Author: The Draft House

Best Brewery Tours To Enjoy in Wisconsin

Best Brewery Tours To Enjoy in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to some world-famous brewers. No, we’re talking about the major league baseball team. Rich with strong European immigrant culture and access to the right natural resources, Wisconsin has grown to become something of a beer destination. There isn’t a town or city in the state without local breweries cooking up a rich array of flavors. Brewery tours are a staple feature for these facilities and can offer a chance for home-brew enthusiasts and amateurs to get their lips wet with some of the finest lagers. Some brewing facilities even offer more in-depth experiences for a more technical, under-the-hood look at the company’s methodology.

Without further ado, here are some of Wisconsin’s go-to brewery tour destinations.

Capital Brewery – Middleton, WI

With more than 35-years of brewing experience, Capital Brewery is a bike-culture hub in Middleton, Wisconsin. It was established on the foundation of traditional German-style lager. The company offers private tours of its facilities and guest can peruse the brewery’s operations where it crafts its six-time platinum award-winning Capital Blonde Dopplebock. It’s also home to the best-selling IPA Capital Amber.

The business, located in a former Mazo Egg Factory building, features kettles from Hoxter Brewery in Germany and was founded in 1984. The company has won over 240 awards and was named “America’s #1 Rated Brewery” in 1998 and secured the national title during the 2013 US Open Beer Championship.

The company capitalizes on its outdoor venue spaces with its Bier Garten and Bee Patio spaces, which normally attract more than 1,500 patrons each Friday over the summer months. During the winter months, the company opens its doors for guests to enjoy drinks in its Bier Stube and Grain Room.

Hinterland Brewery – Green Bay, WI

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Hinterland Brewery is housed inside a repurposed meatpacking warehouse and offers brewery tours of its facilities. Tour guides offer behind-the-scene stories and facts about the operation while you enjoy hand-crafted beers in a souvenir glass. The name “Hinterland” is a call to break out of the status quo of overly commercialized beer and experience something with heritage and depth. The name literally means “the land behind” in Germain.

Owner and founder Bill Tressler launched the brewery with his wife in 1995 in an old cheese factory. After nearly burning down his brewery, they packed-up shop, ordered a dumpster rental, and began converting the Green Bay meat packing plant into a state-of-the-art kettle room. Tressler was hooked into the beer-crafting world while traveling across the nation as a musician. He said during his trips he would pore himself in Beer, The Magazine editions. Hinterland beers are served at the brewery’s affiliate restaurants known as the Whistling Swan Inn. There are locations in Fish Creek and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Lakefront Brewery – Milwaukee, WI

Launched in 1987 in Wisconsin’s Brew City, Lakefront Brewery features craft beer made in Milwaukee, brewed for the world. The brewery located on North Commerce Street near the Milwaukee River has become something of a landmark in the city.

The company offers three types of tours of its facilities including its famous daily tours featuring a 45-minutes experience full of facts, lore, jokes, a souvenir pint, and, of course, two pours.

Lakefront’s technical tours offer three hours geared toward the sharpest beer enthusiasts. The tour is led by experts and dives into Lakefront’s methodology and equipment. Guests get to experience mind-blowing food and brew flavors, and access to exclusive merchandise.

For those unable to visit in person, Lakefront’s website also provides virtual tours with 360-degree viewing of its entire facility. There are interactive hotspots where viewers can access information boxes that fill you in all of the details.

Milwaukee Brewing

Hunkered down in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward shopping district, Milwaukee Brewing Company (MBC), was launched in 1997 on the principles of using the best local ingredients and suppliers. The brewery expanded a decade later with the addition of its 2nd Street packaging facility. MBC employs environmental, green-minded practices and processes in its brewing. This includes an integration of traditional and non-tradition methods to reduce water usage. The brewery also has explored ways to reduce energy usage for heating its kettles and reduce its carbon footprint by ordering ingredients over sustainable distances.

The company offers two tiers of tours of its operation — its public tour and its Sunday tour. All tour guests get to sample experimental and staple MBC beers throughout the experience. The public tour lasts about an hour and participants are led through MBC’s industrial brewery site. The Sunday tour brings a more in-depth, technical approach to the tour experience and lasts 90 minutes.

O’so Brewing – Plover, WI

Since 2007, Plover, Wisconsin’s O’so Brewing has been delivering hand-crafted beer selections in central Wisconsin. Founded by Marc Buttera and Bart Peterson, a college passion for craft beer poured over into a business venture which now is producing a varied lineup of more than 230 unconventional beers and names. These flavors include West Coast Pale Ale and Black Cocker Bock.

O’so’s brewery has a capacity to produce roughly 280 gallons of beer per batch, two batches a week. One-hour tours of the facility are available on Saturdays with timeslots beginning at 2, 3, and 4 p.m. All proceeds from all tours are donated to a different charitable cause each month.

Pearl Street Brewery – La Crosse, WI

Pearl Street Brewery, located in the old industrial Rubber Mills business center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is a dream craft startup with now more than two decades in the craft beer space.

