*This is the one-hundred and thirteenth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
7 on tap (4 flagships, and other “experiments”).
2) How long operational?
“Today is the official grand opening.”
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Hometown beer-focused folks with local pride.
Local bars already have kegs on tap.
5) What sets you apart?
Paying homage to the city, showing history of beer/names.
6) How did you get your name?
“People growing up around here call themselves ‘Stallis Stallions’.”
“We’re West Allis’ brewery.” – Erik Dorfner, owner and brewer.
Perhaps the only thing Erik and Kim Dorfner love more than beer is their hometown of West Allis. With Kim’s background working for the Best Place at Historic Pabst, and Erik’s pursuit of a brewing pedigree working on Lakefront Brewing Company‘s lines, they had the skills and knowledge to bring something to Stallis that the city hasn’t seen in…ever?…: a local brewery.
“[When considering a location for our brewery,] West Allis was the only place it was going to be. It’s personal for us.”
We happened to wander in off the hidden backstreets on their official grand opening night, though Westallion’s been “soft open” for a while now. The place was rocking, with smells of Cubano sandwiches wafting from the food truck and the acoustic rock styling of powerpop trio Bockenplautz.
I wouldn’t say Westallion is a small space, but it was standing-room only this Friday night. It seems that the city of West Allis, with all its many corner bars, was still thirsting for a taste of some local brews.
Western Days Vienna Lager
Tricks you with a creamy start before diving into sweeping green apple.
The Lost Turn Roggen Bier (German Rye Ale)
A very unique brew; a bit smokey, a bit sour, a bit light.
Extremely approachable levels of bitterness, with a Kolsch body.
Generale Scottish Ale
Scotched for taste, with a smooth mouthfeel. Lasting smokey peat.
Harvey’s Wallbangin’ Wee Heavy Strong Scottish Ale
A little heavier, a bit nuttier, and with secretly more booze than the Generale.
Six Points Licorice Porter
I got a lot more jalepeno than licorice in taste, but the lasting sweetness coats the tongue.
Dang, dat booze doh.
Classic beer styles help root Westallion in the history of both Milwaukee and our German heritage, but that doesn’t stop Erik from experimenting with those old styles.
They’re also dedicated to paying homage to the city and its residents, immediately evident in both their strong wordplay name and the names of their beers. In fact, Kim stressed how their beer descriptions are focused on the history of that style and the history of West Allis, telling a story more than listing rehashed IBU levels. Local gold medalist Dan Jansen even came in recently to help brew a beer with his name on it.
While sipping on my beer at Westallion Brewing Company, I could not stop thinking about how perfectly this brewery is capturing the spirit of the proud, working class city it represents. I expect to see plenty of local beers on tap around Stallis real soon.