Milwaukee ain’t called Brew City for nothing.
Despite growing up in Milwaukee, I haven’t always been a beer drinker (what can I say – it’s an acquired taste, even for this gal). It’s only been in the last few years (and ironically, since I’ve been living on the East Coast) that I’ve grown to like beer. Dark beers are undoubtedly my favorite, but I also enjoy red ales, a good IPA, and many of the holiday specialty brews (Lakefront Brewery’s Spiced Winter Lager? YES!)…clearly I could go on, but that’s worthy of another blog post.
There have been many new breweries popping up in Mil-Town over the last year, so Connor and I decided to create our own little tour of Brew City when we were there over the holidays. It took a great deal of strategery given the fact that Christmas and New Years fell on a weekend this year, but thanks to the Packer and Badger games, we were able to navigate many pretty well actually!
I picked Connor up from the airport at 10:30am on the Friday before New Year’s Eve and we headed to the lakefront Colectivo for coffee and a quick breakfast. Our first stop…
Good City Brewing
I actually went to Good City over the summer and knew immediately that I had to bring Connor! They’re located on Farwell in—if memory serves me from my UWM days—the old World of Wings building. Their beer comes in many unique and different styles and it is all fantastic! We enjoyed our time there so much…that we actually went back on New Year’s Eve when they tapped rare Milwaukee brews from a variety of local breweries. We even got Lakefront’s 2016 Black Friday Ale! True story. Faves from this visit: Density Imperial Stout and BFG Barleywine. If you come to Milwaukee to Seek the Good beer, you’ll surely find it here.
Funny story—we were on our way back to the south side after leaving Good City the first time and happened upon Urban Harvest, like ya do. We visited Urban Harvest on New Year’s Eve (after Good City the second time…they were closed the rest of our trip, so it was a now or never situation and, like I mentioned, #strategery). Our friend (and amazing local beer insider) Liz had raved about Urban Harvest, so we knew all three of us had to go! And let me tell you, all four beers in my flight were amazing. I had the Blood Orange Wheat (new release), Nookie Nookie (Chinook Citra Pale Ale…wow!), Espresso Amber, and the Imperial Chocolate Whiskey Stout. Everything was so delicious! We will definitely be back. Beer. Local. Damn right.
I had actually been to Mobcraft this past summer during one of their tap takeover events, but Connor hadn’t been yet. (We’re also big Shark Tank watchers, so after their appearance on the show and hearing that they were opening a space in Milwaukee, of course we had to check it out) Located on the corner of 5th and Virginia in Walker’s Point, Mobcraft has an awesome taproom! Abundant space, plenty of games and comfy chairs, and a plethora of unique brews. We went on New Year’s Day, so many beers had kicked the night before; the selection was a tad slim. I started with Night Creature (sour ale) and Ale Project C (dry-hopped IPA), had a few sips of Connor’s Stay Puft Porter and Grandma Adeline’s German Chocolate Cake (a milk stout with chocolate, coconut, and vanilla), then we shared a bottle of the Malt Shop Suds Milk Stout with Liz. My favorite Mobcraft beer was actually not available—the Crimson Commander, an imperial red IPA—which was a bummer, but their stouts and BBA beers are always pretty fantastic. I enjoy their recipe creativity and think their crowdsourced business model is really cool. Join the mob and check ’em out!
When I was mapping out our brewery strategery during the week between Christmas and New Years, I kept seeing Facebook ads with this beautiful red beer and a Wisconsin Badger flag in the background. Lo and behold, it was Raised Grain in Waukesha and their award-winning Paradocs Red IPA! Connor and I were en route back to the Milwaukee area on January 3 after visiting my good friend Mandy (and her adorable 2-year-old daughter) in Jefferson, Wisconsin (Ever been? Us either. We found a cutesy little coffee shop though!) and since Raised Grain was LITERALLY on the way back on I-94…needless to say, we stopped in. Coincidentally (…or not), it was during the Badger game. We got to participate in “Jump Around” while we sipped on a flight that included Paradocs Red, Santa’s Sack Christmas Ale (because…obviously), Driftwood Porter on Nitro, and the Threesome in the Dark Black IPA. I enjoyed them all, but Paradocs Red was the true standout. Our passion, our beer…count us in for a return trip!
And there you have it—our holiday beer-ventures. Well…for the record…we also popped into Lakefront and D14 because…how could we not? We had so much fun exploring and sampling new brews. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for 2017. Cheers!