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

Lazy Monk Brewing, LLC
97 W Madison St
Eau Claire, WI 54702
Visit date: 06/25/16

Quick Hits:
1) How many different beers?
11 on tap, ~20 total.

2) How long operational?
Opened 2012 across the river, in current (larger) location since January 2016.

3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Czech transplant wanted a taste of home.

4) Distribution?
Self-distribute to bars and groceries nearby.

5) What sets you apart?
Active locals, authentic experience.

6) How did you get your name?
Though our bartender wasn’t positive, patrons commented that the owner resembles the jolly, laid-back monk mascot.

Lazy Monk Brewing, LLC in Eau Claire. All photos by Joe Powell.

Lazy Monk Brewing, LLC in Eau Claire. All photos by Joe Powell.

I’ve never been to the Czech Republic, but I now assume that every bar hosts a bevy of friendly locals drinking classic-style beers brewed by a jovial, relaxed little man. Maybe that’s a pretty specific stereotype, but Lazy Monk Brewing in Eau Claire is as close to Bohemia as I’ve ever been.

Dark woods, communal tables, new friends.

Dark woods, communal tables, new friends.

“We provide the true bierhall experience.” – Sarah, our bartender.

From the decor, to the seating arrangements, to the working fireplace lounge, this large open space was designed to facilitate the communal drinking of beer and swapping of stories.

Even on a rainy day it's hard to not want to patronize the plumb river-side bier garden.

Even on a rainy day it’s hard to not want to patronize the plumb river-side bier garden.

In the warmer months you can even take your samplers out to the biergarden, though this day we stayed at the inside bar. Here we learned the owner/brewer is originally from the Czech Republic and started brewing traditional styles for his Wisconsinite-wife’s hometown as a way to bring his homeland closer.

Pivních vzorků, prosím.

Pivních vzorků, prosím.

Pivo de Monk Lager
This copper lager lingers long after the malty head subsides.

Weizenbock
Banana present but not overpowering.

Maibock
Nuttiness hits you first, ending dry and smooth.

Admire, but don't try to drink out of, the array of steins above the fireplace.

Admire, but don’t try to drink out of, the array of steins above the fireplace.

German Keller
Like a bite of a crisp apple; would be great on a warm fall day.

Dunkelweizen
Malty with a slightly bitter finish.

We encountered numerous active Mug Club members while there.

We encountered numerous active Mug Club members while there.

Our experience at Lazy Monk Brewing was like the Czech version of the classic show Cheers (Na zdraví).

“There’s people in their 20s, there’s people in their 70s.”

Indeed, there was a huge diversity of beer drinkers (and dogs) present, and all seemed to be old friends. If drinking quality, old-world style beers is what it means to be lazy, I think I could manage.

Easy to be lazy after a few good brews.

Easy to be lazy after a few good brews.