*This is the one-hundred and twenty-sixth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
11 craft brews on tap + PBR.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Current Pabst chairman, Eugene Kashper, wanted to bring the iconic Milwaukee brand back locally to connect closer to consumers.
Crowlers, limited bars nearby for now.
5) What sets you apart?
Location, history, and brewmaster experience.
6) How did you get your name?
Captain Fredrick Pabst, of course.
Pabst Brewing Company needs no introduction, but their new venture might. The behemoth brewing conglomerate, now the largest American-owned brewery, still is churning out untold gallons of their iconic PBR (or rather, Miller is for them). But now, a golden church on their sprawling former Milwaukee campus is shipping out kegs of new recipes, brewed in the company’s hometown for the first time in nearly two decades.
The shell of the 1873 German Methodist Church still resembles its original function, though the divine is now more liquid than oratory.
Both historic, long-forgotten names as well as a field of newcomers line the tap handles. Though we passed on the contracted-PBR, we tried its more flavorful brethren.
Burst of juicy hops, mellowed by sweet mango and a back-end of malt.
Pabst American Pale Ale
Mmm, if you like musty, full-bodied but light ales, get in here. All-day APA.
Subtle nuttiness; hides its taste behind welcome drinkability. How a “poundable” Oktoberfest should be.
Dat rye doh. Very present, almost spicy. Sits and makes home on the back of your tongue.
Schmidt’s Reserve Dark Lager
Dryer than I expected, with a malty, roasted coffee taste that takes its time to develop.
American Dark Wheat
Well-used malt, turning your idea of a wheat beer askew. The body is familiar, but not the woodsy, wild-cherry notes. Better when slightly warm.
Light on the squash tastes, but an interesting bitterness settles into an otherwise approachable Brown.
Midnight Sun Doppel Bock
A gateway-sour beer: focuses on the fruity nose rather than the bold puckering. Almost dessert-like.
Summer Solstice Wit
Clean, fresh, floral, and almost creamy. A crowd-pleaser.
On street level, below the feet of Pabst parishioners, the gleaming craft brewery equipment fills every nook and cranny.
A winding staircase leads up to the choir loft, where one can sing the praises of beer. Out back behind the newly-built kitchen, tucked between towering grain elevators, a hidden beer garden sits like Eden.
It may seem silly to toss about holy words when speaking about the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery in their new church digs, but when a city and country’s beer history is so enshrined in one company, the resurrection of that brand seems to fit.