*This is the one-hundred and ninth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
8 on tap, constantly trying new recipes.
2) How long operational?
Brewing for 2 years, only 3 months with a taproom open.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Fort Atkinson location is between large cities and under served.
5) What sets you apart?
Historic basement location, unique beer stylistic risks.
6) How did you get your name?
“Bent” is both “not true to style” and “focused”.
A rainy Friday night brought us to downtown Fort Atkinson in search of Bent Kettle Brewing’s new taproom. Though their tall-boy cans have been traversing the state for a couple of years, they just recently opened up a permanent public location in the basement of an 1800’s Cream City Brick beauty.
There are helpful hands pointing you in the right direction down a flight (for a flight).
Don’t be alarmed by the funny eyes staring all entrants down: they’re just a call back to founder and brew master Mark Cook’s previous profession as an optometrist.
The first space is decked out as a game room, complete with pool table, high-top tables, and TV for sports.
But take a turn, and the main chamber opens up into a completely unexpected bar and lounge area. The posh setup, replete with royal purples and dark blues, is capped by a beautiful large salvaged antique chandelier.
Mark told us his home brewing “went from a healthy outlet to an unhealthy obsession.” We kicked back on the couch and tried all the fruits of his unhealthy obsession that night.
Unheard Of Kolsch
Got that Kolsch buttery kick, but mated with an apple-y fruitiness.
Problem Child Triple IPA
Flower-forward, followed by extreme booziness.
Go Faster Amber Rye Ale
Slight malt, more in taste than body. A fruity oakiness. Satisfying.
Thwack! Smoked IPA
Lightly-smoked for subtle rounding, but the main course is still lipsmacking hops.
K’Paui Wowie Hemp Seed Coconut Porter
“Ooo, one of the most interesting beers I’ve had.” Very coconut-y. Like a dark beer made for the beach.
Sha-Wing Vanilla Porter
The Porter invites you in, then the vanilla smacks you upside the head. Ends with a coffee sendoff.
Oh Em Gee Porter
Like an apple-juice dark beer. Light in body, heavy in unique taste.
Rum-Barrel Aged K’Paui Wowie Porter
The “let’s sip” and/or “let’s get crazy” version of boozy coconut coffee.
Bent Kettle Brewing is “not afraid to take risks”, which is reflected in both their unheard-of beer styles (others not tried: Oyster IPA, Twinkie Beer) and the plush basement-lounge setting. If you’re hell-bent on unique tastes, find your way down for a pint.