*This is the ninetieth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
4 on tap, up to 6.
2) How long operational?
Brewing since spring 2014.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Coffee shop asked former patron and current brewer to bring his skills in-house.
5) What sets you apart?
Limited processing, real ingredients.
6) How did you get your name?
Coffee shop started with “raw” food, and their beer is “the real deal.”
Down the street from UW-Stout in scenic Menomonie is an unassuming little glass front for The Raw Deal.
This local coffee roaster, smoothie maker, and fresh snack shop is focused on real, natural ingredients as untouched by processing as possible.
The inside is cavernous, with high ceilings, classic brick, and tin work. On this particular Saturday morning there were local vendors hocking their wares between the tables and lounge seating.
As we sat down for a breakfast of bagels and spread, I figured there was no better accompaniment than fresh beer.
A few years back, The Raw Deal made an offer to let their current brewer, Brian, start brewing up batches of beer for the coffee shop. Brian is a UW-Stout graduate in food science, who spent many days studying and hanging out at The Raw Deal before graduating and working for another established local brewery. But when friends at The Raw Deal broached the idea, Brian jumped:
“There’s no reason to ship a beer from across the country when we can make a great one right here.”
Big mouthfeel; a tacky hoppiness that lingers but doesn’t leave you full.
Very smooth. Scotch taste is obvious but not overwhelming.
Like drinking a classic pub. Goes down like water, but leaves you wanting more.
A sharp roastiness mellowed by cream. An easy substitute for a coffee at this shop.
Now Brian’s focused on making traditional styles with as little processing as possible:
“We want our beer to be a little more raw, a little more real.”
If that’s not their slogan yet, it should be.
We sipped and noshed and watched as the coffee shop filled with happy folks, most drinking down the raw coffee and a few (like me) the real beer. I could stay a while here in Menomonie.