Two months after it first stepped to the plate – for the Brewers’ home opener – the J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard at American Family Insurance Field will release the first beers brewed in the on-site stadium brewhouse on Tuesday, June 6 at 11 a.m.
The Brewers open a series against the Baltimore Orioles at 6:40 p.m. that day.
The beers – a dry-hopped Lead Off Lager and Double Play IPA – are the first to be brewed onsite at American Family Field by Leinenkugel’s Pilot Brewer Corrine Georges.
“I continue to be inspired by the rich brewing history of the Leinenkugel family with their deep knowledge of brewing in Wisconsin,” said Georges. “That paired with inspiration from Milwaukee, with its own unique brewing history, and coming to work each day in an incredibly unique space, has been a true joy for me.
“I am looking forward to sharing our first unique brews from the Barrel Yard. The flavor profiles of the Lead Off Lager and Double Play IPA both lend themselves to a perfect start to the summer.”
Georges was hired last summer by Molson Coors as a brewing trainee and took over the brewhouse at American Family Insurance Field in March.
A Kansas City native, Georges came to Milwaukee having built a brewing resume at Boulevard Brewing in her hometown, and Left Hand Brewing and Sleeping Giant Brewing in Colorado, the state where she earned her brewing operations degree..
We caught up with Georges to ask her a bit more about her brewing career, the new brews and what’s ahead.
OnMilwaukee: You've worked at some pretty high-profile craft brewers. Tell us about the path that led you to the Barrel Yard.
Corrine Georges: I studied brewing in college at Metropolitan State University of Denver and graduated with a BS in Brewery Operations. From there, I worked in Colorado and Kansas City in different brewing roles.
Eventually a great opportunity opened at Molson Coors, and I ended up in Milwaukee. I started as a Brewery Operations Trainee with the company and moved into the Pilot Brewer role at Barrel Yard from there.
Was it a difficult move to the world of big beer or did it feel kind of like the logical next step?
It felt like a logical next step. I have brewed as large as 150-barrel batches and can relate my experiences to the world of big beer. I am always learning something new and growing my capabilities.
The Barrel Yard has a three-barrel pilot system and that aligns with my past experiences in smaller craft brewery settings.
How has it been going since Opening Day at the stadium, getting to know the system, seeing which beers are the biggest hits, etc.?
I have learned to wear a lot of hats. Being the only one working in the brewery, I am able to be part of every single step of the process, from ideation to the finished product. I am enjoying that a lot!
Our initial brews were popular and went fast. We launched with an IPA which is a less common beer for Leinenkugel’s and it was met with excitement. We have another with the Double Play IPA that I am looking forward to seeing what people think.
It must be a somewhat unique vibe working in a ballpark.
I love working in the ballpark for many reasons but something I really enjoy is the ebb and flow of people interacting in the restaurant. The Barrel Yard has a great vibe both game days and non-game days, and I love taking in how people are experiencing the space and the beer.
It’s really fun coming to work in such a unique space in such a unique role!
What can you tell us about these new beers?
The Double Play IPA has intense aromas, with a nice bitter backbone. It’s a favorite of mine with barbecue because the bitterness of the beer compliments a good barbecue sauce.
The Lead Off Lager is a bit more delicate in comparison. It pours yellow with white foam and has low bitterness. This one is so refreshing and easy to drink. I love it with the Northwoods Salad because of the spice and flavor profiles together.
Both beers, the Double Play IPA and Lead Off Lager have great citrus notes and are natural fit to the start of summer. Being in the ballpark, it’s easy to be inspired by the sounds and flavors of the season, and I think our two newest beers should capture that feeling.
Is the plan still to release new beers every few months? Any hints as to what might be coming down the line?
The plan is to have new beer released more frequently, based on demand. Now that things are up and running, a consistent schedule is in place. The next release is currently fermenting with more info to come!
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.