When Broken Bat Brewing Company owners Tim Pauly and Dan McElwee hatched the plan for their brewery and tap room at 231 E. Buffalo St., their hope was for an Opening Day launch.
And they were pretty much on the ball, only a few days late. The baseball-themed brewery and tap room – the first of its kind in the Third Ward – will open its doors to the public on Friday, April 7 at noon.
A garden level brewery
The brewery isn't difficult to find. But, you will have to head down the stairs just to the left of the entrance to get there.
Right off the bat, you'll see the brewery's theme come into view. Even the door handles play along.
The playing field
The tap room itself seats about 40. You can belly up to the molded cement bar or perch on a seat at one of a variety of high-top tables.
Take a seat
If you prefer, you can sit back and relax in one of the man cave-esque green chairs. They may seem out of left field, but they've become an integral part of the space.
"Those chairs were the only things here when we moved in," notes McElwee. "People seem to love them, so we can't seem to get rid of them."
Signs on the back wall introduce the brewery's first beers, including Climb the Wall farmhouse ale, Straight Ahead Chedd apricot pale ale, Mint Condition porter infused with mint and Double Play IPA.
The tap handles behind the bar were designed by Mark Martio, an artist friend from La Crosse during one of the friends' early conversations about starting a brewery. The original drawing was sketched out on a Post-it note.
A framed photo and Braves jersey pay homage to one of the greats: Milwaukee Braves and Brewers outfielder Hank Aaron.
A dart board welcomes players to while away an afternoon with friends.
Baseball card wall
Even the men's room is a testament to baseball. It features a wall covered solidly in baseball cards collected since childhood by Pauly and McElwee.
A home run
The brewery is cozy. But, it's vibrant and functional. And that's a home run for Pauly and McElwee, who've made their baseball and beer loving dreams come true.
Once open, the Broken Bat tap room will be open Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.