*This is the fifth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
6 on tap, 9 total
2) How long open?
Tap room 2 months (August 2014)
On tap in 18 bars around MKE, plans for bottling. Goal is 1200 barrels year 1.
5) What sets you apart?
All the things! Community-focused, happens to serve beer.
A few doors north of La Perla in the happening-Walker’s Point area is a garage door opening up into Brenner Brewing. Inside it’s like someone fancied-up a parking garage…because that’s exactly what Mike Brenner did. It’s a cool hangout spot, with a projector on the wall playing ESPN, a long bar with more TVs, a game of Bags, tables, and art everywhere on the wall. It reminded me a lot of the neighborhood-breweries I experienced in Seattle, where the locals come down for fresh brews.
$8 gets you the tour, a flight of 4 beers, and a bottle-opener. The beers came in branded glasses on a plank of wood with the brand burned into it:
Star Baby IPA
Tasty, drinkable IPA.
Bacon Bomb Rauchbier
Yes, it tastes like bacon. Like, a lot.
City Fox Pale Ale
My favorite, this Pale Ale packs solid malty and fruity tones.
Bitter Amber, rich taste.
Fruity Weiss, packs a hoppy-punch.
Easy-drinking Pils, a bit watery compared to its tap-friends.
The beers here are solid and that’s because Mike Brenner knows how to brew, having studied at some of the world’s greatest brew-schools. Mike’s really the star of this brewery, with his personality and his stories and his passions. It’s like a community-circus with beer as a refreshment and Mike as the ringleader. The art on the walls is local (and for sale). The brewery was built in large part by crowd-funding. The bottle-labels will feature locals’ designs and music (yeah, just wait). The space is used for art expositions.
Mike peppers the tour with details that he utilizes and loves that no other small-time brewery even knows about yet, and he’s a traveled-guy willing and eager to talk about interesting things with anyone.
My stop at Brenner Brewing Company vaulted this place to the pinnacle of my brewery experiences. In a town built on beer, Mike Brenner is offering so much more to go along with a good brew.