Growlers are Greener

Earth Day is tomorrow.  Got any special plans? For the past several years Sprecher has been actively making its brewing and plant operations more energy efficient, and we’ve substantially reduced the amount of packaging materials used as well as become more recycle conscious.  This weekend we’re offering $1 every growler purchased at the brewery in honor of Earth Day. For those who don’t know, a growler holds 64 ounces–the same amount of beer or soda in a Sprecher 4-pack. The difference? Not only fresh beer from the tap, but a lot less glass: one bottle compared to four, no paper products. And growlers are reusable. Wash them at home, bring them in for a refill. If you have a growler or need purchase one, stop in and get it filled. Save green — cash and our resources.

While you’re enjoying your fresh beer or soda, look around you and take a few moments to focus on the wonderful planet on which we live. Bird calls, rivers, grass, rain, sand, trees, oxygen…BTW: April’s Lyrid meteor shower tonight/tomorrow morning. Best view: look into a dark sky (no city lights), facing east.  Best viewing time: late night to early morning. You should be able to see 10-20 meteors per hour.  Cheers to that!

Drinking Local: Show Your Wisconsin Pride

We agree with Matt Simpson aka The Beer Sommelier, who in 2008 wrote “think global, Drink local” about the value of buying local beers and organic ones as well:  Props to his prescience. Three years later he’s now joined by a chorus of locavors — people, especially foodies — who advocate buying locally produced goods, produce, etc., when possible. As Simpson points out, buying locally helps the local economy.  Local First Milwaukee — formerly Our Milwaukee (est. 2006) — has done the math: For every $1 you spend at a locally owned business, more than 68¢, versus 43¢ spent at a national chain, remains in Milwaukee.  Sprecher has been an active member of Local First Milwaukee almost since its inception.

And there’s something to be said for fresh ingredients. This year Sprecher made its first brew using hops grown in central Wisconsin, Fresh Hop Amber.  Fresh hops have a short life. After picking they were driven to the the brewery and immediately put to use. Even though the alpha acids on these beers were low, over time their flavor profile evolved giving the beer a crisp and distinctive taste.  The distinction came from the Wisconsin terroir, a geo-specific term originally used to describe the unique qualities soil and environment lend to grapes.  Because Wisconsin’s terroir differs from California’s, for example, the flavor of our hops do too.  We look forward to incorporating fresh Wisconsin hops into more beer styles in 2012.

Another point Simpson brings up: beer at its freshist is beer at its bestist, and it’s easier to get fresh beer directly from the source or at a nearby store, bar or restaurant. This is one reason people love growlers–beer straight from the tap–which we offer at Sprecher.  Like locally sourced ingredients, freshly tapped beer saves on the carbon footprint because it requires less transportation and, in the case of growlers, less packaging. One growler holds 64oz of fresh beer, the same as 4 pint bottles.  Growlers do not have a long shelf life. Once opened they should be consumed in a day, two max.

Local breweries appreciate your support. We at Sprecher certainly do. We’ve worked hard to become an integral member of our community.  Every year Sprecher gives back to the community with product and cash donations for myriad causes ranging from school fundraisers to non-profit health organizations to our armed forces. And we toast each and every customer who has helped make us successful. Thank you, and Happy New Year! Drink great beer whenever you have the chance. If that beer happens to be local, two cheers. If that beer happens to be Sprecher, three cheers!



Win Tickets to Karl Ratzsch’s 5-Course Sprecher Beer Dinner

Karl Ratzsch’s, Milwaukee’s most enduring and innovative German restaurant, has designed a fabulous 5-course Sprecher beer dinner that will satisfy the palates of foodies and craft beer lovers alike.  We are giving away a pair of seats ($90 value) to this sumptuous affair.

If you would like a chance to win dinner for two, just follow these steps to enter:

  1. Become a fan of our Sprecher Brewery facebook page
  2. Then do one of the following:
    1. Retweet this blog post (making sure to include and the hashtag #beerdinner)
    2. Add a comment on this blog post or on a Sprecher Brewery facebook fan page post relating to this contest

Eligibility requirements: You must be at least 21 to enter.

