Craft beer fans in the western suburbs won’t have to head to the Menomonee Valley to get their Third Space taproom fix this summer. The brewery is bringing its beer to the Elm Grove Park Beer Garden every Friday and Saturday starting in June.
The beer garden will operate from June 4 to Oct. 23 on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 to 9 p.m., as well on Tuesdays when Tunes on Tuesday is happening. Expect six Third Space taps, including regulars like Happy Place Pale Ale, Summer Home Blonde Ale, Heavenly Haze IPA and Frog Weiss Fruited Sour.
“It’s a great chance to build our brand and connect with customers in a different spot,” said Third Space co-founder Andy Gehl. “Our taproom (at 1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) is kind of tucked away. To bring it into the middle of someone’s neighborhood is an opportunity to create a great experience in someone’s community.”
The Milwaukee area’s beer garden scene has exploded since the Estabrook Park Beer Garden opened in 2012. Milwaukee County Parks now have five permanent beer gardens, and many more reside in suburbs outside the county. In the summer, area beer drinkers are clearly fine trading bar stools for picnic tables.
Breweries have joined the fun and taken advantage of the opportunity to provide their product in a setting outside of the taproom. The list includes Sprecher Brewing’s Traveling Beer Garden, which makes visits to Milwaukee County Parks; Raised Grain and Brewfinity Brewing’s pop-up beer gardens which travel through Waukesha County; and Component Brewing that has stints at beer gardens in Muskego and New Berlin.
“There’s a craving for that third space,” said Gehl, referring to places outside of home and work where people can come together. “People are looking for a place that’s welcoming, inviting, fun and local for them to enjoy a beer. What’s better than a local park? There’s something cool about literally gathering in the public square. People have experienced that at places like Estabrook Park and Hoyt Park, and people saying they want one in their community. The Germans knew what they were doing and so did the early Milwaukeeans.”