Stone’s Answer to Big Beer

An interesting take on the trend of big beer companies buying up craft breweries. Plus: 3 Sheeps in Sheboygan and beer events at Romans’ Pub, Sugar Maple, the Milwaukee County Historical Society and more.

The trend of big beer companies buying up craft breweries doesn’t appear to be slowing. But Stone Brewing apparently isn’t interested in becoming another purchase in big beer’s “if you can’t beat them, buy them” strategy.

Stone founder Greg Koch wrote an insightful piece for the San Diego Union Tribune two weeks ago that I finally got around to reading. Koch has been doing his thing since 1996 and brings plenty of knowledge to the conversation. He doesn’t have much sympathy for the sellouts and he appears steadfast with the idea that Stone won’t every move to the dark side. That kind of determination by a brewer who cares about the industry makes me feel pretty good about the continued growth of craft brewing. Cheers, Greg.

3SheepsJoeBarley Pop of the Week

3 Sheeps is doing some really good things up in Sheboygan. I recently tried a bottle of Hello, My Name Is Joe Imperial Black Wheat Coffee Ale (when it comes to naming, apparently brewery founder Grant Pauly isn’t into that whole brevity thing). The brew is a definite standout. The flavor is big on rich coffee, thanks to Colectivo’s Brazil blend, with a touch of dark chocolate. The finish isn’t overly sweet and the coffee flavor lingers, which is a good thing. On a side note, I have a Uber Joe Imperial Black Wheat—brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla and aged on maple wood staves—in the fridge. Can’t wait to give it a try too.

Quick Taps

Snag your Dark Lord Day tickets at noon on Saturday.  But be aware, the price for attending Three Floyds’ annual extravaganza on April 30 has been upped to $200.

I haven’t made it to the new Whole Foods in Wauwatosa (11100 W. Burleigh St.) yet, but I’m hearing the beer selection at the Tosa Tavern in the store is pretty solid. Twenty taps make it pretty easy to get sidetracked from grocery shopping.

Events Brewing

Tuesday, March 1: Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) gives up its taps to Summit Brewing.

Wednesday, March 2: The Milwaukee Beer Society examines one of my favorite hop varieties with Hop Showcase: Mosaic, which starts at 6 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). Check the events page for pricing and the beers being featured.

Wednesday, March 2: Bierklasse at Café Hollander (7677 W. State St.) looks into brews from Unibroue. Tasting starts at 7 p.m. and reservations can be made online.

Wednesday, March 2: I rarely get to mention Wolski’s (1836 N. Pulaski St.) in this column despite the fact that it’s one of my favorite bars in the world. Head there at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate a Lakefront tap takeover and to gobble your share of free popcorn.

Wednesday, March 2: Waunakee’s 3rd Sign Brewing is taking over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.).

Thursday, March 3: Great Lakes Brewing takes over four of the taps at The Malt Shoppe starting at 5 p.m. Read the awesome event listing and appreciate craft brewers that were on the scene early.

Thursday, March 3: Romans’ Pub (3475 N. Kinnickinnic Ave.) is tapping some beauties from Lakefront. Stop by at 6 p.m. to try a 2013 Beerline Barleywine, a 2015 barrel-aged Beerline and My Turn: Josh Quadrupel.

Thursday, March 3: The women from Barley’s Angels make a 6 p.m. visit to the Milwaukee County Historical Society (910 N. Old World Third St.) to see the Brew City exhibit. The event is free.

Thursday, March 3: I recommend heading to Sugar Maple at 7 p.m. for the Blakkr Tie Formal. The bar is tapping Blakkr Imperial Black Ale, a tasty collab from Three Floyds, Surly and Real Ale. Last year’s Blakkr was pretty delicious and I’m guessing this year’s version is too.

Friday, March 4: Try beers from Kenosha’s Public Craft Brewing at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.)  from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, March 4: Capital Brewery brings samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 4: Try beers from Capital Brewery at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 4: Wisconsin Brewing brings samples to Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday, March 4: Michigan beers are the theme at the weekly tasting 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.