By now everyone knows that I love finding craft breweries. Living in a region like Milwaukee, with a longstanding brewing tradition, serves me well. New craft breweries in the Metro Milwaukee area are popping up every month. 2015 and 2016 saw an explosion of new breweries for me to check out. Of course any “best of” list is completely subjective, so I encourage you to visit Metro Milwaukee and see if you agree with my choices. My list of the best craft breweries in Metro Milwaukee:
My list is the best craft breweries of Metro Milwaukee because my top pick is actually in a suburb 15 miles west of downtown Milwaukee. What can I say, good beer is worth a little drive.
This brewery is my benchmark for all other breweries in the area. Raised Grain, established in 2015 by two local physicians, produces consistently great beer across all styles. Raised Grain rapidly outgrew their initial brewery/taproom in the western suburb of Waukesha. That says something right there. They recently expanded into a 20,000 square foot brewing facility further west in Waukesha, leaving the original location as the taproom. This taproom location, in an obscure business/strip mall, is its only B grade in an otherwise “straight A” report card. They make up for that by giving Waukesha County a great selection of pop-up beer gardens during our beautiful summer months.
Their beer reflects the scientific quality control I would expect from medical professionals. That is not to say that the beer is sterile or predictable in any way. The beer is high quality and spot on for each respective style. It is creative while staying true to traditional styles. One of the brewers has a strong passion for Belgian styles and that is reflected on the tap list.
- Paradocs IIPA These tap handles stagger under the weight of all the brewing competition gold medals.
- Naked Threesome Who wouldn’t love anything with that name? The naked three being Citra, Mosaic and Crystal hops; so get your mind out of the gutter!
- Six Stone Scothch Ale My personal favorite with beautiful amber coloring and a hint of sweet from the oak barrels.
- Spring City Saison My second favorite. I enjoy the ever so slightly wild of this Saison. This Belgian classic triggers my wanderlust for a trip to Belgium!
Good City Brewing is about passion for craft beer, lasting friendships and a commitment to seeking the good.
Well that is a mighty promise from a brewery. This brewery hit the scene in 2015 and wins for the best overall craft beer experience.
Head Brewer Andy Jones came to the Good City enterprise with impressive brewing credentials. He completed the UC Davis Master Brewer Program and earned his stripes with time at Goose Island Brewing in Chicago and Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. I have to say that Good City has a selection of very nice quality beer, but the best asset is its overall sense of place.
With wide open industrial-chic decor, Good City offers a great space for hanging with friends, tasting beer, listening to local music talents. The quality of the food also deserves rave reviews. The menu is eclectic and trendy to entice its eastside hipster community. Added to good beer, great food and quality ambiance is the overarching philosophy reflected in the name Good City.
“Good City Brewing is built on the conviction that everyone should live life as if they have been granted a key to their city. To have a key is to seek the good as a friend and ally of your local place. We are committed to brewing beer that inspires others to live with a key and participate in Milwaukee’s resurgence.”
Good City has an ever-growing, impressive taplist featuring flagships, seasonals and specialties:
- Risk IPA and Reward Double IPA These siblings, like most brothers have family ties but couldn’t be more different in personality. Risk is a clean and refreshing IPA. The Reward is a powerhouse with tropical leanings.
- Argent Nitro Irish Red This seasonal is just in time for St. Pat’s, a little spicy and earthy it takes you home to the Emerald Isle
- Lord Lyon and BBA Lord Lyon are new on their specialty list. Lord Lyon is my favorite style; Scotch Ale. An of course the BBA is bourbon barrel aged!
Another newcomer to the area, Mobcraft moved into the Walker’s Point neighborhood in 2016. This “crowd-sourced brewery” is a transplant from Madison Wisconsin. It arrived with a well established reputation among the Millennial crowd. For us older generation, crowd-sourcing means that the brewery brews beer chosen by the fans. Here is how Mobcraft explain it:
Each month we leverage the power of the crowd to generate ideas for unique craft beers. Beer fans across the US submit ideas ranging from a couple flavors to tried and true homebrew recipes. The ideas go up for vote each month on our website. Votes are cast by placing a pre-order for the beer you would like to see brewed. The beer with the most pre-orders wins and is brewed, packaged and shipped straight to your door through an online retailer or available for pickup at the brewery.
I love this concept, it keeps the taplist very eclectic and experimental. From a business perspective it is inspired, guaranteed pre-sales and fan engagement. Mobcraft also runs a flagship taplist and a Sours program. With all these choices every level of risk taker should be satisfied.
- Vanilla Wafer Porter If you haven’t noticed, my tastes run dark and sweet. This flagship makes me go MMMMMmmmm.
- Hop Goes the Grapefruit is their flagship IPA that my hoppy hubby loves.
- Examples of crowd-sourced winners Dudeism a White Russian Stout, Screwdriver Hefe, Queen Hazel an Imperial Hazelnut Milk Stout
- Current crowd voting for February include Ninja Smoke Bomb a smoked tea Porter, Supper Clubbin Grasshopper Milk Stout, Stitch and Snitch a raspberry and peach Sour.
If any of these a calling your name, get online and vote. Better yet get down to Mobcraft and imbibe! Mobcraft Brewing’s wild and weird makes it on of the best craft breweries in Metro Milwaukee.
Best Craft Breweries in Metro Milwaukee
Metro Milwaukee, and for that matter all of Southeastern Wisconsin has dozens of craft breweries. This list shares my current favorites, and the ones I would tell a visitor to find. But my list of favorites is ever changing because the craft beer industry is growing everyday. Share your local favs in the comments. I always need new inspiration wherever I travel.
Be sure to add craft breweries to your next trip itinerary. Better yet, come to Metro Milwaukee for your next beercation and create your own list of the best craft breweries in Metro Milwaukee!
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