Something’s Brewing

From beer made with squid (and quinoa made with beer) to growler bars and great locally made IPAs, our beer scene is bigger and better than ever.

A charcuterie-cheese board, including house-made beer mustard. A Central Waters Glacial Trail IPA atop a table at Wolf Peach. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris.
A charcuterie-cheese board, including house-made beer mustard. A Central Waters Glacial Trail IPA atop a table at Wolf Peach. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris.

At least 16 craft breweries – brew houses that produce fewer than 6 million barrels per year – have opened in Milwaukee since 2000. Heck, seven breweries have opened since we last put a tantalizing glass of the gold stuff on our cover in July 2012. You, Milwaukee, clearly love to make beer as much as you love to drink it.

And our appreciation for the magical elixir – a potent love story that began in the 1840s – shows no sign of stopping. Indeed, our love of suds has bled into other areas of the city’s cultural fabric, and nowhere is that more apparent than in our dining scene. Gone are the days when wine held all the power as the beverage of choice for Milwaukee’s fine-dining establishments.

In fact, many beer aficionados think beer pairs better with food than wine does, and it evokes far less of the snobbery sometimes associated with wine. “There’s almost a rebellious spirit to drinking beer with a really good meal,” says Hinterland Brewery and Restaurant owner Bill Tressler. And the sort of edicts that apply to drinking wine with food most definitely don’t apply to beer, per Tressler, who says, “There are no rules.”


Best of the Freshman Class
Earning respect in the craft beer business isn’t easy with breweries booming. Look for these newer brewers to make some tasty, hoppy waves in the near future.
By Dan Murphy

The Brewery Boom
Until the mid-1980s, only a handful of local breweries existed in the area. Now, more than a dozen have sprung up in the past decade alone.
By Sara Trimble

Tapping Into the Culinary Arts
Frugality and inspiration guide chefs in their pursuit of brew-based cuisine.
By Ann Christenson

The Great Wisconsin IPA Taste Test

Pairing Beer & Food
Hinterland owner Bill Tressler combines the brewmaster’s training with the chef’s nuanced palate.
By Ann Christenson

Funky Brewster
Men outnumber women in the brewing industry by almost 3 to 1, according to a 2014 Auburn University study. Erin Anderson, who started the local chapter of female craft beer aficionados (and homebrewers) called Barley’s Angels, is trying to change that.
By Alexa Grunwaldt

Incredible, Edible Beer
Beer with nontraditional ingredients
By Ann Christenson

Whale Watching
An investigation into the world of rare kegs.
By Dan Murphy

By Dan Murphy

The Hall of Fame
Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s brewing reputation is built on beers like these. Don’t call yourself a beer-loving Wisconsinite without trying them.
By Dan Murphy

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‘Something’s Brewing’ appears in the September 2015 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
The September 2015 issue is on newsstands August 31.

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