Event Details:

When: May 4th, 2011

Start Time: Reception at 5pm, Dinner at 6pm

What: 5-Course Gourmet Sprecher Beer Dinner

Location: Karl Ratszch’s Restaurant, 320 E. Mason St., Milwaukee, WI.


First Course
Grilled Australian Loin of Lamb, Port Wine Dijon Sauce,
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Asiago Crisp
Sprecher Amber

Second Course
Goose, Wild Rice and Vegetable Soup with Cilantro
Sprecher Hefe Weiss

Third Course
Spring Mix Salad with Glazed Walnuts, Bleu Cheese, Strawberries,
Blueberries, Sauteed Shrimp and Balsamic Dressing
Sprecher Brown Pub Ale

Main Course
Braised German Style Baby Back Pork Ribs, Baked Sauerkraut,
Octoberfest Fingerling Potatoes
Sprecher Maibock

Dessert Course
Black Forest Cherry Strudel
Sprecher Black Bavarian

The contest begins now and will end at noon on May 3rd. This post will be reposted to ensure that multiple fans have the chance to enter. Please only enter once or you will be disqualified.

Contest winner will be announced on Sprecher’s facebook page and on @sprecherbrewery. You will need to show ID at the restaurant in order to claim your prize.

You can make reservations for this dinner by calling the restaurant directly: 414.276.2720.

Sprecher Events Milwaukee Beer Week 2011

There are so many fun and flavorful events happening during Milwaukee Beer Week — April 28 – May 8 — we thought we’d help you out by listing the Sprecher beer events, beginning with tastings and a Sprecher Beer Dinner at the Karl Ratzchs, Milwaukee’s landmark German-American restaurant. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

April 28th, 7pm ’til close $1 off all taps of Sprecher.

April 29th, 6pm  Taste of Great Brewers, Harley-Davidson Museum, $40/person.  Get your tickets at:

May 3rd,  4 -5pm   Groppi’s

May 3rd,  5:15 – 6:15pm   Blackbird

May 3rd,  6:30 -7:30pm  Frank’s Power Plant

May 3rd,  8:00 – 9:00pm  Tonic Tavern

May 4th — 5 Course Sprecher Beer Dinner, Karl Ratzschs,   $45/person (RSVP Karl Ratzch’s: (414) 276-2720) Click here for menu:

May 4th,  8:00 – 9:00pm  Three Lions Pub

May 4th, 9:30 – 10:30pm  Karma

May 5th, 8:00 – 9:00pm    Hooligan’s

May 5th, 9:30 – 10:30pm   Rosie’s

May 6th, 6:00 – 7:00pm   Steny’s

May 6th, 7:15 – 8:15pm    Fat Daddy’s

To learn more about Milwaukee Beer Week, visit:

It’s Your Choice! Vote for Your Favorite Tagline

The contest is over and now it’s time to vote on the best taglines we’ve received for Abbey Triple and Black Bavarian. The five best submissions are listed below.  Please pick one favorite for Black Bavarian and one for Abbey Triple then send your vote to taglines@sprecherbrewery.  Voting will close Friday, March 11, 2011 at 5pm CST.  Cheers, and may the best taglines win. N.b. Maximum 3 votes from a given email address/peron will be counted so please do not vote more than 3 times.

Black Bavarian:

1. One Word: Smooth

2.  Wunderbeer

3.  Welcome to the Dark Side

4. So dark and complex, you’ll think you just tasted lager perfection.

5. The sunshine of darkness.

Abbey Triple

1.  Three times the Abbey for three times the taste!

2.  Strikingly unique taste of a beer! “a must drink!!!”

3.  Pour Another

4.  Triple the Pleasure, Triple the Fun

5. Your prayers, answered

Tagline Contests – Enter and WIN!

