Those coming for a brewery tour and tasting Sunday, December 9, 11am-2pm, will get an extra treat. Not only is Santa visiting for Soda with Santa, authors Lucy Saunders and Kevin Revolinski will be here too!
If you know beer lovers, food lovers, Wisconsin lovers and/or adventurers, bring them to Sprecher for a brewery tour and visit with Lucy Saunders, author of The Best of American Beer and Food, and Kevin Revolinski, author of Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide. Both authors will sell and sign copies of their books, making them more personal (and perhaps Ebay worthy).
This is a fantastic opportunity to talk with noted cookbook author and beer judge, Lucy Saunders, about her truly delectable cookbook, The Best of American Beer and Food. Neither complicated nor full of hard-to-come-by exotic ingredients, the recipes in this book will leave your friends and family wondering how you became such a skilled chef of deliciousness. Recipes include suggested beer pairings. As an added bonus, Lucy will serve samples of her Black Bavarian Pork Carnitas recipe. BTW: it helps, but you do not have to beer a craft beer lover to enjoy these recipes. (Ask Lucy why the beer is an essential but not dominant ingredient in the recipes.)
Want a book that’s a little more Wisconsin and craft beer-centric? Author Kevin Revolinski (aka The Mad Traveler) will be selling and signing the newly released 2nd edition of Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide, a travel guide to all the breweries of Wisconsin. The book includes information on over 90 breweries, and other attractions such as beer-related museums, festivals, tours, fish fries, and more. Special offers inside include free beer!
Tours are offered on the hour Noon-4pm. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 414.964.2739. Cost: $5 Adult, $4 Senior, $3 Minors. Tour includes commemorative glass and beer samples (21+), and unlimited soda samples for everyone. If you are coming for Soda with Santa, arrive 45 minutes early to make sure you have time for a photo. Sprecher is located at 701 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale, WI. For more information, visit www.sprecherbrewery.com.
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: http://www.thebeerexpert.com/beer_sommelier_works.shtml. 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!
Some people say democracy is messy, and it is. So many other processes are messy, e.g., love, brewing, art, friendship, but that doesn’t mean we shy away from them. Rather, we engage wholeheartedly and work toward the best outcome. As US citizens with a vested interest in this country’s outcomes we should always exercise our right to be part of the process. VOTE TODAY. Then pat yourself on the back and grab an American made craft beer or soda. Cheers to opting in!
Omaha’s Beertopia has been hosting its Sunfest Craft Beer Festival for many years but this year they had something new to offer to the 700+ guests, Sprecher beer. Since Sprecher products have only been in Omaha for a few months, Randy and Anne took this opportunity to check out the local craft beer scene. On the surface, there isn’t much of a scene, but if you just scratch lightly, you’ll discover a few Nebraska breweries and a whole lot of craft beer aficionados. Among the best Omaha breweries we sampled is Upstream; one of its brewpubs is located in the Old Market area downtown, a really cool shopping/eating/bar district based in renovated warehouses.
We’re told that despite the growing audience for craft beers in Omaha, only a couple of stores are dedicated to offering a broad selection of craft beers. We visited Brix on 170th St., and Beertopia on 36th and Farnam. Brix is a gorgeous new store with everything for your party needs including a beautiful selection of beers. Beertopia also has a remarkably good selection of craft and import beers along with a knowledgeable staff.
Beertopia is located on an unassuming corner with 3 other dedicated beer pubs: Crescent Moon, Huber House (German) and Max and Jo’s (Belgian). Coincidentally, Sunfest Craft Beer Festival took place in the parking lot behind this craft beer mecca. This was a perfect venue for the festival because like Omaha, it was unassuming yet surprisingly sophisticated.
In between introducing fest goers to Sprecher beers, answering questions, and having his photo taken with Sprecher beer fans, Randy sampled beers from nearby Nebraska breweries including Hopluia, Neraska Brewing Company (NBC), Gottlieb, a group of homebrewers and Uplands. At the other end of the tent were notable breweries such as: Left Hand Brewing Company, Great Divide, Avery, New Belgium and more. Contact www.beercornerusa.com for a complete list.
