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Beertown: Milwaukee

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German beer barons made Milwaukee famous in the 1800s, but during the late 1900s many of the big breweries shut down, consolidated or moved. Today, there’s a renaissance of smaller breweries sprouting from the city’s older industrial buildings. Here are 10 upstarts that are new to the scene.

Good City Brewing

Good City Brewing


Good City Brewing
Milwaukee’s East Side has always been hip, but the opening of Good City just gave the ’hood what it was missing. This remodeled bike shop turned brewery and taproom offers 10 beers on draft as well as a menu filled with cheese boards, sandwiches and full plates. Sip the brewery’s popular Motto Mosaic Pale Ale and take home a crowler for later. 2108 N. Farwell Ave., goodcitybrewing.com

Like Minds Brewing
If you like sours, head to this Lower East Side brewery that uses 170 wine barrels for sour and wild fermentation. Like Minds also offers IPAs, saisons and stouts and a full menu: Try the Marron Peche, a new double-barrel-aged sour brown brewed with peaches alongside a plate of pork chops and housemade sauerkraut. 823 E. Hamilton St., likemindsbrewing.com


Enlightened Brewing
Founder Tommy Vandervort set up shop in the historic Lincoln Warehouse in Bay View, transforming it into a cozy space where visitors enjoy eight taps featuring year-round beers like Priori Pale Ale and Kettle Logic Amber as well as rotating seasonals. On warm days, the brewery opens the large glass garage doors and offers outdoor seating. 2018 S. 1st St., enlightenedbeer.com


The Explorium Brewpub
Owners Mike and Joan Doble describe their brewpub as an emporium for craft beer. Along with 25 house and guest beers on draft, the beer-infused food menu includes delights like rarebit made with Wisconsin cheddar and pan-fried, pretzelcrusted walleye. Pair either with a hefty 8.7% ABV Doc Rae Scotch Ale, named for a Scottish explorer. 5300 S 76th St., Greendale, exploriumbrew.com


Black Husky Brewing
The brewery brings the flavor of its northern Wisconsin origins to Milwaukee. Black Husky offers eight beers on tap, including Sproose 2 IPA, brewed with locally harvested spruce tips, and Deck Dog, a German-style pilsner. The dogfriendly taproom’s log cabin-style interior will remind visitors of north woods camping. 909 E. Locust St., blackhuskybrewing.com

Company Brewing
Come on Tuesdays for Beer Coin Burger night, when the taproom offers a different burger each week along with a beer coin good for one of the brewery’s 10 house drafts or a choice of a guest tap from the likes of Anchor Brewing or Half Acre Beer Co. Or pair the beers with elevated pub fare like mussels steamed in sour ale and butter or Farro Fried Rice with housemade kimchi. 735 E. Center St., companybrewing.com

WEB_20170524_D65_BeertownMilwaukee_RaisedGrain_01_Steve Knurr

Raised Grain Brewing | Photo by Steve Knurr


Westallion Brewing Co.
Named for a tractor company, the city of West Allis hasn’t generally been known for its beer and food scene. But Westallion seeks to change that by celebrating local history with beers like Western Days Vienna Lager, named for a bygone city festival, and a tasting room that features “Restaurant of the Day” offerings from local cafes and bistros. 1825 S. 72nd St., westallionbrewing.com

Raised Grain Brewing
With large-screen TVs and beer fest medals on the wall, Raised Grain feels like a cross between sports bar and brewery. Be sure to try the Paradocs Red, a GABF gold medalwinning imperial red IPA as well as a clever nod to its two brewers, who are also doctors. Fill up on jalapeno poppers with candied bacon or reuben pizza with Thousand Island dressing. 2244 W. Bluemound Rd., raisedgrainbrewing.com

City Lights Brewing | Photo by Kristine Hinrichs Photography

City Lights Brewing | Photo by Kristine Hinrichs Photography


Third Space Brewing
Milwaukee’s historic downtown is undergoing a revival—it’s a perfect spot for Third Space’s brewery and beer garden. Milwaukee native, cofounder and brewmaster Kevin Wright brings a West Coast influence from his 7-year stint at Hangar 24 in Redlands, California. Check out his true West Coast-style IPA, Upward Spiral, along with the other seven beers offered on tap. The beer garden is kid- and dog-friendly, and every Friday at 5:45 p.m., you can enjoy The Brewmaster Toast—$1 beers until the keg blows. 1505 W St. Paul Ave., thirdspacebrewing.com

City Lights Brewing
Newly opened in February, this brewery is housed in the former Milwaukee Gas Light building that was renovated to retain its 20th-century vibe. Visitors can lounge with one of four house brews on the taproom’s leather couches or relax on the outdoor patio before or after Milwaukee Brewers home games— the stadium is only a five-minute walk from the brewery. 2200 W. Mount Vernon Ave., citylightsbrewing.com



Brewery Travels: My Favorite Brewery/Beer from Each State

In my ongoing quest to visit breweries all across this great land, I have now surpassed the 400 mark, and they’ve been spread across 37 states and 175+ cities. To celebrate this landmark, I’ve put together a ‘Special Edition’ of Brewery Travels: A rundown of my favorites in each of the states visited so far.

CATEGORIES: Beer   Feature   Midwest Breweries   Midwest Feature   Northeast Breweries   South Breweries   Travel   West Breweries  


Why a Miller Lite Was the Best Beer I’ve Ever Had

I’ve worked in craft beer for nearly five years now. I’ve had the fortune to try some truly amazing brews: Pliny the Elder, Heady Topper, Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition Stout. Supplication? I’ve got one in my mini-fridge. The reason I’m telling you this is because I want to frame my statements here properly. I’ve had good beer, trust me. The best beer I’ve ever had, though, was a Miller Lite.

CATEGORIES: Beer   MIDWEST   Midwest Feature  

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