Events for American Craft Beer Week, May 14-20

Greetings Craft Beer Lovers!

Next week is officially American Craft Beer Week all across the country and we’ll hope you’ll join in the celebration at Sprecher. 


v     Stop in and Sign the Declaration of Beer Independence

v     Tours every day (except Tuesday) – Call 414.964.2739 to reserve your spot

  • o       M, W, Th – 3 and 4pm. (Monday is free; Wednesday free tour with foursquare check-in)
  • o       Fri – 2 and 3pm
  • o       Sat – Hourly, Noon – 5pm. Premium Reserve tours 12:30, 2:30, 4:30pm
  • o       Sun – Hourly, Noon – 3pm. Premium Reserve tour 2:30pm.

 v     Free gifts

 v     Daily Beer Specials

 v     Wednesday evening, May 16th: Rare Sprecher Beer and Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese Pairing with Sprecher President Jeff Hamilton

  • o       6:30 – 8:30pm
  • o       15 beers paired with 15 cheeses
  • o       $25 per person, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Wisconsin Brewers Guild
  • o       Reservations required. Call 414.964.2739 to make yours.
  • o       See attached flyer for details

 v     Thursday evening, May 17th: Sprecher Hooligan Release Party!

  • o       7–10pm
  • o       Beer and food samples
  • o       1st tasting of Sprecher’s new spring release: Hooligan Whole Cone Hop Ale
  • o       Car show put on by the George Washington Stein Club
  • o       Hors d’oeuvres courtesy of the Astor Hotel
  • o       8pm brewery tour
  • o       $5 per person includes tour, 4 eight ounce beer samples and car show
  • o       Cash bar
  • o       Raffles

 For more information, check our website, visit us on facebook and twitter (@sprecherbrewery)

 Cheers to Craft Beer! Wisconsin Brewers Do It Best!


foursquare Contest

Want to go to the 2012 Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival June 16 but don’t have tickets? Sprecher will help you out. Become the Mayor of Sprecher on fourquare this week and you’ll win a pair of tickets to Wisconsin’s best beer and food festival. Contest runs Sunday 5/20 thru Saturday 5/26 at 6pm.  Winner will be announced via facebook and twitter Sunday morning. Note: Must be 21 to enter.  Sprecher employees and their families are not eligible.  Past winners are not eligible.  I.e., Week 1 winner: BigCat. BigCat is no longer eligible to win this contest.

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!

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.

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.”

Opt In. Vote Today.

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!

Winning Recipes

Below are some of examples of why living in, and being a microbrewery in Milwaukee is a total Win-Win:

We are all busy-ness in a good way.  Our Hunger Task Food Drive has been a great success, thanks to everyone who has contributed.  The Food Drive lasts until 9/26. If you donate 2 or more non-perishable food items, you will receive a Buy 1 Get 1 adult tour coupon ($4).  You donation will help restock the HTF pantry and help out Milwaukee’s mini-Katrina victims.  Speaking of…

On September 18th, from 7-10pm, we’re hosting the #saveteecycle fundraiser for the Cigelske family whose home was severely damaged from floor to roof.  Join Ted Perry and a host of other open-hearted Milwaukeeans as they help Tim, Jess and Baby Clara restore their house from this:

First Floor Flood Damage

to something more livable.  Live music performed by Perfectly Average,  yummy food donated by COA, and cool auction items galore.  Gently used t-shirts welcome. Say what? Visit:, or to learn more.

Finally, here’s the winning recipe from the Grilling with Beer contest at the Wisconsin State Fair – The  Sprecher Black Ninja Burger.  Thank you for this delectable burger, Dan Kyle of Wauwatosa:

Sprecher Belgian Dubbel Release Party

This past Saturday we had the official release party for our Belgian Dubbel.  About 100 people showed up and a good time was had by all.  Charlie Jigs of Streamline Productions and WMSE DJ’d while guests hung out enjoying their Belgian Dubbel served in a snifter, which is the best glassware for this style of beer.

Randy Sprecher tapped the first keg, worked the bar and the room, then gave a tour of the brewery as only he can do.  Unfortunately, I neglected to get photos (sorry!).  However, our next release party will be our big 25th anniversary blowout featuring a Cherry Lambic and I’ll be sure to get photos of the party and partygoers.  Hope you can join us for this event — September 25th — at the brewery, 701 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale.

