"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is back for another round, brought to you by Great Northern Distilling: grain to glass spirits, handmade in Wisconsin. The whole month of March, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars readers poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
Last May, Anthony and Lynn Nilles opened Ale House 42 in St. Francis, following the success of their Downtown "geek bar" 42 Lounge. Ale House is focused on games, drinks and, because of the size, is also able to offer food.
The couple travels the country, visiting other "geek bars" and were inspired by the beer program at one in San Antonio, Texas. After talking to the owner, they decided to return to Milwaukee and overhaul their beer list as well.
42 Ale House has an impressive 24 tap lines; however, until recently, many of the beer choices were what Anthony Nilles describes as, "beers you can get pretty much anywhere." Now, these beers – such as Miller products and Spotted Cow – are still available in cans and bottles, but the taps are reserved for more adventuresome brews.
Currently, some of the most popular, less common beers on tap include Delerium Tremens, Monk Cafe Flemish Sour Ale and a higher-end cider by Michigan-based JK’s Scrumpy.
"It tastes just like fresh apples," says Nilles.
Tap beers range in price from $4.50 to about $10. Soon, the bar will have all new glassware as well, and drinkers will be able to choose between three sizes: a pint, 12 ounces or five-ounce vessels.
"The five-ounce glasses will allow people to explore new beers or even to build their own flight," says Nilles.
42 Ale House is also connected to two apps – available on Android and IOS – TapHunter and TabbedOut.
TapHunter allows people to obtain an up-to-the-minute beer list and TabbedOut allows customers to pay their tab from their phone, anywhere in the establishment or even after they leave.
"You don’t have to transfer your tab from the bar to the restaurant and you’ll never forget your card at the bar this way," says Nilles.
42 Ale House will also launch a new food menu in the next month that’s lighter, more spring oriented and complementary to the Ale House’s patio. According to Nilles, they have experimented with the menu throughout the first year, and plan to continue offering wings, burgers and pizzas, but add new twists on some of the items and increase the dessert and veggie options.
"If someone ate here six moths ago, and came back now, they’d have a much different experience in terms of food and beer," he says.
Both 42 Lounge – which just won "Best bars games and trivia" for 2016 – and 42 Ale House focus on gaming, but 42 Lounge is more centered on video games and the Ale House, which also has video games, offers more table top gaming options and events, including Monday magic nights, taco & trivia Tuesdays, "Archer" trivia / viewing and more.
"There’s more space for people to spread out at the Ale House," says Nilles. "We’re really excited to offer the new beer menu and about our upcoming second year. We’ve felt very supported by our Downtown customers as well as our new customers in St. Francis and surrounding areas."
42 Ale House is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sundays from 11 a.m. to midnight and Mondays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to midnight. Lunch might be served during the week when the weather is warmer and the patio is open.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.