I like to give new breweries a few weeks to work out their kinks. I’m not sure if Raised Grain Brewing Company (2244 Bluemound Rd., Waukesha) ever had any. The small but airy taproom is hidden in a nondescript Waukesha strip mall, but the day I was there it was bustling. After tasting some samples, it wasn’t hard to figure out why. The signature brew at Raised Grain is Paradocs Imperial Red Ale, a delicious combination of bitter hops and malty sweetness. One standout is great, but Raised Grain also did well with rich Black Walnut Belgian Imperial Stout and the delicious Door Jamb Cherry IPA, a season experimentation that deliciously combined bitterness with a hint of refreshing cherry flavor. Another plus: flights are cleverly served in a muffin tin that includes a handful of complementary pretzels. Even without the free pretzels the place is worth a visit.
3 Sheeps is Growing
The big news out of Sheboygan last week was the announcement that 3 Sheeps Brewing has a big expansion in the works. A former Coca-Cola distribution plant will be transformed into a brewing campus that will up the daily brewing capacity of 3 Sheeps from 28 to 200 barrels. The plan also includes room for barrel aging, an area for brewing sour beers, and a taproom. Renovation will begin in late 2015 and the plan is to open the new facilities a few months later. Cheers to brewmaster Grant Pauly and the rest of 3 Sheeps for a job well done.
Barley Pop of the Week
For me, fall is made much better by the arrival of Founders Harvest Ale. The wet hopped brew has a nicely bitter citrus flavor that rounds out with a hint of bready malts. The 2015 version seems to have a slightly stronger malt presence than I remember last year, but that may just be my untrained palette. Regardless, it’s very good.
Keep Thursday, Nov. 19 open. Wolf Peach (1818 N. Hubbard St.) is hosting a beer dinner with Black Husky. I’ll have more info next week, but it might be a good idea to make a reservation now at 414-374-8480.
It must be Founders week (see above). I am completely intrigued by the latest Founders Backstage Series release. Project PAM is a black IPA aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels that comes with a potent 10.8 percent ABV. Look for it in late November.
Monday, Nov. 9: Get to Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.) by 6 p.m. to pair beers and Indulgence chocolate truffles.
Wednesday, Nov. 11: There still may be a few spots open for the Barrel Aged Beer Dinner at Stubby’s (2060 N. Humboldt Ave.). Check out the menu and call 414-763-6324 to reserve a spot.
Wednesday, Nov. 11: The Milwaukee Beer Society is sampling wet hopped beers from 6 to 9 p.m. at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.). Join them for just $10.
Thursday, Nov. 12: Draft & Vessel lets Karben4 take over the taps from 6 to 8 p.m. Expect to see Tokyo Sauna Pale Ale, Fantasy Factory IPA, Night Call Smoked Porter and the limited Beef Hammer West India Porter.
Thursday, Nov. 12: Barley’s Angels is hosting its third annual beer dinner at Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.). Cost is $40 and the fun starts at 6 p.m. with a social hour. There are only 50 spots available reserve your space now.
Friday, Nov. 13: Sample the delicious Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout, as well as some other treats from the pride of Amherst at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 13: Krombacher hands out samples at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 6 p.m. and Sierra Nevada will be there from 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14: Get to Discount Liquor Milwaukee at noon to try brews from New Holland and Krombacher.
Saturday, Nov. 14: Central Waters comes to Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14: Try samples of IPAs at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14: Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave.) hosts an ice cream social starting at 1 p.m. and the guest of honor is New Belgium’s Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. Show up for some ice cream and this sought after brew.
Sunday, Nov. 15: The monthly bottle share at The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd.) starts at 5:30 p.m. The theme is “mind-blowing” beers, so bring a large bottle of something really special to share with others.
Monday, Nov. 16: Bar Bites at Story Hill BKC (5100 W. Bluemound Rd.) features beers from Surly. The five-course beer dinner costs $65. Make a reservation soon by calling 414-539-4424.