*This is the forty-third post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*

Big Head Brewing Company
6204 W State St
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 257-9782
Visit date: 01/23/16

Quick Hits:
1) How many different beers?
7 on tap; 3 flagship and 20 rotating.

2) How long operational?
September 2013

3) Why? (here, this, etc)
It’s a newer residential neighborhood (>1000 units across the street), and owner was semi-retired with time on his hands.

4) Distribution?
3-barrel system with growlers to go.

5) What sets you apart?
“Friendly space & good beer.”

6) How did you get your name?
Founder had a bigger-than-usual head growing up (the struggle is real).

Big Head Brewing Company in Wauwatosa, WI. All photos by Joe Powell.

Big Head Brewing Company in Wauwatosa, WI. All photos by Joe Powell.

On the far east end of State Street where Wauwatosa meets Milwaukee, a slowly-burgeoning neighborhood with high-end apartment complexes is rising around an industrial area. Though just a half-mile or so down the street from Miller Brewing, both the young Tosa residents and blue-collar workers need a local watering hole. Big Head Brewing Company fills that niche nicely.

Who needs tap handles when you've got hammers?

Who needs tap handles when you’ve got hammers?

This former warehouse and industrial space functions pretty much like your neighbor’s garage brewing operation. Picnic tables, board games, Bags (or Corn Hole), pinball, shuffle-board, mismatched-kitchen tables; it’s an eclectic mish-mash that somehow works given the setting.

There's so much room for activities!

There’s so much room for activities!

It’s sparse but welcoming, fun but relaxing. It helps that co-owner Pat is liberal with the free popcorn and aux-cable for pumping in your own jams.

Even Old Man Dan approves of Joe's music choices.

Even Old Man Dan approves of Joe’s music choices.

The brewing equipment is located in an open corner, though you’re better off headed to the bar for the finished product. We tried all 7 they had on draught.

A quick game of Hammerschlagen inbetween brewing batches is the secret ingredient.

A quick game of Hammerschlagen inbetween brewing batches is the secret ingredient.

Saison
Delicious, fruity, slightly dry.

Holiday Ale
Spiced, perfect for a winter walk.

Pinkies out.

Pinkies out.

Dortmunder
Nosey and earthy; covers the palate.

Helles Bock
Intriguing: unfiltered and crisp.

The only kind of extreme ironing I want to be doing.

The only kind of extreme ironing I want to be doing.

IWA (What’s IWA stand for? “It stands for IWA.”)
Bitter, heavy for a light beer.

Smash
Flagship, Amber-esque. Poundable.

Raspberry Cream Ale
Wheat-y with a raspberry tinge.

Big Head Brewing Company is a no-frills neighborhood hangout spot with games and space for summer or winter enjoyment. Grab some friends, some popcorn, and some fresh beer – just don’t let it any of it go to your head.

43 Big Head Brewing Company (9) sd