La Crosse is a historically rich beer town, with more than 160 years of beer heritage to pull from. The brewery crafts its famous D.T.B Brown Ale, El Hefe Bavarian Hefeweizen, Java Lava Coffee Stout, Linalool IPA, and a constantly growing portfolio of flavors.

The brewing journey at Pearl Street Brewery began with a father and son in a 1984 Eagle Wagon driven from Colorado with a trailer full of brew equipment. Once in La Crosse, it took 14 months of demolition, construction dumpsters, design, and building, but the aspiring brewers were able to kick on their kettles days before the turn of the century, in December 1999.

Pearl Street Brewery fans and interested parties can tour the brewery on the first Saturday of each month at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. timeslots. The tours include a souvenir PSB pint glass, one free fill, and BOGO vouchers for local bars and restaurants.

There you have it. Breweries across the state, are owned by passionate craftsmen and entrepreneurs hungry to push the envelope in the industry. With a city like Milwaukee being affectionately known as America’s “Brew City,” you know the competition in Wisconsin for high-quality beer and customer experience is going to be peak. Tours are an incredible chance to get a closer look at this art form, sample a few beers, and spend a fun, light-hearted hour or two in town with friends.

Top Three Brunch Spots in Milwaukee

Top Three Brunch Spots in Milwaukee

It’s time to tackle the ageless question: where is the best brunch spot? To know which Milwaukee breakfast joint is the absolute best, we have to establish some defining characteristics of a perfect brunch establishment. This article will be grading the different restaurants in three specific categories:

Food quality: Do the pancakes make your mouth water every time you see them fly by your table? Is the hollandaise sauce drizzled to perfection over your Benedict? Is that bacon crispy enough to throw shade at any Kardashian sister?

Mimosas: If the restaurant doesn’t serve mimosas it’s not a brunch spot and has no place on this list. Here’s the question though, do the mimosas heighten the experience from orange juice, beer, and champagne to something truly special?

Vibe: A good vibe can make any dining experience exceptional. From incredible hole in the wall diners to refined five-star restaurants, a little care for the aesthetic goes a long way.

With the categories listed out and defined, it’s time to unearth where the best brunch spots are in Milwaukee.

Spot: Brunch

Location: 714 N Milwaukee St

Overview: Naming your restaurant Brunch is a pretty bold move. Luckily, this Milwaukee classic is able to deliver. Brunch is spectacular from experience to taste. From excellent customer service to wonderful aesthetic to a myriad of food and beverage choices, Brunch excels at everything it puts its mind to.

Food: There is a BACON FLIGHT here… I’m not sure I reasonably need to say any more than that. Okay, but I will. There is also an absurdly good Mac and Cheese Burrito as well as a Brunch Spätzle that will blow your mind. No, there isn’t a bad option at Brunch, but yes, you will always be jealous of what everyone else has. There are too many delicious options for any one person to comprehend. Will you be back eating at Brunch every Sunday until the eventual heat death of the sun? Probably, but that’s the risk you take when you go eat at Brunch. Consider yourself properly warned.

Mimosas: Brunch provides seven ways to consume mimosas. Essentially deciding to be the ideal that all brunch establishments strive towards and they succeeded. The Tequila Sunrise Mimosa is spectacular and the Bro-Mosa is a terrific choice for anyone looking for maximum flavor while devouring scrumptious food. They even have party sized mimosas if you’re looking to share. I never am… so I’ll keep my mimosas to myself.

Vibe: Absolutely delightful, this wood furnished spot seems as though it was stolen from France, scooted along across the Atlantic, and simply placed perfectly into its current spot-on Milwaukee St. Outdoor seating means that you can stay and chat with a few friends, or they also service pickup currently. So, feel free to run in, grab your food, and sprint to whatever place you think will be more delightful than Brunch’s exterior.

Spot: Blue’s Egg

Location: 317 N 76th St, Milwaukee, WI 53213

Overview: If you haven’t heard of Blue’s Egg I am exceptionally grateful that you decided to read this article. Your life is about to be forever changed. If you want the brunch classics cooked to literal perfection, drive yourself to Blue’s Egg right now! Incredible atmosphere, lovely staff, and divine food make this place the pinnacle of diner eating. They master the eggs Florentine and huevos rancheros, though their scramble just may be my favorite thing on the menu.

Food: Anything you’re looking for, it’s right here at Blue’s. Florentine Benedict, Evoo Browns, Pulled Ham Omelet… honestly, I just want to keep typing out the entire menu because everything is so good!

Mimosa: Blue’s Egg’s mimosas elevate just how delicious orange juice and champagne can be. Freshly squeezed, perfectly mixed, the experience of drinking these handcrafted beverages is absolutely heavenly. Most places can’t give me a traditional mimosa and blow my mind. Blue’s Egg already has.

Vibe: Your quintessential diner, this place is all about the people working there. Just an incredible wait staff, host team, and though I’ve never met the chefs, based on their food, I’m sure they are delightful. Blue’s Egg is a perfect getaway.

Spot: Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern

Location: 234 E Vine St

Overview: Dang this place is cute as heck and so tasty! Vibrant atmosphere with food to match. This is a destination that will nail itself into your memory and never disappear. You’ll be haunted by the delicious tastes for years and years. It’s actually a curse to taste how good the flavors are at Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern. Still, you need to go.

