*This is the one-hundred and thirty-sixth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
8 on tap today, never dropping below 6, headed to 10.
2) How long operational?
Since August 2017.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Manitowoc needed a true craft brewery.
In-house only for now.
5) What sets you apart?
Real rock music, real boisterous crowd.
6) How did you get your name?
Friend had a “pet skull” of a goat on his coffee table. Now it hangs on the brewery wall.
“We’re all metal-heads.” – Paul Hoffman, owner & brewmaster.
When heavy metal music is playing, you don’t typically see people sipping an appletini: rock’n’roll is beer-drinking tunes. And PetSkull Brewing, on the north end of downtown Manitowoc, is making beer as hardcore as their accompanying soundtrack and macabre namesake.
Enjoying both the beer and the bumping soundtrack, warm and inviting locals flood the clean, homey taproom.
“Every seat is full. These are our neighbors; it’s loud, brash, loving, friendly.”
We snuck in to the last couple empty spots at the bar, and killed one of the kegs just in time before the growler crowd came through.
Jake’s Malt Lemonade
Spiked lemonade; tangy & tart, not too sweet, not too sour.
Sticky Fingers Honey Blonde
A touch of locally-sourced honey adds character to a poundable light beer.
Schnitzky Weizen German Hefe
Delicious maltiness coats the tongue, but the smooth banana and clove peeks through.
Saturday @ 7 Saison
Nice body, with a refreshing amount of spiciness.
Hvisdier Schedel Belgian Dubbel
Reminds me of a spiced holiday ale, but goes down easier and begs for a second taste.
Southside Amber Lager
Your classic, old-school malty Amber, with a hint of rustic red apple for flavor.
Bitter Skull Double IPA
A bitter bomb for you hop-heads. Pleasing to the puckered palate. Warming in the belly.
Got Stout? Milk Stout
Coffee-forward, with a creamy & mellow backend. Satisfying.
Paul and his wife Kathy, between catching up with relatives and friends around us, regaled us with their story.
“(Manitowoc) didn’t have a full-fledged brewery, and it was frustrating. I said, ‘I think there’s an opportunity here. No, I know there’s an opportunity here.”
There were some doubts; namely, small-town Wisconsin’s penchant for light domestics.
“Are you sure craft beer is going to go over in Bud Light, Busch Light City? But it’s been a challenge to keep our beer stocked.”
Ultimately, though, it seems Paul and Kathy’s unique but authentic attitude, and winning beer, have converted the locals and drawn in travelers to PetSkull Brewing.
“We’re here. The person who made the beer is here. Anyone can come in and ask me questions, and I want people to come here and drink my beer with me.”
We recommend you do just that.