Discover New Bars and Spirits During Milwaukee Cocktail Week
Milwaukee Cocktail Week kicks off Monday, September 26th. The annual event is made up of a week-long series of tastings, cocktail dinners and special cocktail menus available at bars and restaurants throughout the city. It was founded by Brian West, publisher of Alcoholmanac, a publication dedicated to local drink culture that is available free in many bars and restaurants.
According to the MKECW website, the goal of the event is “to get Milwaukee excited about the amazing cocktail culture we have and are developing. We'd love nothing more than to see more Milwaukeans drinking quality cocktails at their favorite bars more and more often.” Considering my love for a good cocktail, that's a goal I can get behind.
The events are too numerous to list here entirely, so I'll focus on what I think are the most exciting events. Browse their website or Facebook page for more options and information.
It's Tiki Tuesday. Four bars will be having Tiki happy hours from 4-7pm: Bryant's, Lucky Joe's Alchemy & Eatery, the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, and Lost Valley Cider Co. There's also going to be a tiki takeover at Wolf Peach: Lost Lake, a renowned tiki bar in Chicago, will be bringing their cocktail program to MKE from 8-11:30pm.
This night will also feature the first cocktail dinner at Bacchus, featuring Glenmorangie Scotch. You get five courses plus pairings of Scotch for $85 per person.
Bryant's will be featuring five of their famous ice cream cocktails from 7-11pm. Plus, the second cocktail dinner will be taking place at Goodkind. The “Get Low” dinner will be five courses paired with low-ABV cocktails like aperitifs and digestifs. Tickets are $100 per person.
You can Meet the Wisconsin Distillers at Rumpus Room from 4-7:30pm. The event is a product sampling, set up like most beer festivals, except you're going to be chatting with and tasting distiller's products instead of brews. If you want to support local distillers, but don't want to drop a lot of money on a bottle before tasting it, this is your chance to try spirits first. This event is free.
Also this night is the third cocktail dinner, at DanDan. It will be featuring spirits from Twisted Path Distillery in classic cocktails. The five courses will not be Chinese-American as you might expect, but modern takes on Prohibition-era dishes like oysters Rockefeller and beef wellington. Tickets are $100 per person.
You can build your own old fashioned at Stack'd from 4-7pm. Just because Wisconsinites tend to drink brandy sweet old fashioneds doesn't mean that's how you have to drink it. You get a coaster with a variety of options; circle your choice of spirit, syrup, bitters and garnish to create your own masterpiece (that will hopefully taste good).
MKECW is doing a tap takeover at Company Brewing in conjunction with a record release party of B-Free's “Ode 2 a Luv Affair” LP. Tap cocktails are gaining popularity, so it only makes sense to dedicate a night to easy-to-pour drinks. Cocktails will be featuring Bittercube bitters. Live music performances start at 10:30. Admission is $10.
Vanguard will be hosting a Southern fried BBQ event with fried chicken, ribs, and three “backyard” cocktails with Heaven Hill spirits from noon-4pm.
Also that night will be a bartending competition sponsored by Tangueray. Over $1,000 in prizes will be awarded to the bartenders in the three-phase competition. The event is at the Milwaukee Ale House and runs 8:30pm-1am.
Other Upcoming Events
Sept 22-24: Oktoberfest at Humboldt Park Beer Garden. Polka, pig roasts and plenty of beer, plus a tap takeover by Brenner.
Sept 23-25: Harvest Fair at Wisconsin State Fair Park. This free annual event features live music, kid's activities, pumpkin bowling, Maker Faire Milwaukee, farmer's market and beer at The Micro.
Sept 24: Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit Release and Fall Celebration at Great Lakes Distillery. Grab a coveted bottle of Pumpkin Spirit that you can dip yourself in wax, enter the pie or carving contests and sip on old fashioneds.
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