Tag Archives | Lakefront Brewery


Roll Out the Barrel

Wisconsin’s Aging Our Beers

Story and Photography by Nick Rasmussen

One of the most inspiring and enigmatic characteristics of beer is its inherent ability to evolve, both during and well beyond fermentation. With time, certain flavors erode and others begin to assert themselves as the beautiful liquid matures. But few things can have a more profound impact on a beer than barrel aging. The concept is rather basic. Add beer to a wooden barrel, let it sit for a period of time, blend and package. But as I’ve come to learn from some of Wisconsin’s finest brewers, barrel aging is a fickle art consisting of trial, error, understanding, creativity, patience and vision. Regardless of whether the barrels are being used primarily for bacterial fermentation or to directly impart flavors from the wood, barrel aging is a process that positions the ingenuity of humans versus the non-negotiable forces of nature.

Hinterland Brewery in Green Bay started playing with barrel aging in 1999. And like any other new venture, building a barrel-aging program posed some immediate growing pains, such as unique spatial requirements, finding and transporting barrels, and implementing consistency throughout processes. “Our biggest initial challenge was getting the barrels to the … Read More

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Out and About on Bikes

With Brews and Food to Fuel

Story by Nick Rasmussen
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Long before the term, “craft beer” originated, before carbon fiber bike frames, and before our food sources started calling out the words, “organic” and “local,” there were simply beer, bikes and food. While we generally think of these three things as separate elements of our culture, their synergistic relationship actually dates back over a century. These days, in Wisconsin, it turns out that our cultural DNA fuses our American identity by way of our European heritage.

Imports Made Local

If you live in or near Milwaukee, Mequon or Madison, chances are that you’ve heard of the Lowlands Group. Lowlands is behind some grand cafes: Cafe Hollander, Cafe Centraal, Cafe Bavaria and Cafe Benelux. If you’ve visited any of these eateries, you’ve likely noticed a consistent theme: European-inspired fare, a Belgian-tilted beer list … and bikes. In Western Europe, the intersection of these three seemingly unrelated interests all converge and coalesce into one societal ideology. This construct served as the philosophical inspiration for Lowlands as they began to build their brand.

Dan Herwig, Director of Brand and Marketing for Lowlands, says that their … Read More

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6 Wisconsin Backyard Beers

This Summer, Stick Close to Home

By Nick Rasmussen

Summer beer advertisements aim to make us as hot as the season (succulent slices of citrus fruits, labels adorned with scantily-clad women and name-dropping unimaginable bliss are just some of the all-too familiar examples). Take a moment to peel back the layers of obvious hyperbole—with eyes uncovered, begin to imagine that summer beers aren’t necessarily part of a category or single style. Rather, they are a collection of seasonal interpretations.

The real truth is: a summer beer is whatever you want it to be, not always the ones you find stacked at the end cap of your local liquor store. The following are some Wisconsin-brewed beers that shed the preconceived notions of what a summer beer should be and underscore what a Wisconsin summer beer can be.

Ale Asylum Bedlam IPA

Most Wisconsinites are at least vaguely familiar with the ubiquitous brand of Ale Asylum. Based in Madison, this brewery churns out some of the most charismatic and compelling beers in the state. While the canning of Hopalicious, their dynamic pale ale, has highlighted the seasonal marketability of Ale Asylum, it’s their Bedlam IPA that I find to truly be a … Read More

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Holiday Blitz

Area Artisans Ramp Up During the Holiday Season

By Molly Rippinger

As shoppers wait until the final hours to find the perfect presents, Wisconsin businesses have already put in time and a half to ensure there are enough locally-made gifts for everyone on the list. Check out the numbers to get a grasp of how much extra effort goes into crafting these 10 holiday specialties.

1. A Fishy Tradition

During the holidays, it’s not uncommon to see a line snaking through the door at Empire Fish as five times the normal amount of customers come in to stock up on seafood for seasonal dishes.

Although shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters and smoked fish make up the majority of sales, Kevin Conrady, Empire Fish manager, said they still get in about 200 pounds of lutefisk for holiday customers. A Scandinavian tradition, lutefisk is dried cod that is rehydrated in lye, rinsed and boiled or baked before being served with butter, salt and pepper.

11200 W. Watertown Plank Rd.
414-259-1330 • www.empirefish.com

2. Slice of the Season

The turkey may take center stage, but pies are a close second when it comes to the hierarchy of holiday eats. At Honeypie in Bay View, … Read More

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Local First

Matches Made in Milwaukee

Local food businesses pair up, produce new generations of great tastes

Story by Heather Ray
Photography by Joe Laedtke

It’s the classic boy meets girl story. But for our purposes, let’s call the boy “Whiskey” and the girl “Ice Cream.” They have so much in common—they both come in pints, they’re both surprising good with root beer, and they’re both worthy of almost any adult celebration. So for Purple Door Ice Cream owners Lauren and Steve Schultz, it was a natural set up to introduce Whiskey to their prized, hand-crafted Ice Cream. Things were off to a good start. Ice Cream seemed to like Whiskey, and people liked them as a couple, but there was something about this particular blend of Whiskey that lacked the kind of local accent that really spoke to Ice Cream.

Then Ice Cream met a new guy—literally, the boy next door, and literally his name is Guy, as in Guy Rehorst, founder of Wisconsin’s first small-batch distillery, Great Lakes Distillery. Since GLD is no more than a mile from Purple Door’s new home on South 2nd Street in Walker’s Point, it was only a matter of time before the two artisans would cross paths.… Read More

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