*This is the one-hundred and twelfth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
25 of their own on tap.
2) How long operational?
Opened January 25, 2016.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Owners come from a national brewing family with local ties.
In-house only right now.
5) What sets you apart?
“The owner is very personable.”
6) How did you get your name?
Development of a new brand based on knowledge gained exploring the national brewing scene.
What happens when the dying mall industry mixes with the ever-booming craft brewery industry? The Explorium Brewpub at Southridge Mall, that’s what.
But just because they share a parking lot with a Macy’s, and there’s a food court down the hallway, don’t think for a second that The Explorium is phoning in the “craft” portion of their status. Their extensive beer list is brewed on site by an experienced head brewer, and their kitchen is run by a local industry veteran.
The foodie culture is moving to the burbs. There’s wood-fired pizza, a changing menu, and they even use some traditional brewing ingredients within their food recipes.
The brewery equipment is on full display, as is the brewer when he’s at work. We took our flights outside, though we didn’t even hit half of their house selection.
Spiced Belgian Wit
Juicy front, ends a bit refreshingly-tart.
I Love Gold Belgian Golden Ale
The light face belies the creamy, heavy, boozy mouthfeel.
Think slightly-aged apple; fruity, but subtly boozy.
I’ll Be Bock Maibock
Your go-to spring beer: fresh, dry, but still with a body.
A bubblegum-pop to begin in an otherwise smooth, all-day drinker.
A rollercoaster of tastes, jumping between hop, malt, and back to hop.
DAMN! That’s Good! Double IPA
Frothy: a hop-bomb if I ever had one.
Doc Rae Scotch Ale
Heavy on the good-burn, light on the Scotch taste. A night cap, for sure.
Co-nut-drum Peanut Butter Porter
Dark, creamy peanut butter mouthfeel, but a focus on the coconut and coffee tastes.
The outdoor patio seems even larger than their indoor dining space, complete with its own bar and fire pit.
As their first summer heats up, newly-planted hops vines are starting to shoot up around the outdoor area.
The Explorium Brewpub is redefining what suburban malls can offer by featuring a mile-long list of house-brewed beers, a welcoming indoor/outdoor environment, and well-crafted noms. Maybe I’ll come along for more “mall dates” with my mother-in-law and wife.