*This is the seventh post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Tornado Brewing Company
3506 E Layton Ave
Visit date: 1/23/15
1) How many different beers?
14 on tap, 89 total
2) How long open?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Long-time homebrewer. Brewed 3 hours away (Woodman, WI) with private spring water. MKE location close to airport, in neat “monastery” building.
Growlers to go. 3 barrels/month at Woodman Whistlestop.
5) What sets you apart?
Weird flavors, small batches. Brewer makes and serves it all.
I’ve been hearing rumblings on the Interwebz for a while now about a small little outfit serving cheap, unique flavors in Cudahy: Tornado Brewing Company. This unassuming old building in Milwaukee’s forgotten southern neighbor had a smattering of regulars at the long bar when we came in on a Friday night. There’s also table seating and a back room we didn’t venture to. Decorations are sparse, but owner/brewer/server Dennis and the locals are friendly and plenty interesting.
They had 14 of their own beers on tap, most of which I tried in small samplers. To say they were odd flavors is an understatement; I’ve never seen such a variety. As Dennis said, “Small batches means the best flavors. You can’t hide any flaws.” I had such a hard time coming up with non-ridiculous beer descriptions. The below is the best I could muster.
– European Pale Lager
– New Zealand Pilsner
Fruity and aromatic. Made with gooseberry.
– Belgian Extra Witbier
A smoked Blue Moon.
– White Chocolate Ale
Like a slightly-chocolatey lick’m sticker?
– KK Belgian Quad
Musty, taste of spices.
– Arctic IPA
Very minty, not bitter.
– Honeysuckel Cream Ale
– Pancake Porter
Breakfast in a glass.
On top of all the beers Dennis also makes his own liquors and serves plenty of cheap pub grub. We indulged in some fries (“Why do you use fresh potatoes? Because that’s the way to go. Quote me on that.”). $19 later I’d tried 9 beers and an appetizer. ¡Que ridiculo!
Dennis and friends seem content with those who are actively seeking out the unique brews they offer waltzing in, inquisitively. Honestly, I expected to dislike half of the beers I tried based on their names, but found all were surprisingly pleasing if out-of-control different. You won’t find a better chance to take your taste buds on a boozy adventure for cheap than at Tornado Brewing Company.