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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

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In Living Commentary

Order a Famosa at Odd Duck and drink Guatemalan style.

In Living Commentary

The Ruby Tap's self-service wine bar is a fun and different drinking experience. (Photo: Lori Fredrich)

OnMilwaukee.com recommends, Sept. 1, 2012


Beer, The Beatles and more await you in this week's edition of OnMilwaukee.com Recommends – read on and find something new for the weekend.

Famosa beer at Odd Duck – I've had the good fortune of traveling to Guatemala twice in my life, and during my visits, I knocked back a few cans of the country's oldest and most available beer, Gallo. In the United States, Gallo is called Famosa, and I've only found it at El Rey (occasionally) and Discount Liquor (with sweet regularity). However, during the 10 years I have been a fan of this lager, I have never once seen it on a menu – until this week. I spotted it at the bottom of the lengthy beer list at Odd Duck, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and it turns out, the bartender is a fan of the cerveza, too. It's not a complex craft beer by any means, but if you're in the mood for a refreshing yellow beer, instead of a Pabst or a Miller, try a Famosa. It just might cure what ails ya, Guatemalan style. – Molly Snyder

"Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles' Solo Careers" by Andrew Grant Jackson (Scarecrow Press) – While the author loses me in his futile effort to create tracklists for the Beatles' LPs-that-never-were out of solo material – it seems risky business to assume a continuing Beatles would have looked anything like the solo records (especially considering so many of the best post-Beatles songs were written in bile about each other and the conflicts that ended the band) – I love his book. Over the course of 300 or so pages, Jackson explores the high points from the solo careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo. More than simply presenting release dates, recording info and chart positions, Jackson delves into the inspiration for the lyrics and where the key players were at in those moments. It's a new take on a much-chronicled band. And Jackson (and YouTube) might be happy to know that a book he wrote with the help of YouTube videos (to hear many of the songs), sent me straight back to YouTube to hear the ones I didn't know or hadn't heard in years. While I don't always agree with Jackson's assessments – for me, listening "Beaucoups of Blues" verges on painful – I love picking up "Still the Greatest" and spending a bit of time delving into the music of my youth. – Bobby Tanzilo

The Ruby Tap – After reading Lori Fredrich's piece on The Ruby Tap last week, I had to see this unique wine bar for myself. Located at 1341 Wauwatosa Ave. in Tosa's quaint downtown area, The Ruby Tap takes a fun and different approach to wine. Their libations are all self-serve and dispensed through a card key-run tap system. There's a bit of a learning curve (for people like me who don't bother to read the directions on the chalkboard above the taps in particular), but the bar's staff is friendly and more than willing to help. Once you've mastered the taps (really – it's not hard at all), the system is genius – even with as packed as the bar was when I stopped in, I didn't have to wait once for another glass. And if that's not a recipe for a bar's success, I don't know what is. – Renee Lorenz

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