Daily Archives: 04.24.2012

Craft-Beer Tasting: Wisconsin Edition

Tonight is one of those posts where The Blog more closely resembles a Diary or Secret Journal than any sort of serious attempt at storytelling.

I know.  I KNOW.  Who am I?

In all seriousness, I do love that I can go back to old posts and flip through snaps and stories like some sort of elaborate and glue/sticky tape-free scrapbook.

Look.

The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.

Sprecher Brewing Company

Milwaukee Brewing Company

New Glarus Brewing

Please accept my apologies for the heinous editing jobs.  In case you were wondering: Breweries + Tap Rooms are NOT the best places to source appropriate and abundant amounts of natural light.

Right?  Who knew.

Anyway, not shockingly, we brought home more beer this trip than we did wine from Napa.

The Haul: Tyranena Scurvy, Sprecher 25th Anniversary Belgian-Style Dubbel, Sprecher Abbey Triple, New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red.

We didn’t bring home more New Glarus brews because (1) We’re still sitting on four packs of their Cherry Stout and Barleywine; (2) We have a bottle of their Raspberry Tart in the beer fridge and; (3) Billy goes to school at La Crosse and regularly ferries home mixed-packs for us.

No, I don’t know what we’re going to do when Billy graduates next spring, either.

Yes, I think it’s time for us to invest in a beer-rack in the same way that we own a wine rack.

We are officially beer collectors and stash-ers.

Because some of you might actually want to take a trip like this someday, or just want to know where we went, or maybe I’ll want to remember where we went…

The Breweries

  • The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. (Chippewa Falls)
  • Pearl Street Brewery (La Crosse)
  • Sprecher Brewing Company (Milwaukee)
  • Milwaukee Brewing Company (Milwaukee)
  • Tyranena Brewing Company (Lake Mills)
  • New Glarus Brewing (New Glarus)
  • The Great Dane (Madison)

If we would have known where specifically, in Milwaukee we were going well in advance of our trip, we would have booked tickets at Lakefront Brewery.  Another place we just didn’t have the time to hit was Sand Creek Brewing Company in Black River Falls where they also brew the Furthermore label.  Finally, if you’re already near New Glarus/Madison you can probably find the time to visit Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe.

The Restaurants

This trip had zero culinary focus which can be evidenced by the fact that we didn’t eat lunch until ~4 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Let me tell you, popcorn and pretzels does not a happy Kat make.

Well actually, they do.  Just not as a sole source of sustenance.

Glarner Stube (New Glarus)

If you do a tasting at New Glarus, they’ll give you a coupon to use on a small pull at one of bars/restaurants in town.  When we asked the cashier in the beer cellar where we would be able to source the best cheese curds, she word vomited this place up without missing a beat.  That is what we call an unfiltered opinion.

What we found there were very literally the best brat and cheese curds I have consumed domestically.  Like, we’re talking to the point where Marcus and I were raving so much at the bar that the bartender and our fellow patrons became New Best Friends.  They were as  stunned by our enthusiasm for their everyday fare as we were.

Cafe Benelux (Milwaukee)

Apparently the group that owns this place has another called Cafe Hollander.  I don’t care which location you visit or how you get there.  Just beg, borrow or steal to make it happen.  As it was described to us by fellow tasters at Sprecher, their menu is a piece of paper and their beer list is a monthly-published periodical-type booklet.  All of their taps are Belgian-style (with most of them being from Belgium).  You will be able to taste things here that you’ll never, ever, be able to find anywhere else again.

Food-wise, I had a phenomenal pannekoeken  topped with soft fried eggs, asparagus, parmesan and bacon.  It will haunt my dreams forever.

They also action these ridiculous, hand-formed cheese curds that are blended with bleu cheese and bacon.  As our new friends at Sprecher described them, the tots were the first thought to cross their mind upon waking the next morning.  They were not kidding.  The tots were truly a spiritual experience.

What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten on vacation?