In the meantime, plan to attend the WI Summer Solstice Beer Lovers Festival this Saturday, June 26th, at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale.  Twenty-eight craft breweries and brewmasters from around the state will serve 100+ beers and 20 beer and food pairings to attendees.  There will be 2 bands playing during the event, which takes place 1-5pm, rain or shine.  Tickets are $50/person, or $90 for two.  They can be purchased at Sprecher, or at

Sprecher Brewings & Doings

Not that we hibernate 3/4 of the year, but it’s true — Milwaukee comes alive during the summer.  Today is the 34th Annual Locust Street Days, always a fun, neighborhood festival with great bands, kids activities, and lots of people out for a good time in the sun.   Can’t find Sprecher on the street?  Stop into the Tracks or Linnemans.  If you’re not down at the Lakefront but you like really amazing aerial feats, you might want to get yourself there quickly because the truly mind (and ear) blowing Air and Water Show is happening as I type.  Check out the website, and then go see it for yourself:

Now I need to step back in time.  On Friday night Randy and I attended the annual Greg (GB #85) and Nicole Jennings  party benefiting Habitat for Humanity at Merrill Hills Country Club.  ( I’m proud to say Sprecher was the official beer that evening. )  Several hundred party guests along with 50 or so Green Bay Packers such as Jennings, Jermichael Finley, AJ Hawk, Nick Barnett, Nick Collins, Aaron Rogers, Josh Sitton, Patrick Williams, etc., appeared to really enjoy the event which included dinner, a live auction, music and fireworks.

Far from being aloof, all the Packers I spoke with were really gracious.  Honestly, if you’re a Packer fan, the $100 ticket price is a small fee, especially since 100% of the proceeds are donated to Habitat.  I took a few photos, most of which look better on my phone, but here are a couple:

Randy and Greg Jennings
Randy and Nick Collins

I’m always struck by how different football players look w/o their gear on.  Jermichael Finley is very tall; it would be hard to mistake him for anything but a professional athlete.  Same with Josh Sitton who’s not exceptionally tall, but he’s certainly solid. But that’s not always the case. From the photos above you can tell Jennings and Collins are about the same height as Randy.  In fact, it would be easy to mistake them for just another party guest.  Quick Quiz — if the photos weren’t labeled, could you figure out who is the brewmaster and who the pro football player 😉 ?



Sprecher Brewings & Doings – Football 101

On Saturday the Green Bay Packers held Football 101 “for the ladies.”  Or, technically, “An NFL Workcamp for Women.” This annual ritual takes place on the first day of deer hunting season in Wisconsin.  From what I understand, the training camp has taken place for a few years with variations on the theme: introduce women to life in pro football so they gain a greater appreciation for the game.  The largest attendance ever, more than 400 women showed up to get some inside tips.  In terms of fashion, it was a sea of Packer gear. Ka-ching — royalties galore.

The afternoon started with host Jesse Garcia (WTMJ 4) warming up the crowd before linebacker Brady Poppinga conducted Q & A with wives of some of the players and coaches.  Qs included: What is the most romantic thing your husband’s ever done? Does your husband help around the house?  How did you meet your husband?  Standard girl chat, really, but interesting not only because of the public forum, but also because Poppinga’s wife was one of the respondents.  We learned that these big guys are pretty much like guys.  Mason Crosby said “I love you” in Chinese at the end of his wedding vows, which blew his wife away because she had no idea how he learned it and she majored in Chinese in college.  We also learned that there are a few things these guys won’t do around the house, like take the laundry upstairs, because they “can’t risk injury,” wink, wink.

Harry Sydney, who played with San Fran and GB and has 3 Super Bowl rings, came and gave a very sophisticated Xs and Os talk.  But he did so in response to audience questions, e.g., What’s the difference between a skinny post and a rail post?

Finally, all 400+ attendees marched off to the Don Hutson Center for indoor drills — running through obstacles, throwing, kicking, causing and recovering a fumble — much like the NFL combine, wink, wink.  Several Packers were on hand to coach the gals: Brett Swain #16,  Jeremy Kampinos #7, Jeremy Thompson #99,  Korey Hall #35, Josh Sitton #71, and LB Coach Kevin Greene.  Big thumbs up to all for their patience and their  encouraging words such as, “Pretty Good,” and “Alright.”

In between all my huffing and puffing (yeah, right),  I took a few photos of the guys but they’re a bit large so I need to work on scaling them down.  Stay tuned.  They’ll either appear here or on Sprecher’s facebook page.