By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 21, 2024 at 4:02 PM

When you see 3 Sheeps' new Shorts and Hoodies beer, you might be inclined to guess it's an amber. Instead, the Sheboygan brewery calls it a "Beer Garden Pilsner."

“It’s a little bit darker than you would normally see for a pils, but it drinks really clean and crisp, has a really nice flavor," says 3 Sheeps Innovation Brewing Manager Nathan Miller.

"It’s one of my favorite lagers that we've put out, and it's got all noble German hops in it, so it's got earthy notes, it's got floral notes. There's just a hint of pine in there from the Hallertau Mittelfruh (hops) that we used.

“I would love to drink this in a beer garden outside in the summer and probably have more than one of them.”

The 5.5 percent ABV beer is available in 12-ounce six pack cans exclusively at the 3 Sheeps taproom in Sheboygan, where it’s also on draught. But soon you can find it more widely, packaged in the brewery’s Wisco variety packs.

The color, as you’d expect, comes from the malts used to brew the beer.

“It's nothing crazy, it's just German pilsner malt, and there's some carapils in there,” says Miller, who has been at 3 Sheeps for seven of its 12 years, but has known founder Grant Pauly since high school.

“Most of the color is coming from that German base malt that's got a little bit more color than the pilsner malts that we get here in the States. There's also just a touch of honey malt in there, which also adds a bit of color and a nice hint of sweetness that's not overwhelming.”

Most American pilsners are based on German-style pilsners' golden color, but the original Czech pilsners can sometimes edge into light amber tones.

The beer is limited, so grab some when you can as it won’t likely be back in the short term. However, Miller says some of the beers in this limited series could pop back up in the future.

“We certainly won't brew this (again) this year,” he says, “but I think we all like this one enough that it's a recipe we will stick in our back pocket to potentially bring back later.”

As with each of the Wisco series limited brews, the sell-through helps to determine the timetable for when the future installments are brewed, Miller says.

“We watch the inventory levels through (distributor) Beechwood and sort of plan our next brew around how quickly those beers are moving. It does take a lot of planning – especially for something like a lager, which is going to spend longer in the tank (than an ale) – to see when do we need to brew that next beer.”

Like the other beers in the series, the label on this one depicts one of the members of the brew team. In this case it’s brewer Chris Alitz.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.