Door County Brewing Session IPA delivers BIG flavor

Brewery: Door County Brewing Company (est. 2012)


Beer: Pallet Jack Cruiser


Style: Session IPA


ABV: 4.5%




Since 2012 Door County Brewing Company, from Baileys Harbor, WI, has consistently been delivering quality beer. Rolling with four year-round brews, as well as two seasonal lines, you can always find a Door County Brewing Company beer at a well-rounded beer depot. Their latest seasonal is a beer that has American influences and is brewed with an exciting combination of hops. Citra and Azacca are the one-two punch in this easy going ale. Pallet Jack Cruiser radiates with a beautiful, light straw color and bursts with a fruity and slightly floral aroma. This highly sessionable ale has an enjoyable medium-light body combined with a hop bitterness that is not offensive. The sweet malt characteristics dissipate at the rate that the hop bitterness finishes out. Thirst quenching and flavorful, this is my choice for a beer while shoveling.




Also Try:

Oskar Blues Pinner

Founders Azacca

Central Waters HHG

Toppling Goliath Psuedo Sue

Deschuttes Fresh Squeezed

New Glarus Sour Brown

New Glarus Brewing Company (New Glarus, WI) est. 1993

Enigma (Seasonal Release)


Sour Brown Ale

What the Brewery says:

A complex and intriguing original. The mystery began with wild yeast spontaneously fermenting a rich treasure of malted barley and cherries. Unlined Oak casks breathe deep vanilla hues and chords of smoke into this sour brown ale. Our Master Brewer has forged a smooth garnet tapestry that defies description. Wander off the beaten path.

 Words do not do justice for the character of this beer. An intense aroma of tart cherries, vanilla, and oak reach your pallet right out of the glass. The aroma of this beer is followed up with a tart, mildly carbonated and smooth sip. Finishing with exemplary and complex character, my palate was left wanting another taste.

While this beer would be enjoyed at any time, the presence of cherries and a sweet/sour complexion would make this an excellent dessert beer.

New Glarus is known for their world-class fruit beer, and they lived up to their reputation with Enigma.


convenient distraction

​​O’so Brewing Company (Plover, WI) est. 2007


Convenient Distraction


Imperial Porter that is masterfully blended with Aquacate coffee, from the Narino region of Colombia, and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans.


Available: Year-round, 750ml, 10% ABV


As I was staring deeply into the Wisconsin craft beer section for my next review, something with a simplistic label and an exquisite ingredients list caught my eye. “Convenient Distraction”, from O’so Brewing Company, was exactly the type of beer I was looking for on this cold, winter day.


A viscous brew, with an exciting aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and a touch of vanilla, is a dream for many craft beer enthusiasts. This beer does not disappoint on the flavor front either, as bourbon vanilla beans add a sharpness that leads right to a dry and prolonged finish. Working with Ruby Coffee Roasters of Wisconsin, the blend of ingredients and the execution of brewing delivers a beer that must be considered both as a premium porter and a premium value.


I would highly recommend this beer for any occasion, but especially on these cold, wintery nights.

Milwaukee’s own Black Husky presents…

Mosaic Pale Ale

“a juicy, yet not aggressively hopped, pale ale brewed with Mosaic hops”

Drinking local is something we firmly believe in here at MKE Beer Review. Fortunately, drinking local in Milwaukee is made easy with the city’s robust craft beer scene. Black Husky, recently relocated from Pembine, WI., is making waves in the Milwaukee craft beer market. Located in Riverwest, this brewery just released the “Dogfather”, a mosaic hopped pale ale.

So what does the mosaic hop bring to a beer?

The mosaic hop has “unmistakable aromatics, which range from tropical fruit and yellow flowers to pine needles,” and is “juicy and fruity, but not at all sweet.”

Dogfather is an excellent representation of this popular hop varietal. The aroma of this beer was bright with grapefruit and hints of pineapple. The taste was just as brilliant as the smell. It is medium-bodied with a touch of bitterness and a lasting floral finish.

Black Husky, and the “Dogfather”, reminds us just how spoiled we are here in Milwaukee.

“Dogfather” is available in 22 ounce bottles and is best enjoyed fresh. Two thumbs up.



