Monday, August 13, 2012

Water Street Brewery: Milwaulkee, WI

On a recent trip out to Milwaulkee for my cousin's beautiful wedding we had time to walk over to Water Street Brewery for a quick lunch and beer sampler.  The brewery has just celebrated its 25 year anniversary, showing some impressive staying power in this beer-centric area. 

The decor and age on this place is the best reason to try it out.  This is a historic building from the 1800's and the fantastic brickwork makes it an unusual place to see.  They have a huge collection of brewerania including an enormous beer can collection, bottle openers and tap handles, as well as some cool old WI beer signs. 

Wall O' Cans
The bar itself is double sided and reeks of age and use...but in a good way! 

The food was decent.  My wife got a macaroni and cheese with lobster and shrimp, while I had the sausage platter made across the street at Usinger's.  The spaetzel was horrid though.  Service was excellent with frequent check-ins and knowledgable staff.

The beer.  Not a reason to visit this place.  I really wanted to like them when they arrived in an aged wooden eight-sample tray.  The newspaper menu was pretty nifty with historic pictures of the building and beer information.  All the lagers were filled with a strong butterscotch diacetyl flavor and aroma that indicates either poor fermentation temp control or bad yeast management.  The ales were a bit better, with the best being a malty pale ale.  The raspberry weiss was made with real fruit and that came out in the flavor and aroma, but the base beer was lost in it.  After tasting these I looked around and all but one of the 15 people seated around us were drinking sodas or mixed drinks.  This was noon on a work day, so that might explain it.  Or maybe they are locals and know better. 

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