Had the good fortune last night to take a tour of The Milwaukee Brewing Company, the city's newest and smallest bottling/canning brewery.
My friends went last week and were agog with how much it was like the glory days of tours at Lakefront Brewery, back when they weren't overloaded with frat-types. When they were small, intimate, and genuinely about the beer.
Truthfully, I didn't see much more than the first 5 minutes of last night's tour. Turns out my old friend Joe is a brewer there now. He started out 3 or so years ago as a floor sweeper, and has worked his way up so that he now gets to futz with the ingredients and make the damn stuff.
He and the head brewer talked to me about how their history/genesis, why they use isinglass in their Ale House beers (but not the brewery ones), and about the contract brewing they do.
Best of all, I got a nice tour of their beers, including a few pulls directly from the kettles—something I've never had the chance to do before.
It's very much a working brewery. Boxes and bag and random shit everywhere. They have curtains up to block out some of the junk, but even that can't mask it.
And know what? They may be making my favorite beer in the city. Such variety and lack of fear when it comes to styles.
The tour is $5 and you get a shitload of beer. All delicious. Do it now before everyone else discovers how great it is and you have to battle a bunch of meatheads at the taps.