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Drink Up, Brew City: Breweries and Brewpubs to Look for in 2017

Feb. 8, 2017
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As new breweries open throughout the Greater Milwaukee Area, I know I’m not alone in my pondering. Can Milwaukee sustain these breweries like San Diego, Denver and pick-a-Portland? Will Milwaukee eventually reclaim its title as Brew City? Here are some local breweries and brewpubs you can look forward to in 2017.

City Lights Brewing Co. 


Around the corner from Third Space Brewing in the Menomonee Valley is City Lights Brewing Co., where Jimmy Gohsman (and company) is coming in full force with not only a taproom and beer garden, but also production/canning. The 1902 Milwaukee Gas Company building is unique and holds a lot of history, like being the coal gas plant that powered Milwaukee’s street lamps. Gohsman, like others, started out as a homebrewer. He took his hobby to the next level after enrolling in an Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course in Vermont. City Lights will be launching cans of their amber, brown ale, IPA and session IPA as their core beers, coming from their 30-barrel system, in March 2017. The taproom opened Feb. 1.


The Explorium Brewpub 


A recent addition to Southridge Mall in Greendale is The Explorium Brewpub. Mike Doble’s family has owned Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Tampa Bay, Florida for the last 22 years, and bouncing back and forth from Florida to Wisconsin gave him a great idea; start his own brewpub in Wisconsin. Mike and team have a ten-barrel system on site with seven ten-barrel fermenters, which is predicted to be enough to have at least eight of their own beers on tap plus other taplines dedicated to local breweries. Mike is putting his twist on everything from the brand, family beer recipes and the Floridian based menu. Explorium opened Jan. 25.


Broken Bat Brewing Co.

Photo Courtesy: Tim Pauly, Broken Bat Brewing Co. 

When the forces of a baseball nerd, Tim Pauly, and a beer nerd, Dan McElwee, combine you get Broken Bat Brewing Co. This nano brewery coming to the Third Ward will be a great place to drink before any game, especially baseball. Tim and Dan aren’t going after the kitsch baseball theme, but will tip their cap to the great sport throughout the brewery. Dan explains that their starting lineup will include an IIPA, sour cherry ale and an apricot pale ale. They look forward to supplying the Greater Milwaukee Area with quality beer by Opening Day. #SeeUApril4


1840 Brewing Co. 


Meet Kyle Vetter (pictured), a Wisconsinite by birth currently living the Colorado lifestyle. Vetter is opening the 1840 Brewing Company in Bay View, with a vision of fermenting wort in old world ways to showcase the nuances from different fermentation, blending and aging processes. Oh, and in theory, he only wants to open one weekend a month. To most he might sound off his rocker, but Vetter states that his idea is, “New to Milwaukee, not new to the world.” 1840 Brewing Co. will have an old school feel with massive mahogany carriage doors instead of the glass garage doors, and a bar without taplines. All beer will be bottled in 750mL wine corked and bottle conditioned. Vetter looks to open in May, but says he’ll open when it’s ready.


Eagle Park Brewing Co. 


Eagle Park Brewing Co. took over Enlightened Brewing’s original space in the Lincoln Warehouse but expanded into the next space over to create a very warm and chill taproom that opened Feb. 4. Max, Jackson and Jake have some big plans as they are not only honing their brewing skills but will continue playing in their band, Eagle Trace, and have their core beers contract brewed and distributed as soon as possible. Jackson believes there is, ”A lot of ground to be had” when it comes to the craft beer market. A keg of Loop Station, a golden ale, was first sold to The Explorium Brewpub for the Milwaukee Craft Brewery League event they hosted Jan. 25. Other beers you’ll find in Eagle Park’s taproom include their Linecheck porter, IIPA, Oatmeal Brown Ale (my personal favorite), an amber, and what seems to be their flagship, Loop Station.  

Also look for Gathering Place Brewing Co., Vennture Brew Co.  to open in 2017 as well. I hear rumblings of another one happening in Mequon too! 

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