Sausage-Themed Beer Is a Thing Now Thanks to Wisconsin Breweries

Five limited beers by five Wisconsin breweries honor our favorite encased meats, and provide summer refreshment in the process.

Inspiration for new beer can come in interesting ways. For 1840 Brewing Co. founder Kyle Vetter, it came while cooking bratwursts. At the time, Vetter was working on teaming up with Madison’s Working Draft Beer Co. on brewing a Grodziskie, a smoked lager of Polish origins. That collab, the fact that 1840 had a Mexican lager in the works, and bratwursts on the stove led Vetter to come up with The Sausage Series Five-Way Collaboration.

“It’s a really fun project and it just came to me randomly one night as I was cooking dinner,” said Vetter. “I was thinking about beers that we were about to brew. I was cooking a brat and texted (Clint Lohman at Working Draft) and thought we could do it as a five-way sausage collab.”

Added Lohman: “Kyle threw out the idea of a Grodziskie lager. I love brewing lagers, so I was into that idea for sure. He came up with the plan to bring in other breweries and I thought it was a great idea. My concern was that it would be hard to round up. I’m excited that he pulled it off.”



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Vetter reached out to a few breweries and came up with these five beers themed after the favorite sausages of Milwaukee-area baseball fans. (And no, sausage wasn’t actually used in the creation of any of them.)

  • Chorizo: Mexican lager by 1840 Brewing
  • Hot Dog: American lager by The Explorium Brewpub in Greendale and Milwaukee
  • Bratwurst: Kölsch-style ale by Hacienda Beer Co. in Baileys Harbor
  • Italian: Italian Pilsner by Lone Girl Brewing Co. in Waunakee
  • Polish: Grodziskie smoked lager by Working Draft  

The beer styles chosen are all crisp and refreshing, which makes them a good fit for summer and ideal for tailgating. The Grodziskie, made with oak-smoked 100% wheat malt, is especially intriguing. The brew has an extremely low ABV of 3.4%.

“The oak smoke is clean,” explained Lohman. “You get a lot of smoke on the nose, but it’s actually pretty refreshing. It’s light-bodied and crisp.”

A limited five-pack that includes each style of beer will be available at 1840 Brewing (342 E. Ward St.) this weekend. Presale is Friday, July 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and pickup also begins on Friday. Each brewery will have their beer available during the Fourth of July weekend at their own place.

“It’s a project that’s kind of fun,” added Vetter. “Someone even already asked jokingly, ‘How do you get a full sausage to fit in a can?'”



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.