"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
Although Milwaukee's not as brewery filled as it was in the past, this town still produces a variety of palate-pleasing brews. Sprecher, Lakefront Brewery, the Milwaukee Brewing Company and many other smaller guys continue to reinforce our "Brew City" nickname.
The OnMilwaukee.com editors like to throw back locally concocted beers and here’s a shout-out to their favorites. As always, feel free to add your own local beverage of choice via the Talkback feature.
Pick: Klisch Pilsner
I'm a simple man with simple tastes, and there's nothing like the clean, crisp taste of Czech pilsners. I'm a fan of Pilsner Urquell, with its distinctive bitterness, and the original Czech Budweiser, Budvar. But around these parts, my needs are met by Lakefront's smooth, tasty version, Klisch Pilsner, which bears the family name of Lakefront owner Russ Klisch. Thanks, I'll have another.
Pick: Lakefront Brewery Fixed Gear Ale
I love everything about Lakefront Brewery (tours included), but I especially love Fixed Gear Ale. It's incredibly flavorful and boasts both floral and citrus-y tastes, which balance really well without getting too in-your-face about it. The deep red coloring makes for a cool visual, but the really cool part is the fact that it comes in 22 oz. bottles, so there's just that much more to enjoy.
Pick: Stonefly’s oatmeal stout
Maybe it's because I was living off of Fratney and Center Streets when I turned 21, but I've always enjoyed the beers brewed at Stonefly Brewing Co., 735 E. Center St. Stonefly's longtime brewmaster Jacob Sutrick's brews are always tasty, but if I had to choose one as my favorite it would have to be the Oatmeal Stout. It's a dark blend of bittersweetness, like most of my blurred memories of living in Riverwest.
Pick: Lakefront Brewery's Big Easy Imperial Maibock
I really like Lakefront’s Big Easy Imperial Maibock. It’s bold, yet crisp. Really good stuff. Gotta say, though, I still drink an occasional Sprecher Amber, Milwaukee Brewing Company’s Flaming Damsel, Genuine Draft and Miller Lite. As a passionate Milwaukeean, I must always remain true to MillerCoors.
Pick: Lakefront Brewery's Eastside Dark
The dark, rich flavor of this Bavarian lager from Lakefront Brewery has been my all-time favorite since the brothers Klisch brewed from a one-room space on Chambers Street. It smells malty, it tastes rich yet refreshing and it’s a beautiful deep shade of brown, but Eastside dark appeals to more than just my senses. I have wonderful memories of hanging on porches watching fireworks and sitting around campfires in Wisconsin State Parks with good friends and this delicious beer.
Pick: Sprecher Special Amber
It's no surprise that Sprecher's veteran blonde lager is also the company's best-seller. It's also the brewery's most ubiquitous beer here in town. And it's easy to taste why. With its medium body and refreshingly creamy head, the German-style lager has just the right hoppiness and a pleasingly golden color. A cold one really snaps the heat on a warm summer's day.
Pick: Cream City Pale Ale
I never thought about this until just now, but I think Cream City Pale Ale was the first "good" beer that I ever liked. It certainly was the first time I ever tasted a crisp, bitter, hoppy microbrew, and since then, IPAs have been my favorites. You can't find Cream City Pale Ale in a ton of places, but whenever it's an option, I'll order it. Runner-up: good old Miller High Life (but only in the summer).
Pick: Miller High Life
Yup, I'm lame. I know. I've heard it before and I'm well aware about all the wonderful and delicious microbrews out there. Honestly, I'm not interested. When I close my eyes during the winter and picture a summer evening sitting on my deck with friends, there are only two options in the cooler: Schlitz and High Life. And while I love them both, to me, no beverage is more "Milwaukee" than the Champagne of Beers. I can travel the country and almost always find High Life in the bar or at a liquor store. Me and the Girl in the Moon, we go way back.