling Beer Museum, a collection of artifacts from Milwaukee breweries.

I’m all for more opportunities to celebrate Milwaukee’s brewing history and its exciting craft beer future. Learn more and book a tour at

Rare As It Gets

I risk hurting my chances here, but if you don’t already know about the amazing Central Waters limited beer release, you will soon. Ardea Insignis Imperial Stout is aged for three years in 25-year-old bourbon barrels and only a few lucky folks will get some. Because of the extremely limited run, Central Waters is hosting an online lottery until April 10 for one of 250 chances to snag the beer. Each lucky winner, along with one friend, can pick up two bottles ($40 each) at Central Waters in Amherst at select times over the weekend of May 20. This is a special beer. Good luck.

Darkness_brewcityBarley Pop of the Week

I opened my only bottle of Barrel-Aged Surly Darkness last week, and I’m certainly glad I did. The amazing stout has rich, dark fruit flavor and a decadent boozy finish. Standard Darkness is an outstanding beer, but the barrel-aged version takes it up a notch. It’s in the mix early for one of the best beers I’ve had in 2016.

Quick Taps

Have fun at Opening Day, folks. It’s one of my favorite annual events, largely because in April the Brewers are still in the thick of the playoff chase.

Stubby’s (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.) is hosting a pretty amazing Founders Beer Dinner on April 21. The five-course dinner menu includes the 2014 and 2015 KBS. Tickets are $75 ($70 for Stub Club members) and it’s probably a good idea to get them now.

Last week, the Brewers Association posted impressive export numbers from American craft brewers. Good to see.

Events Brewing

Tuesday, April 5: Beer school at Comet Café (1947 N. Farwell Ave.) examines the deliciousness of Bell’s Brewery starting at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 5: The Brass Tap (7808 W. Layton Ave.) hosts a sampling of Ballast Point brews at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 6: Surly Darkness descends upon Stubby’s. The delicious stout hits the taps at 6 p.m. alongside Surly Furious, Xtra-Citra Pale Ale and tasty Todd the Axeman IIPA.

Wednesday, April 6: The Milwaukee Beer Society hosts its 16th homebrew night at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.) at 6 p.m. Bring a donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Milwaukee and be ready to taste some outstanding brews.

Wednesday, April 6: Vintage Brewing takes over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, April 6: Café Benelux (346 N. Broadway) is hosting a Hop Happy Bierklasse at 7 p.m. The cost is $30. RSVP to

Thursday, April 7: Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.) is hosting a great event. Head there at 7 p.m. to taste beer from Enlightened Brewing, spirits from Central Standard Distillery and bites from Rumpus Room. The cost is $40. Get your tickets here.

Thursday, April 7: Summit takes over the taps at The Brass Tap starting at 6 p.m. and they’re bringing a firkin.

Thursday, April 7: The monthly Barley’s Angels meeting is at Ale Asylum Riverhouse (1110 N. Old World Third St.). The cost is $10 and women can reserve their spot on the group’s Facebook page.

Thursday, April 7: Tyranena is bringing some Brewers Gone Wild brews to Burnhearts (2599 S. Logan Ave.). Wrath of Rocky is coming. That’s reason enough to be there.

Friday, April 8: Palermo’s Pizzeria 3301 (3301 W. Canal St.) hosts a pizza pairing with Lakefront Brewery. For $40 you pair five wood-fired pizzas with five beers. Make a reservation at 414-982-6060.

Saturday, April 9: Try beers from the south at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 15 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for close to 25.