This weekend, you’re invited to a parking lot party. Sort of.
The 5.8 percent ABV farmhouse ale was brewed with pilsner malt, raw wheat, toasted buckwheat and hay. Yes, hay.
“It was mashed with local hay from Door County,” says 1840’s Kyle Vetter. “Brewed in June of 2019 at Hacienda’s Door County brewery, the wort was driven back to Milwaukee to ferment at 1840.
“Fermented with our house culture in Pineau des Charentes and Cabernet Sauvignon puncheons (large format barrels), (it was) bottled in fall of 2020 and left to naturally condition in the bottle until now.”
I asked Vetter what each of these ingredients brought to the brew.
"The hay didn't really impart that much flavor on the wort," he says. "The buckwheat added a creamy and bready characteristic to the unfermented wort that was really nice."
Nature and wood contributed plenty, though, he adds.
"After 15 months of fermentation and aging the yeast and bacteria, as well as the oak barrel characteristics are what dominate the flavor profile," says Vetter.
"Tart with a mild funk and a crisp dry finish. There are definitely some wine notes throughout since Pineau des Charentes is a fortified grape product and the other barrel we used was a Cabernet barrel."
As for the name, Vetter says that it derives from when he headed north to brew the beer.
“My wife and I went up to Door County for their beer fest and brewed two beers with Hacienda and hosted a beer dinner with Hacienda at Heirloom Cafe and Provisions while we were there,” he recalls. (The other beer they made was Don’t Call It A a Hybrid DIPA made with grape juice, sold that summer by Hacienda.
“We camped down the road and rode our bikes to and from each event. The beer fest was in the park next door to Hacienda and we ate breakfast at the restaurant that used to be located in front of the brewery. Basically we spent the entire weekend hanging out in their parking lot drinking beer, making beer, and having a good time with friends.”
Bottles of Parking Lot Party will be available only at the 1840 Brewing Company tasting room, 342 E. Ward St., for $19 per 750 mL bottle.
The online presale runs Friday, Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. or until the beer sells out. The beer can then be picked up Friday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday, noon until 5. The taproom is open for carryout sales during those times, but remains closed to on-site consumption.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.