Milwaukee Craft Beer Exchange

great taste of the midwest

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.