By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 19, 2023 at 11:02 AM Photography: Robert Colletta

It’s almost Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day, which happens to coincide with the first day of autumn on Sept. 23. And you can celebrate both at Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen, 320 E. Clybourn St. with a free Brandy Old Fashioned at brunch, plus a new fall menu that’s perfect for pairing with an Old Fashioned any day of the week.

Celebrating the Old Fashioned

For the second year running, Central Standard Co-Founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan worked with the Wisconsin governor’s office to proclaim the first day of fall as Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day and the month of September as Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month.

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To commemorate the occasion, brunch-goers will get their first Old Fashioned on the house during service on Sept. 23 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Guests can choose between a free classic Brandy Old Fashioned or brunch it up with a special brunch-worthy version featuring bacon-infused North Wisconsin Brandy, maple syrup aged in Riverbend Rye Whiskey barrels and a garnish of candied bacon.

Can’t make it for brunch? Grab an Old Fashioned and stop by to try new dishes from Crafthouse & Kitchen’s fall menu.

New fall menu

Created by Executive Chef David Sapp, the fall menu features new noshable selections like the “Brat Board” featuring local brats, seasonal garnishes and a Milwaukee Pretzel Co. pretzel stick ($24).

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 Tuna Poke has also been transformed into a shareable offering featuring soy-ginger marinated Yellowfin tuna, champagne mangoes, sesame cucumbers, scallions, Thai chiles and crispy wontons for scooping ($18).


A  new Smash Burger, available for both lunch and dinner features a one-third pound smash patty, American cheese, shredded iceberg, Roma tomato, red onion, house pickle and Crafthouse sauce on a toasted potato roll ($14).

Also new on the lunch menu is a unique new Milwaukee Cheese Steak showcasing shaved ribeye topped with peppers and onions that have been braised in the distillery’s North Wisconsin Brandy ($17).

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Guests can also get their fill of new dinner entrees like a Bone-in Pork Chop brined in – you guessed it – brandy and served with roasted vegetables and smoked-cream-cheese-and-chive polenta ($30).

Bone-in Pork ChopX

There's also Chicken Picatta featuring lightly breaded chicken with  lemon white wine butter, capers, grape tomatoes and basil served with cappelini aglio and roasted asparagus ($25).

Guests can also look forward to pan-seared Angus Filet served with brown-butter-whipped potato, charred broccolini, confit shallot and bordelaise sauce ($34). 

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And yes, there are new sweet offerings as well including Lemon Trifle with lemon cake, lemon curd, Guided Trail gin blueberry
coulis and chantilly crème; along with housemade chocolate chip cookies served alongside North Wisconsin Brandy-infused Old Fashioned flavored ice cream from local ice cream purveyor Crème De Liqueur.  Both are $8 each.

“Just like our spirits, we pride ourselves on sourcing the freshest local ingredients,” Sapp says. “We partner with area favorites including Becher Meats, Silver Moon Springs and Foltz Family Farm to ensure we’re offering our guests only the best of the best from the local food scene. We’ve been quietly previewing the new menu the past few days to rave reviews. We can’t wait to officially debut it on the 23rd.” 

Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The kitchen is open until 9 p.m. daily. 

Central Standard also offers weeknight happy hour Monday through Friday from 3:20 to 6:20 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.