*This is the forty-eighth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Rustic Road Brewing Company
510 56th St
Kenosha, WI 53140
Visit date: 03/04/16
1) How many different beers?
6 on tap, always rotating. 50+ in portfolio.
2) How long operational?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Owners Greg and Michelle love Wisconsin, and Kenosha was a beer-void halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago.
Growlers and howlers and 22oz bomber limited releases.
5) What sets you apart?
“…(W)e are (a) small batch artisanal brewery.”
6) How did you get your name?
In honor of the Rustic Roads, a Wisconsin-wide motorcycle trail.
The term “craft” is used liberally in today’s brewing lexicon, and with good reason: “craft” implies that a brewery is using classic techniques, working in smaller batches, pouring blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes literally) into their beer. But BJ “Bier” Stein of Rustic Road Brewing Company in Kenosha settled on another, similar word to describe their work: “artisanal.”
He stressed to us that Rustic Road employees and head brewmaster are “always experimenting.” We even got to try some homebrews they’re working the kinks out of, served straight from the unmarked two-liter bottles. BJ’s passion for the beer and their brewing process was palpable. We got a flight to sample all 6 of their artisan brews that night.
Cherry American Wheat
Fresh, juicy, with a hint of cherry.
Right balance of hops; drinkable.
Fahrenheit Jalapeño Peppercorn Pale Ale
Don’t be scared: more tangy than hot. An interesting trip. Made me want nachos.
Mosaic SMASH American Pale Ale
Unique, superfresh. Stays in your nose.
Queen Bee Belgian Strong Ale
Bangarang. Very strong, very tasty.
TB’s Robust Porter
Super true to style.
While BJ was understandably excited about the beer itself, the bar was packed full of patrons because of the ambiance as well. It’s a pretty narrow space, but offered plenty of room. While visiting, we enjoyed the free popcorn and participated in a rousing game of pub trivia.
Similar to its namesake, Rustic Road Brewing Company offers a unique respite from the day-to-day (in a decidedly frothier fashion). It’s worth a stop anytime you’re nearby, as this artisan beer-maker’s styles are ever-changing.