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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs

In the mood for a heaping pile of tater tots smothered in Hopped Up beer cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, olives, green onions, smoked bacon and sour cream. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Bars & Clubs

Music pumps through the speakers, but with plenty of seating downstairs at the bar and in the mezzanine, it seems rare that the restaurant would get too loud. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Bars & Clubs

The pizzas here are a point of pride. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Bars & Clubs

Come summer, the spot it poised to become an outdoor dining gem. Until then, however, the inside is comfortable and fun with food flowing until midnight. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

The Horny Hideaway pairs pub grub with craft beer


Milwaukee's been buzzing about since Horny Goat Brewing announced its arrival in spring, and chances are the six packs -- or their saucy slogans -- have caught your attention at liquor stores around town.

CEO Jim Sorenson has been pushing his Horny Goat Belgium, Expose and Hopped Up 'N Horny brews since launching in April, and has been hinting about the Horny Hideaway, his new brew pub in Walker's Point, housed in the former Pump House at 2011 S. 1st St.

Completely gutted and rehabbed in 2006 from its '30s-era industrial heritage by former owners Michael Murray and David Skwarek, the large, open-air concept building was all but move-in ready for the start-up brewery, which contracts with Stevens Point Brewery.

But thanks to the size of the space, Horny Goat Brewing has designated an area for in-house brewing where customers can see the large vats behind windows, a la Milwaukee Ale House. But for now, the Horny Hideaway seems to be focusing on crafting the perfect pub meal.

The menu is a full breadth of hearty appetizers, chili, soups, burgers, pizza, salads, panini, wraps, sandwiches and desserts. And the glory part? Horny Goat pairs each food item with at least one of its craft beers.

If you are a strict hop head and know before getting there that you're ordering a Hopped Up 'N Horny whether you're in the mood for a burger or a Greek pizza, then the pub's pairing guidelines will be ignored. But if you're a craft beer newcomer who was raised on Miller Lite, then consider it your guide to gastronomic satisfaction.

With a few exceptions, the fare here is nothing too far out of the ordinary; it's what you might expect nowadays from a brew pub in any part of the country. But that's not to say it doesn't have its own signature. Under the appetizers section you'll find loaded tots, a heaping pile of tater tots smothered in Hopped Up beer cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, olives, green onions, smoked bacon and sour cream. It's decadent, to say the least.

The Horny Goat beers are incorporated into other sauces as well. The "house" pizza, the Vixen Red BBQ pizza, comes coated in a thick layer of homemade BBQ sauce prepared with Vixen Red Lager and he Hopped Up 'N Horny is found in a vinaigrette dressing.

Music pumps through the speakers, but with plenty of seating both downstairs at the bar and on the mezzanine, it seems rare that the restaurant would get too loud. Still, it has a distinct good-times vibe not unlike the Wicked Hop. Other than the major structural details -- the intentionally leftover vestiges of its past life as a functioning pump house such as the exposed brick, duct work and steel beams -- the interior is vastly different from its days as the Pump House bar.

Gone are the small clusters of couches. In their place is a pool table, dart boards, electronic slot machines and flat screen TVs. Outside are two large patios, though the Horny Hideaway hasn't yet had the opportunity to take advantage of its unique location -- an out-of-the way river spot nestled comfortably along the bank with an abundance of outdoor seating and water views.

Come summer, the spot it poised to become an outdoor dining gem. Until then, however, the inside is comfortable and fun with food flowing until midnight.


Talkbacks

noah06 | Dec. 27, 2009 at 2:58 p.m. (report)

Love @ first sight: I was at the Hideaway on Saturday night drinking a Horny Blonde, and you walked in with a friend. You had beautiful blue eyes and other noticable things ;-) You and your friend had a few beers and what I believe to be the Loaded Tots appetizer (which is my favorite). I think that I fell in love with you right away. If you want to get together, let me know...I really think we could hit it off over Loaded Tots (no bacon, of course) and a few Milky Stouts--I saw you drinking that. ;-) -Your Horny(ha) Admirer

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milwaukee49 | Dec. 21, 2009 at 4:52 p.m. (report)

Had lunch at Horney Goat Hideaway today to be plesantly surprised with the food and the beer. I had the Bruchetta appetizer with goat cheese, marinara and pesto fantastic! The chicken panini was also very good. Had the Milk Stout beer which was a good dark beer with a coffee aftertaste. A little hard to find but in a year or two this could be the next hot spot in Milwaukee.

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phoner | Dec. 8, 2009 at 10:22 p.m. (report)

Three Cellars doesn't even carry it. According to them it was that bad.

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phoner | Dec. 8, 2009 at 10:18 p.m. (report)

It's the Windows Vista of brewpubs. I have a beer still sitting in my fridge from a party, I'll probably just pour it out.

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Guiseppa Marcello | Dec. 7, 2009 at 8:54 p.m. (report)

I've been to the Horny Goat hideaway a few times since they opened and I have to say that everything from the food to the service and the overall environment have increasingly improved. I think some opinions of the place are a bit premature. Any new business will need some time to acclimate itself. From all the improvements I've already seen since they opened I think they are responding to the customers feedback very well. Give it another shot if your first experience wasn't all it could be. Besides...How can you go wrong when you can get half priced drinks Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. A microbrew for $2.00 a pint. Thats the price of a PBR special. I don't know about you, but I'd rather drink Horny Goat in 6 different flavors than Pabst.

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