Milwaukee Craft Beer Exchange


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Social Media Accounts All MKE Beer Geeks Should Follow

There are some pretty awesome beer peeps here in Milwaukee that all focus on different aspects of beer. There are classic beer bloggers, beer finders, beer photographers, tasting note guru’s, beer clubs, and everything in-between. Check these awesome folks out that help grow and cultivate our thriving beer community.

Milwaukee Beer RadarScreen Shot 2017-02-07 at 4.04.48 PM
Only posting to Twitter, MKE Beer Radar lets everyone know where new/rare/exciting beers are being sold and/or tapped around the city. If you’re a truck chaser, I’m sure you already follow them. But, this account is great when you’re looking for a place that tapped something new or hard to find. It’s also a crowdsourced idea, so if you’re at Burnheart’s and they tap a keg of Perennial SUMP, shoot a tweet to @MKEbeeradar and share the wealth.

Milwaukee Beer Craft
He’s the new kid on the block, as he started his blog mere months ago, but he’s been producing a lot of great content. What’s great about Milwaukee Beer Craft, is that he focuses on conversations with brewers. Most of his articles include tasting notes that come from him as well as the brewer that brewed the beer. His delivery is smart and he asks great questions. Definitely give him a follow as he’s already gotten some sneak peaks at beers that (at the time) haven’t even hit the market.

Milwaukee Beer SocietyScreen Shot 2017-02-07 at 4.06.44 PM
One of the coolest beer groups in town, these guys and gals taste around 10-15 unique beers every Wednesday. Yes, every single Wednesday. How cool!? I personally know many of the guys involved and they couldn’t be more welcoming to new members. $10 membership fee and $10-20 per tasting. Tasting prices change due to price of beer (a barrel aged imperial stout tasting will cost much more than a pilsner tasting). Most meetings are held at Best Place but they’ve been known to go on field trips and do their tastings at local breweries.

A man, a twitter handle, and a love for all things craft beer. If you want to know about a beer event/tasting/beer pairing dinner/beer news/etc., just click that “Follow” button now. He’s been keeping Milwaukee up to date on all things beer for some time now, and it doesn’t sound like he’s stopping any time soon. Like sports? You most likely just found your new favorite twitter account (and person?).

Other great social accounts:

Kathy Flanigan

Chris Drosner


Brew City



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Juncts In The Trunk

The word “adjunct” alone has a history if giving beer enthusiasts nightmares… Adjunct beers were seen as cheap, cheating, inauthentic and low brow. But oh how the tables have turned. Now-a-days, adjunct stouts are some of the most sought after beers, and for good reason. They are absolutely delicious and beer pairs so damn well with so many flavors. So drink what you like, right? Here’s a list of some of my favorite adjuncts and specific beers that showcase those juncts well. You can never have enough junct in the trunk… Well you can, I’ll have a short list of beers that I think have WAY too many juncts.

There are tons of beers that could fall in these categories, these are just a small sampling of ones I have had and enjoyed. Have favorites? Let me know.

Oskar Blue – Death By Coconut
Bent Kettle – K’Paui
New Holland – Drangon’s Milk Rum Barrel Coconut
Goose Island – Bourbon County Prop. 2013Adjunct Beer

Goose Island – Bourbon County Vanilla Rye
4 Hands – Madagascar
Half Acre – Vanilla Big Hugs
Breckenridge – Vanilla Porter

Cinnamon & Spice
Cigar City – Hunahpu
Perennial – Abraxas
Avery – Xolotl
Central Waters – Cassian Sunset

Chocolate & Cocoa Nibs
The Bruery – Chocolate Rain
Central Waters – Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter
Brooklyn Brewing – Black Chocolate Stout

Lagunitas – Hight Westified
Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
Alesmith – Speedway Stout (and all of it’s variants)
Founders – Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Toppling Goliath – Morning Delight
Funky Buddha – Maple Bacon Coffee Porter
Mikerphone – Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit

Peanut Butter
Dangerous Man – Peanut Butter Porter
Belching Beaver – Peanut Butter Milk Stout
DuClaw – Sweet Baby Jesus!

Too Many Juncts In The Trunk
Founders – Lizard of Koz
J. Wakefield – East Bound & Down
Deschuttes – The Abyss
Bell’s – Neptune

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Third Space Brewing Co.

Many of you have already popped into the newly opened Third Space Brewing Co., but if you need any more incentive… I’ll be behind the bar most weekends! That’s right, I’ll be working for Third Space in their tap room and I couldn’t be more excited. Come on in this weekend and say hi!

Third Space Hours
Th. 4-9pm
F. 2-9pm
Sa. 12-9pm
Su. 12-7pm

1505 W St. Paul Ave, Milwaukee WI


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Best of Fest

Getting straight to the point. Here’s a list of my favorite beers I tasted at The Great Taste of The Midwest, in no particular order.

