Milwaukee Craft Beer Exchange


My Favorite Milwaukee Shelf Beer

Most of us reading this are uber beer geeks who like to land big whales and generally have tried everything our local bottle shop has on the shelf… and in the back… and in the bottle shop owners cellar. We enjoy waking up at 7am to get in line for a 12 oz. bottle that’s going to cost $8.99 because we enjoy the thrill of the chase, but more importantly the taste and exclusivity of the beer. But, all too often we overlook those beers that are readily available because of that simple reason: we can get them whenever we want. Yes, beer is subjective and we all like what we like, but here is a short list of shelf beers I think are fantastic and if you haven’t had one in a while, give it another shot.

In no particular order:

#1. Ale Asylum Hopalicious
– The flagship from Madison’s Ale Asylum, this pale ale packs more hops than most IPA’s and is insanely drinkable. Some citrus and grapefruit notes arrive at first sip and a small bite with earthy hops finishes this beer. A perfect beer for summer

#2. Tyranena Rocky’s Revenge
– This brewery has been overlooked and underrated for a while now, and I’m okay with that… More beer for me. But this is their flagship, an American Brown Ale. Has a nutty aroma with a chewy malt body. Notes of vanilla, toasted nuts, sweet bread and more come through.

#3. Three Floyds Alpha King
– Yes, yes; we all know Zombie Dust… but Three Floyds makes more than one beer. This American Pale Ale clocks in at 6.66% abv. When fresh, this APA explodes with sweet citrus flavors of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon and more. Little-to-no bite that keeps you coming back for more.

#4. New Glarus Raspberry Tart
– How awesome is it that we live in Wisconsin?! These New Glarus fruit beers and just sitting on our shelves and beer geeks in other states are trading their last born child to get a taste. There is a reason these brews have such a high trade value… THEY’RE AMAZING! Drink them people.

#5. Smuttynose Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series)
– Another common misconception with great beer is that it needs to be expensive. This 22 oz. Imperial Stout can be found on shelves for $5-7 a bottle! Buy a few, drink one now and cellar the rest. This 10% abv. stout is released in fall but hangs around for a while. Trust me, it’s fantastic.

#6. Uinta Hop Nosh
– New to Wisconsin is Uinta Brewing Company, out of Utah. This flagship IPA can hang with the big boys. There is a generous malt presence giving the beer great bready aromas and color, but those hops come in full force. A piney/earthy/floral taste rushes in and leaves a refreshing, not unwelcoming, bite on the end.

#7. Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet
– This Belgian Tripel that is among the best in the world… And it just sits on our shelves. If you like Tripels and have never had this, please leave your cubicle, tell your boss there is an emergency you have to attend to, and go buy this beer.

#8. Upland Coast Buster
– Hop heads are always looking for that next big IPA that they can wreck their palette with. And, here it is. This Imperial IPA clocks in at 8.10% abv and has a big resinous hop presence as well as delicate floral and citrus fruit undertones. It’s damn tasty.

#9. Lagunitas Sucks
– Don’t believe the packaging. This could be their best IPA/Imperial IPA. When fresh, this beer permeates with citrus, sweet pine, and peppercorn aromas and the flavors explode from their. Get this fresh and you’ll be hooked.

#10. Epic Big Bad Baptist
– Still boggles my mind that we chase trucks for beers like KBS, Bourbon County, etc. yet Big Bad Baptist just hangs on the shelves. Yes, they brew a shit ton of it, but come on; if you don’t find that stout you were looking for, do yourself a favor and grab a Big Bad Baptist. This beer kicks some serious ass. Great beer for the cellar.

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