GABF Gold Medal Winner from WI

Raised Grain Brewing Company (Waukesha, WI) est. 2015

Paradocs Red
Imperial Red India Pale Ale

Great American Beer Festival- 2016 Gold Medal Imperial Red Ale

North American Brewers Association- 2016 Gold Medal

Brewery Says: “Our Imperial Red IPA is the brew that started it all for Raised Grain. It’s a full-bodied beer with a bright hop aroma and initial caramel notes that are enlightened by a slightly citrus, acidic finish.”

This past October a Wisconsin brewery took home a gold medal from the prestigious Great American Beer Festival, which is held every year in Denver. That brewery was Raised Grain Brewing Company, out of Waukesha, who submitted their inspiration for starting a craft brewery. Raised Grain made this gold medal winning beer available in bottles just before Christmas. With the accolades, and being Raised Grain’s first bottling run, this beer will not be around for long. With over 3,900 beers at the Great American Beer Festival, I had to find out what made this beer the best for its style.

After I poured 10oz of a 22oz bomber into a snifter, I held my glass to the light. What I saw was a beautiful sight of dark amber and red hues that jumped out of the glass. The aroma was just as beautiful as the beer, at times releasing hints of melon and biscuits. The flavor was intense with malty sweetness balanced with an excitable amount of hop bitterness.

This is a must try if you like your winter beers to be higher in alcohol, with bitterness and malt characteristics. Paradocs Red warrants a trip to Raised Grain as soon as possible!

The Arrival of Solemn Oath Brewing Company!

There is nothing better than the stories that surround breweries and the different styles of beer. I especially enjoy learning the long history of different brewing traditions. It is because of this that I get excited when a new brewery becomes available in the area.  Solemn Oath is a brewery out of Naperville, IL, which is about 100 miles away from Milwaukee. They are passionate about “West Coast, Belgian, and barrel-aged beers.” I was immediately intrigued by the packaging of the three available brews. While the cans and bottles are canvases for creative and imaginative artwork, the beer itself is also a work of art. Solemn Oath has been around since 2012, and in just four years their reputation has grown immensely. On Monday, August 29th the brewery hand delivered three of their beers to the Milwaukee area. The three beers that they delivered were Snaggletooth Bandana, Pain Cave and Funsponge and I could not wait to try all three!


Image result for solemn oath


Style: Belgo-American Blonde Ale

ABV: 4.8%

IBU: 24

The Breweries Take: “Bright citrus, melon American hop character with a light malt sweetness and notes of spiced stone fruit.”

My Take: Funsponge has a citrusy fruit and Belgian yeast aroma with an enjoyable full flavored finish. It is not bitter, not too sweet and not too heavy. I could see this being a great beer to pair with food. This beer was an excellent first offering from the brewery.

Image result for snaggletooth bandana


Style: American IPA

ABV: 6.5%

IBU: 81

The Breweries Take: “Massive grapefruit, pineapple, and super-ripe mango aromatics burst out of this medium-bodied IPA. Assertive bitterness is balanced by a subtle malt sweetness and more citrusy fun.”

My Take: I was totally blown away by aroma! It is super fresh and super delicious. This beer is right in the range of where I like my IPAs in terms of body (medium), carbonation (medium), bitterness (above average) and finish (highly satisfactory).

Image result for pain cave solemn oath


Style: American Double IPA

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: 100

The Breweries Take: “Crisp, citrus hop aroma and firm bitterness balanced by light caramel malt sweetness and medium body.”

My Take: Dank, pungent, and down right spot on. Pain Cave is affordable and worth sharing with great company. This beer may not have reinvented the wheel, but it definitely is something worth grabbing. When I purchase a bomber of beer I expect something special and Solemn Oath did not disappoint with this beer. Thank you Solemn Oath!

BEER REVIEW- August 4th, 2016


Featured this week:

LAGUNITAS- 12th of Never



LOCAL PICK: LAKEFRONT- Brandy Barrel Cherry Lager



LAGUNITAS- 12th of Never

Holy smokes, Lagunitas in cans! One of my favorite breweries just released a 12 pack of cans called 12th of Never. This is the first can to be offered from the brewery that has its origins in Petaluma, CA. If you ever have a chance, and are looking for a day adventure, take a trip down to their new brewing facility in Chicago, IL. As with most of Lagunitas’ offerings this is another hop-forward brew. Lagunitas has been nailing these hop-forward brews with their IPA and Hop Stoopid. With the warmer weather and summer activities, cans seem to be making quite the push in the craft beer market. This beer first hit the Milwaukee market in late July and will be available year-round. At a reasonable ABV of 5.5% this beer may not be as “session-able” as the popular Founders All Day IPA, however it may be a nice change of pace from the 15-pack session IPA offered by Founders. With a nose of tangerine citrus and a light pale color, this beer is focused on what a growing number of consumers are looking for; a bright, citrusy, hopped beer that will not ruin the next morning. The beer has a small and long lasting foamy head. The bitterness is nice and not over-powering, and it dissipates at the rate that the carbonation fades from the palate. As I attempted to record my thoughts, I found myself with a desire to take another sip. A 12-pack can be quite the investment with the variety of different beers that become available on a weekly basis, but this beer however IS worth the investment. I have found that consistency in beer is a highly desirable quality, and have never had an issue with a Lagunitas beer. So next time you are having a friend over, grab a twelve pack of Lagunitas 12th of Never and introduce it to that friend. This beer is a high quality pale ale that is approachable for many palates. Don’t be afraid of the hops, and remember, beer speaks people mumble.


Citra hops. Two words many beer drinkers have loved hearing the past few years. Citra Ass Down, from Against the Grain in Louisville, KY, features those highly sought out hops. While citra hops are featured in the beer, they are not the only hops used. Nobody can describe the hops used for this beer better than the brewery: “In Citra Ass Down we used American Columbus for bittering and 11# of Citra at the end of the boil for late kettle addition flavor and aroma. Then we added 6 more pounds Citra and 5# Centennial post fermentation for aroma.” For an in-depth explanation of Columbus hops check out Served in a snifter, the aroma was pleasant. There was a touch of citrus, as well as a bit of earthiness on the nose and I was excited to take my first sip. With a higher ABV at 8.2% this double IPA packs a punch. With a strong malt backbone, the balance is highly desirable and the first sip was full bodied and complex. While this beer was purchased as a 4-pack, 16oz package, I could not see myself having more than one of these a night. I would have enjoyed this beer alongside food, such as a burger on the grill with pepper jack cheese. The pungent and dank characteristics in this beer make it one I would consider a must try. Grab one of these and you are in for a good time.


Revolution is another exciting brewery to arrive in the Milwaukee market. Brewed in Chicago, IL one of their most popular beers is Anti-Hero IPA. While Anti-Hero is a fantastic beer, I wanted to try something different from the brewery. Porter is one of my favorite styles of beer and it is a style that I believe can be enjoyed year-round. Sitting around an outdoor fire I always picture myself with a porter. This beer is about as dark as they come and the first sip was fantastic. This beer is roasty and robust with a lingering malt finish. My only complaint about this beer is that I did not try it sooner. I am a consistent drinker of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, as well as Deschuttes Black Butte Porter, and this beer is on the same level. The drinkability blew me away and if you see this beer on the shelf make sure you pick it up. Availability of Revolution has been inconsistent since its debut in Milwaukee. But, if you do happen to see Eugene on the shelf, grab it! 


LAKEFRONT- Brandy Barrel Cherry Lager

I would like to feature one beer every week from the state of Wisconsin. This week is a special offering from Lakefront Brewery. The beer is a barrel aged lager that is aged in brandy barrels. I am not sure if you could find a more Wisconsin beer than a cherry lager aged in brandy barrels! Lakefront Brewery says that the beer “pours deep red with a thin, lacy head. Strong brandy overtones of fresh cut oak, tobacco, and red fruit greet the nose, followed by notes of toffee and marzipan. The taste echoes the aroma with intense brandy flavors of wood, vanilla, and mild black pepper, with tart cherry and toasty caramel malt in close pursuit. Medium-bodied, it finishes with lingering cherry tartness and mild alcohol warmth.” When I approached this beer it was apparent that it was barrel-aged. The distinct aroma of sweet brandy and cherries let me know this would be a great beer to end the night on. Weighing in at 10.7% ABV this beer was still palatable. The cherry flavor was enjoyable and tasted like cherry juice not from concentrate. I would like to sit this one in the cellar for a year and see how it turns out. After aging, I would expect the barrel characteristics to flatten out and the cherry flavor to fade in a desirable way. Overall, this beer is definitely a good Wisconsin selection.

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