Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit 10th Street Brewery, meet Dick Leinenkugel and try out some new brews. When asked to go, I laughed -- of anybody on the editorial staff here I am among the least likely to go out for a beer. But, duty called -- and I really enjoyed myself.
10th Street Brewery (part of Miller Coors craft brewery division) is the one that you see immediately to the right of Highway 43 North just past Downtown -- you know the one. The night's itinerary included trying out the brand spanking new Leinenkugel's IPL -- or India Pale Lager to those of us who know nothing about beer. I got to try that -- and more -- as well as check out the brewery itself.
After sitting down at the private bar in the brewery Dick Leinenkugel joined us and started pouring things for us to try. He was like a kid in a candy store -- "oh, look what I found!" A bunch of beer nerds -- otherwise known as really smart beer folks -- and I got to try a few things that were just bottled. Fresh beer! Apparently it really does make a difference. That is why is there is a "born on date" on beers.
The new IPL is a good blend of what (apparently) folks like about IPAs blended with lagers. I am known for trying a sip of IPAs and shaking my head in disgust at the bitterness. The new IPL does have a smoothness that I enjoyed and I could taste the tinges of Hallertau Mandarina Bavaria (they supplied the name, like I would actually know this) that brought a hint of tangerine to the brew.
I got to sample a few other freshly brewed beers, too -- one being the Winter's Bite that will be sold in Leinenkugel's Explorer Packs this winter. I really enjoyed this creamy black lager; the hint of cocoa spice was just perfect and didn't overpower.
The other brew that I loved last night was Big Eddy, an imperial schwarzbier with Door County cherries, that had been bottled that day. I'd never tried the Big Eddy line -- don't judge me beer snobs. It wasn't on my radar when I was tailgating and drinking their Shandy line -- which has three new varieties this fall, including an old-fashioned one that I tried and enjoyed. I'll be purchasing that Big Eddy Cherry Doppelschwartz.
Besides the fact that I did enjoy some of the brews that were poured for us to taste, I loved Dick Leinenkugel. He was honest, earnest and just the kind of "Wisconsin" that I love. I'm more apt to buy from brands when I really like the ownership and what it stands for -- and Leinenkugel's does indeed have that.
Dick (see, now I'm on a first-name basis!) said that one of his goals is to brew a hefeweizen at 10th Street. When you do see me drinking beer -- more often in summer -- this is the style I typically would choose. So, a hefeweizen from 10th Street -- and Leinenkugel's -- well ... now I like you even more.
Everybody has to learn some time, right? Who better to start with than one of the best?
Carolynn Buser is one of Milwaukee's loudest and most adamant cheerleaders (don't dare try to disagree). She's the primary voice behind much of OnMilwaukee's social media and content direction, and apologizes in advance if she can be too sarcastic at times.
What else? She's a wine lover, closet trashy novel reader, beauty supplies addict and devourer of cheese (shocker for a Wisconsin born and bred girl, right?). She's also a bit of a foodie, which is a word most of you hate, we know. She works as hard as she plays - and that includes in the gym! So, you've probably seen her at one of the area's newest restaurant openings (and yes, she will share her opinions good or bad) or enjoying a cold one at a local pub.
All in all, Carolynn's a believer in positive thinking and will do her best to smack down your negative ones while writing about her city, her loves, quests and more.