Food: Get the loaded fries! Or the Wolfunidido, or the BELTCH… really, get anything and everything ordered directly to your table. Come to Uncle Woflie’s hungry because there is no chance you will leave with any room in your stomach. The sizes are large and unbelievably tasty. Even the Breakfast Burrito which could be completely average is terrific. They do not slouch on a single item on this menu.

Mimosas: While the mimosas at Wolfie’s are wonderful, the Fermentorium and Warpigs are the superstars. Fruity, tart, no matter how sleepy you are, they will wake you up. Pairing perfectly with nearly everything on the menu. If sweet and fruity isn’t your style, the Revolution is a chocolaty wonderland. Go every day until you’ve tried each and every one of these handcrafted drinks. That’s an order.

Vibe: Rustic to the ninth degree. You will feel as though you are in a wood cabin. Escapism at its best. Unless of course, your house looks like a wood cabin… which is not completely unlikely… I’m digressing, the vibe is matched by excellent service that will brighten your day. Just make sure you tip them appropriately, otherwise I’ll set a curse on you that will make everything taste like ocean water.

There are spectacular brunch spots all over Milwaukee, but these three stands at the top. Their vibe is to die for, their food is to die for, their mimosas are… well be safe drinking. These three shops will make any brunch nonbeliever see the light. So, go start enjoying your Sunday (Or any day, don’t be controlled!) right now, and then send me a thank you letter.

Cocktails Everyone Should Be Familiar With

Cocktails Everyone Should Be Familiar With

You’re sitting at a nice bar with someone you want to impress. Quick question, what cocktail do you order? There are five mixed drinks in the world that everyone needs to know. You should know what goes into them and why they are staples of every bar. Some of these cocktails are fruity and sweet, others will hit your mouth like a horrifyingly old boot. All of them are delicious in their own unique and peculiar ways. So, if you want to start making a great first impression, here are the top five cocktails you need to be familiar with.

  1. Old Fashioned

    If you’re unfamiliar with this classic, it’s time to become well acquainted. One and a half ounces bourbon or whiskey, two dashes of bitters, a muddled sugar cube, and a few dashes of water, this is the definition of elegance. The Old Fashioned won’t knock your socks off, it will remind you why we wear socks in the first place. It’s the tuxedo of cocktails and you’ll never look dumb ordering it at the bar. Garnished with an orange peel, the Old Fashioned mixes citrus and whiskey to perfection.

  2. Negroni

    I once had a friend describe a Negroni as the best tasting cold syrup he’d ever had. He wasn’t wrong. This sophisticated drink takes time to meld with your tastebuds. It’s not something that most people will celebrate the first time they have it, but there’s a certain allure that will keep you coming back time and again. Equal parts Campari, sweet red vermouth, and gin, the Negroni takes on a scarlet red allure. Each portion serving the whole in a cocktail of flavors that you will be peeling back and ascertaining for years to come.

  3. Dirty Martini

    Do not shake your martini… ever. James Bond does not know what he’s talking about when it comes to alcohol. When a martini is shaken the ice breaks down and dilutes the drink, taking away from the flavors. A martini is delicate, there’s a reason its glass is painfully difficult to manage. You need to take your time, experience the martini, it’s not meant to be downed and forgotten. A classic martini is one half ounce of vermouth and three ounces gin. To make it dirty, throw a few olives and a touch of olive juice inside. If you’re looking for the best martini of your life, ask the bar if they have blue cheese olives. Any bar worth your time will have them, and your mouth will thank you profusely.

  4. Moscow Mule

    I love Moscow Mules. I will fight for them every time a debate comes up on the best cocktails of all time. Here’s the thing though, stop ordering them at every bar you go to. It’s a painful truth, but most bars royally screw up their Moscow Mules. Unless, they have fresh ginger or make their ginger beer in house. Otherwise, the bar buys the cheapest ginger beer possible and completely ruins the cocktail. So, be assertive, ask how the bar prepares the ginger beer and don’t settle for anything less than the best. One and a half ounces vodka, four ounces ginger beer, and one sixth ounce of lime juice, the Moscow Mule is deceptively tricky.

  5. Manhattan

    This is for my sweet tooth lovers out there. The Manhattan is the closest you can get to refined dessert in a glass. Two ounces rye or Canadian whisky, a dash of bitters, three fourths ounce of sweet red vermouth, and a Maraschino cherry as garnish, the Manhattan is pristine. Its deep red hues raise the quality of its presentation, while the flavors harken to something more playful and immature. It’s a terrific blend of youth and class that tastes delicious during brunch or late into the evening.

With the internet and all of the world’s information right at hand, there’s no excuse to not know what’s in your cocktail. Bartenders all over the world are testing and creating brand new concoctions all the time. Though, for those times where you need to make a good impression, it’s important to have a base understanding of what drinks are out there. From the Old Fashioned to the Moscow Mule, there’s something for everyone, but make sure to challenge yourself and figure out why some cocktails never go out of style.