Raspberry Katy

Dangerous Man – Sour Delores #7 Righteous Babe (watermelon)
Dangerous Man – Sour Dolores #2 Raspberry
Mikerphone – Special Sauce Batch #5
Mikerphone – Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit
Bell’s – Traverse City Whiskey Barrel Aged Expedition Stout
2nd Shift – Raspberry Katy
Imperial Oak – Billy Dee’s Coconut Pecan Porter

Before GTMW I had only had a few beers from Dangerous Man. Granted they we’re their most popular chocolate peanut butter porter and another fantastic offering. But, I was unaware they were making sours and wow, they blew me away. The juiciness they were able to pull from the fruit and into the beer was fantastic. Very clean and refreshing sours. Give them a try any chance you get.

I’ve slowly been becoming a fan boy of Mikerphone due to my frequent stops in Chicago, and the fact that they made a farmhouse ale called Jibboo (see phish beer reference). NE style hops are all the rage, and Mikerphone is making some of the best. The nose and taste of these beers are immediately reminiscent of Trillium and Treehouse. So incredibly juicy without tasting like syrup. Solid hop bite, and insanely crushable. And wow, Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit is worth the hype. Maple is a flavor I don’t always enjoy in a beer, it can be overwhelmingly sweet and overpowering. But this beer is well balanced. The coffee cuts back that maple flavor sweetness. Solid beer.

Traverse City Whiskey Barrel Aged Expedition Stout, is there really anything else I need to say?

2nd Shift, out of Missouri, is another brewery that has a good amount of hype and attraction behind it. They’re making sours. They’re making BA Stouts. So, yeah. I’ve tasted some of their stouts and they were fine. Nothing I’d write home about, but Katy and her variants have been all over the big trade boards and blogs, and I’d be damned if I didn’t get a taste. This was my first beer of the best, and probably the best. Hot damn! The aroma, color, taste and aftertaste were all amazing. Real fruit taste, multiple layers of flavor, and solid until the last drop. So the hype is real on this one… Shit.

Imperial Oak was on my short list of breweries to try that I’ve never had anything from, and they didn’t disappoint. This porter has some solid juncts in the trunk, but they don’t overpower the base porter. Both the pecan and coconut are relatively mild and simply add to the flavors of the base beer. Lots of chocolate, caramel, bitter bakers chocolate, some nuttiness from the pecan and a slight hint of toasted coconut. Really great beer and a brewery I’m definitely keeping on my radar.




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Great Taste Eve Highlights

Great Taste of The Midwest(GTMW) is arguably one of the best weekends in the state of Wisconsin to be a beer lover. The best breweries in the nation bring their top notch beers and it’s all enjoyed in a scenic park just outside of downtown Madison. The Friday before GTMW, also known as “Great Taste Eve” is also something special. All the breweries that are participating in the actual beer fest takeover the tap lines at just about every establishment in Madison. All(most) of the events are free, are insanely packed, but allow traveling beer lovers to have more than just one afternoon of awesome beer tasting. Here are my highlights for Great Taste Eve.

Breweries of St. Louis Tap Takeover
Brewery List
2nd Shift
4 Hands
Kirkwood Station
Urban Chestnut

Where: Dexter’s Pub


Tipsy Gets Surly
Surly Beer List

Coffee Bender
Todd the Axe Man
Darkness 2015
Darkness 2015 Barrel-Aged
Surly Gose
Surly Pils
Surly Viking Ale
Where Strides the Bromeliad
Dampfbier Nitro

Where: Tipsy Cow


O’so And Friends at The Geuzeria
The pre-party Sour and Funky beer. O’so Brewing Company – Tap House will be headlining the show and we have some awesome funky brewery friends stopping by. Food Trucks from Underground Food Collective and El Grito Taqueria.

Where: Funk Factory Geuzeria

Check out the rest of the events HERE.

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Lost Valley Cider Co.

Directly from their website:

Lost Valley Cider Co. is built on the ardent belief that life is an adventure worth exploring.
We’ve found our Lost Valley: it’s a state of mind.
An openness to the vast potential of the universe.
The feeling you get through shared new experiences.

We invite you to join us in our exploration of cider at our Milwaukee, WI taproom & bottleshop to try our favorite unique, diverse and exciting ciders on offer.

A word of advice to our fellow trailmates: Keep your eye on the horizon and follow your bliss to find your Lost Valley.”

I’m personally excited about Lost Valley as they’re furthering the scope of fermented beverage exploration here in Milwaukee. Check them out!

I’ve also added them to my “What’s On Tap” page.