Of those he sampled, Randy’s favorite beer was a Dortmunder, which I believe was made by the homebrewers who also made some nice rye beers btw. As for commercial beers, NBC’s Melange a Trois was outstanding. Left Hand’s 400 Pound Monkey deserves praise for being a nicely balanced English IPA. Honestly, of the 100+ beers available, many were more than respectable. This is a festival craft beer lovers should put on their calendar because in addition to the usual suspects, several surprises are offered each year.
Thank you to our Omaha distributor DiLoranzo-Penke for involving Sprecher in this festival. And thanks to all the great Omaha residents who love craft beer. You do the industry proud. More pictures can be found at the Sprecher flickr gallery, www.sprecherbrewery.com.
The weekend is fast approaching, so we must cheer: High School playoffs; the Badgers (On Wisconsin!); and the Packers (dunh, dunh, da…Go Pack Go!). Our friends at ESPN 540 are covering all the Homestead Highlanders Division 1 playoff games (with a little support from Sprecher) since Homestead won’t be able to play any games on their home field (paperwork snafu). For those of you not near a radio during game time, here’s a hint: you can get the playoff Sprecher tour special (buy 1 get 1 free) by calling 414.964.2739 and saying the magic words: “Division 1 Playoffs!” when you make your tour reservations.
Indeed, it’s Halloween weekend. Ghosts and goblins of all ages are welcome to take the extra scary tours, full of treats; no tricks. Sprecher is a Halloween Safe Spot again this year. P.S. It’s officially trick or treat in Glendale 1-4pm on Saturday so you can score some extra candy from the neighbors when you visit the brewery.
Football, Halloween, Fall…its time for some great beers that compliment the sports, weather, foods and smells of the season. Recently bottled: Sprecher Dopple Bock. If you like a smooth lager with suggestions of caramel and dark roasted malts, try this divine beverage in a snifter or wine glass. At 8.0% ABV, this is a great beer for lingering over. Serve it at 50-60 degrees for maximum aromatics and flavor. Great match for steaks and stews, or after dinner dark chocolates. Also available: Bourbon Barrel Aged Dopple Bock…total treat.
Not seen since the 90s, but back in the bottle now: Sprecher Dunkle Weizen. Note the intriguing spelling. That’s the only thing that’s a wee bit different. That and the fact it’s available in a 12oz bottle in the Sprecher Gift Shop. This is the same classic dark roasted malt ale that is the ultimate session beer for this time of year. 4.65% ABV, serve at 45-50 degrees. Drink with good friends and great food.
I’m kind of new at this so I’d appreciate if you cut me some slack during these first few posts. For those of you who don’t know, Sprecher Brewery is located Glendale, WI, a suburb just north of Milwaukee. Started in 1985 by Randy Sprecher (my husband), Sprecher is a microbrewery that makes award-winning beers and gourmet sodas. Among others beer-related awards, we won the 2004 GABF Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewmaster of the Year awards.
Many people know Sprecher Root Beer, more so recently because the NY Times ranked it #1 of 25 tasted (6/25/08). Not Bad. If you want to see the brewery, check out CBS Sunday morning on Sunday, November 23rd. The show is doing a special segment on root beer and they filmed it on location. Also on Sunday, November 23rd — for those of you in the Milwaukee area — check out Maltylicious, a presentation on craft beer I’m giving at Sugar Maple American Craft Beer bar in Bay View. One caveat — it’s for women only! Yep. That’s right. No boys allowed. But it’s being held in the back room so guys, feel free to come to Sugar Maple and try some of their 60 craft beers while class is in session. Sugar Maple is located at 441 N. Lincoln Ave. If you haven’t been to our website and want to learn more about Sprecher, stop by or visit www.sprecherbrewery.com.
p.s. I may not blog much on weekends but I’ll try my best.