Fans of Sprecher Black Bavarian and Sprecher Abbey Triple, what do you think of when you drink these beers?  Is it something clever, something pithy, something memorable?  We’re interested in what you have to say and we’d love your ideas for the ideal tagline for each beer.  So much so that we’re hosting our first online contests, one for a Sprecher Black Bavarian tagline and one for a Sprecher Abbey Triple tagline.


1. You must be at least 21 to enter and you must be a resident of the continental United States.

2. If your tagline is selected, we will issue you a $100 gift certificate to be used in the Sprecher Gift Shop or online store.  Furthermore, we’ll give you big props on our social media sites.  We will promote you and your winning tagline on, the Sprecher facebook page, the Sprecher twitter page, and this blog in exchange for complete legal copyright and trademark rights of the chosen tagline.

3. The rules of the contest may change at anytime(e.g. deadlines may be extended).

4. The tagline must not be in use, trademarked or copyrighted by any other entity.

5. No other strings are attached. Normal fairness rules apply—if multiple people come up with the same tagline and we choose it, the first person who posted is the winner.

The Contest:

1. Sprecher Brewing Company’s meta tagline is “Remarkably Good Taste.”  We’re now scratching our heads trying to think of something that makes people think specifically of Black Bavarian and Abbey Triple. “Damn that’s good beer!” isn’t quite specific enough.  So we’re reaching out to our consumers for input.

2. You have until February 23rd, 2011 to send us your tagline.

3. Entries and contact information should be sent to:  We will review all submissions and publish the leading candidates on this blog and on our facebook site for a vote.

4. Winner(s) will be notified via email.  If you are not notified by email, you did not win so please do not contact us.

5. Winning taglines will be published on Sprecher Brewing Company’s social media sites along with a bio of the winner.

Game Day Wings

Here’s a game day chicken wing recipe adapted from Lucy Saunders which uses Sprecher Pub Ale and is deee-lish. Since we found this in the Chicago Tribune archives, we had to edit it because the beer pairing selection didn’t exhibit enough respect for Wisconsin beers.  Our suggestion: Pair with your favorite Sprecher beer and yell GOPACKGO!!! while you enjoy these during Super Bowl XLV.

Posted by Carol Mighton Haddix and Josh Noel

For the wings, try this recipe from the Tribune’s archives, originally adapted by cookbook author Lucy Saunders from a grilled version (hey, if you want to brave the frigid outdoors, go ahead and grill ’em). She suggested using Sprecher Pub Brown Ale for the brine.

Ale-brined chili wings

Prep: 25 minutes
Marinate: 4 hours
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

2 bottles (12 ounces each) brown ale
1/2 cup each: brown sugar, coarse salt
5 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, cut into two sections
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
4 each, minced: garlic cloves, jalapenos
1/2 cup each: Asian sweet hot chili sauce, hot pepper sauce or more to taste
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds, optional

1. Reserve 1/4 cup ale for chili sauce. Whisk together brown sugar, salt and the remaining ale in a large bowl until dissolved. Add wings, stirring to coat. (You may need to put a plate over the bowl so that the chicken is completely submerged in brine.) Cover; refrigerate 4-8 hours.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat; add the garlic and jalapenos. Cook, stirring, until jalapenos are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chili sauce, hot pepper sauce, black pepper and cinnamon. Heat to a simmer; cook 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender; add reserved ale. Puree until smooth; reserve.
3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drain wings from brine; place on shallow baking pans. Cook, turning once, until brown and crispy, about 30 minutes. Arrange wings on platter; sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve chili sauce in ramekins for dipping.

Game Winning Sprecher Dopple Bock BBQ Meatballs

Heard about word of mouth marketing?  Serve this easy to make cocktail meatball recipe at your next party and you’ll be the talk of the town.

Slow Cooked Sprecher Dopple Bock BBQ Meatballs

3 lbs Frozen cocktail meatballs (Italian style are best)*

1-2 bottles Sprecher Dopple Bock

1 cp Ketchup

1/2 cp Sprecher Root Beer BBQ Sauce (more if you want it spicier)

2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 cp Brown Sugar

Combine all sauce ingredients in a slow cooker.  Add meatballs, making sure to cover them in the sauce.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.  [If using a Dutch oven, set in middle of oven set to 250F. ] Midway through, check to see if you need to add more beer; adjust for flavor.  Makes about 96 cocktail size meatballs.


