Monday, November 19, 2007

Water Street Brewery

Established in downtown Milwaukee in 1987, Water Street Brewery (WSB) was certainly at the vanguard of the brewpub movement. Housed in a turn-of-the-century brick building with large brew kettles visable behind glass walls, the brewpub exudes Milwaukee charm.

Water Street initially offered just three varieties of beer, but now WSB has a full slate, including a pale ale, a weiss, an amber ale, an Oktoberfest, a "Munich" lager, and a large rotation of seasonals, this time featuring a "Black Lager."

The Weiss did not stock up in calibre to some of the great Germans like Hacker-Pschorr or Franziskaner, but it was well made and delicious. To put it on more equal footing, I prefer it to the Great Dane Crop Circle Wheat (a brewpub in Madison).

The Black Lager, however, was delicious. Although it does use some malts that have been roasted longer, it's much more a black pilsner than a stout. It's light but definitely has texture, with a clean malty taste reminiscent of a St. Pauli Girl Dark. Definitely reccommended.

The menu is extremely extensive for a brewpub and offers the full gamet of fare: from appetizers, to salads, to sandwiches, to chef specialties. The current brewmaster is George Bluvas III, but I confess I'm also interested in who the executive chef is. There were classic Milwaukee sausage options, with wares from nearby Usinger's, as well as light fare with a Yellowfin sandwich, salads, and vegitarian options.

Located near Milwaukee's Performing Arts Center (PAC), the Pabst Theatre, and the Bradley Center (home of the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette Golden Eagles), the WSB is ideally situtated for you to try it's food and more importantly, it's beer. Visit this Milwaukee staple the next time you are in town.

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Water Street Brewery

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