*This is the one-hundred and fourth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
15 on-tap staples.
2) How long operational?
Started in 1999 on Pearl Street (downtown). Moved to current location over 10 years ago.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Owner studied brewing and worked in Colorado before starting up locally with his father.
WI, MN, IA. Kegs and bottles.
5) What sets you apart?
Employees are very close knit, like a family.
6) How did you get your name?
Started on Pearl Street in La Crosse.
Big old warehouses in a workman’s part of town definitely become less creepy when there’s a steady stream of well-crafted beer leaving the dock doors. We were initially surprised at the historic industrial setting, but after settling in with our flights, it was clear the space suits PSB’s needs well.
The access to large, open, cheap space likely helped PSB grow to be such a well-known institution. There’s also something to be said for a brewery whose focus is on the art of brewing, rather than dropping millions on a brand new facility.
Besides, in a blue collar town like La Crosse, good beer in large quantities is welcome regardless of the time or place.
Aka your classic domestic brew.
Downtown Brown (D.T.B.) Ale
Smooth, approachable, satisfying.
Evil Doppelganger Blonde Dopplebock
Slightly juicy, with a hint of pepper.
Farmhouse-style; grainy, leans Amber.
Pearl St. Pale Ale
Light and poundable. A lingering lip-smacker.
Raspberry Tambois Sour Belgian Ale
A long-lasting raspberry tartness.
Me, Myself and IPA
Prominent cereal grains make this a sugary, interesting take on IPA.
Java Lava Stout
Coffee in beer form.
The 10% alcohol does a number on mellowing the hop head of this beer.
That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout Rolled Oat Stout
Classic Stout, defining the style.
Rubber Mils Pils Pilsner
Very subtle buttery and nutty notes in an extremely light beer.
El Hefe Wheat
Light in flavor. Reminds me of a hot, summer patio day.
Citra hops are on a full display in this juicy IPA.
Pearl-Iner Weisse Sour Wheat
Sour pear lingers in the nose and on the back of the tongue.
Musty, grainy, fuller bodied than its looks imply.
Pearl Street Brewery keeps active in the community, but it all starts in-house. As manager Kirsten told us,
“The employees here all very close knit, like a family. We have barbecues together, celebrate birthday parties.”
As we lingered, the taproom and tours became standing-room only; it was clear the local populace has taken notice and made PSB part of their family as well.
Once you find their historic warehouse, take your time with Pearl Street Brewery’s dozen+ beers, chat with the friendly staff, and become part of the family, too.