* Note: This recipe is all about the sauce so the type of meatball (Italian, sausage, Swedish, homemade) doesn’t matter all that much.  You can also use larger meatballs and serve them over wide egg noodles for an enjoyable dinner.  If you find you have lots of sauce left serve it with bread, brisket, pork chops, chicken and many other foods.

Source: Sprecher brewmaster Craig Burge.

Photo: Matt Fornear,

Happy to Help

We’ve promised put the recipe for Brewmaster Craig’s BBQ Dopple Bock Meatballs on our blog, and we will as soon as we have the photos.  Otherwise we’d be doing an injustice to the recipe and, most importantly, our readers.  In the meantime we’d like to give ourselves a public pat on the back for our efforts to help the fight against breast cancer, which we couldn’t do without the help of so many individuals and businesses.

Our 3rd annual Breast Cancer Awareness Spa raised $5,331, exceeding our goal of $5,000 for Gilda’s Club of Southeastern Wisconsin (  Seventy-nine women (including 11 breast cancer survivors) enjoyed pampering in our Rathskellar mini-spa, a tour, lunch and gal time throughout the day thanks to our partners at Beauti-Control, Milwaukee School of Massage, Well Spa + Janis Salon, BRAVO!, and Welke’s House of Roses.  Gift Bags were filled with coupons and goodies donated by Elements MassageKoss Corporation, Close Up Apparel and many stores at Bayshore Town Center.  Throughout the day a great selection of raffle items from Great Lakes Distillery, Blain’s Farm and Fleet, SPiN and several other partners were available for all tour guests to bid on.  In addition to the money raised at this event, the George Washington Stein Club donated $1,100, which really helped push us past our goal.

This year differed from others in the level of local business participation, which is an ongoing trend.  It’s nice working for a good cause and more so when you’re doing it with the help of others. The Breast Cancer Awareness Spa proved to be not just a win-win, but a win on multiple levels.  Sprecher is proud to be part of a community that values working together and is willing to respond to a call for action. This money will be a big help to Gilda’s Club of Southeastern Wisconsin, which almost closed its doors due to overwhelming damage caused by Milwaukee’s mini-Katrina this past summer.  Thanks to a gift by a private citizen who was moved when he learned of the Club’s plight, the Club is transforming to Gilda’s on Wheels so it can serve the maximum number of families affected by cancer in southeastern Wisconsin.  The $5,331 raised from the Sprecher Breast Cancer Awareness Spa will assist Gilda’s on Wheels as it helps families affected by breast cancer during the holidays.

Though the spa is over until next year, we still have our pink griffin Breast Cancer Awareness Ale taps at participating bars and restaurant throughout southeast Wisconsin (See Pink Griffins for the Cure post, 10/5/10). Call it Ta-Tas Ale, or Taps for Tits as some do, Sprecher is donating $10 from every keg sold now through the month of December to the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition, WBCC is “an alliance of individuals and organizations committed to halting the alarming incidence of breast cancer in Wisconsin. [Their] mission is to bring Wisconsin voices together to Stand Up and Speak Out about breast cancer through Education, Collaboration and Legislation.”

‘Tis the Season, Already!

Do thoughts of the upcoming holidays fill you with joy but also make you cringe with anxiety about hoards of shoppers and the whole holiday shopping experience in general?  Well, we have a couple of nice little getaway solutions for you.  Stop by Sunday, November 14th for a brewery tour, samples of delicious beers and gourmet sodas, and an on-site boutique vendor fair.  Most people don’t realize it, but this  is the perfect environment for a relaxing and inspiring shopping experience. More than 15 vendors will offer a wide variety of goodies for friends, family, coworkers and yourself.  Who knows, you may just get all of your holiday shopping done at once!

Fall Holiday Vendor Fair

Visit for more details.