Pabst Brewing Company opens its touted craft brewery and beer garden on – aptly – Milwaukee Day, April 14. The powers-that-be hosted a special ribbon-cutting/firkin keg tapping on Wednesday the 12th. Pabst Milwaukee Brewery, which includes a tasting room/restaurant, occupy a 144-year-old former Methodist church that was used, up until the 1970s, as a tavern for Pabst employees.
On the brewery’s main floor is the tap room and gastropub, whose focus on locally sourced, sustainably produced foods has translated to a menu that’s much more than sidekicks to beer. Rebecca Berkshire, formerly the chef at Balzac Wine Bar, uses the title here of “experience manager,” which means she’s not only in charge of the food – but “flow” and atmosphere, too.
The Pabst menu features experiences small and large, beginning with bar snacks (pickled eggs, house jerky, sweet and hot peanuts), then starters (oyster fritters, cheese and sausage board), sandwiches (oyster hero, falafel burger) and entrées (brat in a blanket, fried chicken drums, flat-iron steak). Desserts, even – chocolate stout pot de crème, and “spent grain” peach and blackberry cobbler. Prices: snacks $1-$5; starters and sandwiches $6-$12; entrées $12-$22.
The gastropub’s hours-to-be (they may change slightly): Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
As for the beer, the 10 varieties on draft will also be available to take home in 32-ounce crowlers (can versions of growlers). Beers on the opening menu include Sticky Fingers Honey Wheat, Not a Kid Anymore (a maibock), Old Tankard Ale (first produced by Pabst in the 1930s) and Cream City oatmeal stout.
Next month, Pabst will kick things off grandly with a street party on May 13 (1-7 p.m.), featuring beer and food, games and art, and live music.