*This is the forty-seventh post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co.
716 58th St
Kenosha, WI 53140
Visit date: 03/04/16
1) How many different beers?
7 on tap, usually 9. 20-30 total made.
2) How long operational?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Owner was an 11-year homebrewer looking to be the first craft brewery in Kenosha (though they were beat by a few months).
Growlers, kegs to bars and restaurants, bottles to grocery stores.
5) What sets you apart?
“All beers are balanced. We like the cafe setting: games, bands, record-player.”
6) How did you get your name?
“A nod to the traditional English/Irish public house, (which encouraged) real conversation, connection, and exchange of ideas.” Also alludes to their connection to the community.
Making “beer for the people” is the motto for PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co., and the crowd present on a Friday night in Kenosha was a testament to their success in that endeavor. Their taproom is cozy, filled with a foosball table, shuffleboard, and low-top tables and stools meant for card games with friends.
The low-key, community camaraderie was evident in both the space itself and the engagement of the locals. Located near the entrance is a cleared space for local bands, two of which were setting up during our visit.
A popular patron pastime is to decorate the blank coasters, many of which are used as featured artwork throughout the space. It’s a neat and unique concept, and it was hard to resist grabbing a gel-pen and joining in.
Featuring solely their own beers on draught, we dove right in with a flight ($15 for 8 samples).
Bits & Pieces American Pale Ale
Refreshing, with a hoppiness that lingers on the back of your tongue.
Public Excess IPA
Flowery and light.
Gingerbread Monk Belgian Dubbel
Nutty and drinkable, with a slightly-malty aftertaste.
Inkwell Black IPA
Roasty; like a burnt marshmallow.
Bone Dry Nitro Irish Stout
Barley and grain-heavy, with coffee notes.
So smooth. One of my personal favorite ever Porters (from an admittedly Porter-averse drinker).
PUBLIC Craft even shows their love for their early-supporters on a large plaque in the back of the taproom. As owner Matt told me,
I think we have a responsibility to welcome [others] into our beer-geekness with open arms (and taps), not with pretentiousness.
That quote’s not just lip-service; you could feel the authenticity emanating from the very walls of PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co. Beer for the people? I’m a people!