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The Best Way To Trade Beer

It’s dark, pouring rain, a chilling howl from the wind permeates your eardrums. There’s a flickering street light with a hooded man beneath it. You can’t see what he’s holding. Your heart races, you begin to sweat profusely. You inch closer. You squint, and there it is… He’s holding a bottle of Cantillon! You proceed to exchange beers like its an illegal drug deal, never giving names, nor telling the other your area of residence. You go home feeling like you survived a near death experience…

Beer trading does not have to be this way.

With every IP (in person) trade I conduct, I always make sure to meet the other trader in a space where we can have a beer, have a cup of coffee or simply sit down and chat for 5-10 minutes. We travel the world, chase trucks, wait in line at 2am and jump through flaming hoops to find these beers; isn’t it worth a few minutes to hear the story behind the beers, but more importantly, hear the stories behind the people trading the beer?

Of course, it doesn’t always work out that the other trader can stay for a beer, but at least make an effort. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down with a trader I’ve never traded with before in my life, shared a few beers, and heard some phenomenal stories about their beer travels, beer hunting and beyond. Sometime these encounters turn into long friendships. So, stop meeting guys in parking lots and go grab a beer with them. BeerAdvocate has it’s place in the beer world, but if you’re trading local, take the time to meet the people behind the beer, it’ll be well worth your while.

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My Favorites of 2015

Seem’s like every year the beer world decides to take it up a notch. Bigger beers, better beers, new flavors, rejuvenating old recipes and more. It’s a wonderful time to be a beer drinker and it’s an even better time to be a Milwaukee beer drinker. It felt like every other week we were adding a new brewery to our distribution portfolio, and the more the merrier. Here are my favorites of 2015. Not all are new beers. Some are new, some are old friends, some are new to Milwaukee and some are simply new to me.

Ballast Point Victory At Sea
When Milwaukee found out we were getting Ballast Point, I’m pretty sure the clouds parted, golden rays of sunshine kissed our faces and a six pack of Victory at Sea descended from the heavens. I’m almost positive that’s what happened… But in all honesty, Ballast Point is a killer brewery from San Diego offering world class IPA’s like Sculpin and its variants, but they offer some delectable dark brews for those interested. And Victory at Sea, an imperial coffee porter, is one for the books.

Karben4 Idiot Farm
Their Fantasy Factory can hang with the big dogs like Zombie Dust, PsuedoSue and Heady Topper. But, their new Imperial IPA, Idiot Farm, might even be better. Had my first taste at Great Taste and was instantly hooked. It’s a big, juicy, balanced hop bomb that leaves you wanting more. There were some slight differences from barrel to bottle, but it’s still a phenomenal beer. Can’t wait for this to hit distro again.

3 Sheeps Paid Time Off
Coconut has become something of a phenomenon in the beer world. Proprietor’s Stout, Death By Coconut, and now Paid Time Off. It’s an ingredient that divides beer drinkers. Some love it, some hate it, there is no middle ground. And Paid Time Off is a coconut beer done very well. Roasty, sweet, nutty, chocolatey. This beer has everything you’d ever want in a coconut beer.

Central Waters Rye Barrel Black Gold
If you were lucky enough to get a taste of this, you know what I’m talking about. If not, well I’m sorry. I got a taste of this at Sugar Maple’s pre-Great Taste event. Black as night, thick as molasses, this monster of a beer is a bourbon lovers nectar. Huge chocolate aroma and taste up front, but as it warms, the bourbon comes out to play and it’s not fucking around. The rye version adds that slight spice, but between the regular and the rye version I couldn’t choose a victor. They bottled the regular, seek it out… totally worth it.

Lagunitas High West-ified
If this list had any ranking order to it, this would absolutely be near the top. Probably my favorite surprise-beer of 2015. The ScareCity series has been hit or miss for me, but when the gang at Lagunitas dropped this little gem, they had my attention. It had some hype behind it before it dropped here, so of course I hopped on the train and grabbed a few bottles as soon as I saw it on the shelves. It’s a barrel aged coffee stout done to perfection. Better than this year’s KBS, better than Sunday Morning Stout, better than almost any other BA coffee stout I can think of.

Tyranena/Lakefront Brewery Two Lakes
Grapefruit IPA’s have been around and most are done with amateur results. Some stand out and some are immediately forgetful. But when Tyranena and Lakefront teamed up to make this bad-ass triple IPA with grapefruit, they went all in. It paid off. I’m writing this wishing I had one to dive into tasting notes, but amazeballs should suffice. But trust me, if we see this again, do not hesitate to fill all of your growlers with it.

With so many fantastic beers out there, it’s pretty hard to compile one of these lists. If you made a best of 2015, what would be on it?