Don’t worry, Indeed Brewing’s Pistachio Cream Ale is not green.
The name gave me a little pause, but rest assured, green beer can stay an ill-advised St. Patrick’s Day idea because this tasty little 5.5 percent ABV cream ale has a vibrant gold hue.
And, despite having been launched as a one-off pilot brew at Indeed’s Walker’s Point brewery and taproom, 530 S. 2nd St., Pistachio Cream Ale has gone, well ... nuts.
The first batch in February sold out quickly and a second run – brewed and canned at Indeed in Minneapolis – in May during the pandemic shutdown sold out in three days. A third batch in July – nearly twice the size of May’s run – sold out nearly as fast, thanks to expanded distribution in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.
Now, says co-owner Tom Wisenand, "We are looking at making it a year round or regular release.
"But like a new boy band that has hit the top 40 we are still catching up with what the hell is going on."
The idea came from Indeed’s team at its Minneapolis brewery, says Milwaukee brewer Matt Pollock, who brewed the first back here in Walker’s Point.
"From there, the Minneapolis brewing team perfected it for large scale distribution," Pollock says, "It really was a solid team effort company-wide.
"This project was one of our first major R&D successes here at the Walker’s Point brewery and a great example of the entire Indeed organization working together at both locations to create a really unique and interesting beer."
The idea, adds Whisenand came from a brewer who had tried a different nut beer at another brewery.
"This particular brewer is often referred to as being nuts so it made sense," he says with a laugh.
Online reviewers have described a creamy, somewhat sweet ale with a frothy head and a pistachio aroma. "Tastes like liquid pistachio ice cream," wrote one.
Another added, "What makes this so good is the pistachio never overwhelms and this actually drinks pretty clean."
"It is a great mix of traditional familiar flavors with a touch of something unique," says Indeed's market manager for Wisconsin, Jeff Gray. "It is a balanced beer and a great conversation piece!"
Beginning in July, Indeed began boosting production of a beer that was never meant to go production at all beyond that first run.
"We had no idea it would be so popular," says Whisenand. "I love pistachios and I love beer and I love them together but I never thought combining them into a beer would be so good and so popular."
So, why are drinkers going nuts for this brew?
"I think it’s popular because it’s delicious first of all and secondly I think it just sounds good," Whisenand says. "it sounds like a great ice cream flavor or maybe a great candy flavor but in reality it is just a great beer."
A new batch is being launched on Thursday and it was brewed in Milwaukee specifically for the Walker’s Point taproom, which is also unveiling its new parklet out front.
The taproom has socially distanced tables, limited capacity and a plexiglass shield at the ordering station, and both guests and employees must wear masks (when not drinking, of course).
Indeed is still offering to-go beer with curbside pickup, too, with all draught beers available in crowlers and growlers. You can pre-order at toasttab.com/indeed-milw-to-go/v3.
Whisenand says other interesting brews are on the way.
"More beers always and especially in cans as we have pivoted to meet the higher demand in grocery and liquor stores," he says. "I am especially excited about our Oktoberfest that is coming out very soon."
Adds Gray, "In our Milwaukee taproom we release a beer or infusion about once a week. The return of the Paloma kettle sour and a set of Hello Milwaukee infusions to celebrate our one-year anniversary are a few I am particularly excited about."
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.