The Best Breweries in the Milwaukee Area

Milwaukee’s craft beer scene is booming, with ten new breweries opening in the area in 2016. With so many to visit, it’s difficult to narrow down the best ones. Here are a few favorites… two old and two new:

Lakefront Brewery/Beer Hall
According to Brewery President Russ Klisch, the business started when his brother, Jim, expressed interest in beer making, and Russ humored him by giving him a homebrewing book. Impressed with Jim’s beer, Russ decided he could brew one better. In short, sibling rivalry and common interest led both brothers to begin entering homebrewing contests and winning awards. It wasn’t long before family and friends encouraged them to turn their hobby into a business.

They began brewing with 55-gallon stainless steel drums and used dairy equipment. On December 2, 1987 they sold their first barrel of beer to the Gordon Park Pub. With the brewery up and running, the infamous tour started soon after! As Lakefront’s popularity grew, so did their production: by 1988, sales jumped to 72 barrels; by 1989, 125 barrels; and sales began doubling after that.

The tour is one of the best in town. The guides are extremely enthusiastic, especially when the tour is conducted by one of the Klisch brothers. It was one of the first brewery tours where they allowed you to drink beer before, during and after the tour. One of the fun parts is hearing the theme from Laverne & Shirley while they demonstrate the bottling line.

The brewery is located in a large beer hall space, with tall ceilings, brick walls, and communal tables. It’s right on the riverfront, with a patio in the back. The brewery transformed from a basic beer hall, where beer was only available with the tokens that you’d receive on a tour. Then they became popular for their Friday night fish fry. Now they serve a variety of basic bar food all the time (counter service) and all the beer is available for purchase at the bar.

Some options are salads, sandwiches, tacos, pretzels, cheese and wurst boards, as well as desserts. On a recent visit, they had 12 beers on tap. They are also one of the first breweries in the country to feature organic and gluten free beers.

Favorite beers:
• Eastside Dark Munich Dunkel – Sweet and roasty flavor, beautifully smooth and drinkable, not at all intimidating.
• Fuel Cafe Organic Stout – Excellent, inviting aroma, full bodied, roasted malt in full evidence.

Sprecher Brewing Company
Sprecher Brewing Co. was founded in 1985 by Randal Sprecher, formerly a brewing supervisor at Pabst Brewing Company. From 1985 to 1994, the brewery was located at 730 W. Oregon Street in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point area. Through the first ten years the company grew steadily, as more and more people found out about Sprecher’s high quality beers and sodas. Finally, the company had outgrown its original facility and began looking for a new location to continue its growth. In 1994, Sprecher purchased its current building, located at 701 W. Glendale Ave., a former elevator car factory. The new, larger brewery enabled the company to continue growing.

The Gift Shop/Tasting Room is open Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Tours are available daily for $6; check the website for times. You must call ahead for reservations.

Back in the day, Randal Sprecher would handle brewery tours, which were made memorable thanks to his obvious passion for the craft. For a bit of a different experience, try one of the Reserve tastings offered on weekends for $20. Reserve tastings are done in smaller groups than the regular tour/tastings and feature the company’s premier and limited edition products. Each guest will receive ten samples of Sprecher beers, each paired with a different artisan cheese.

They offer five year-round beers, five premium reserve, plus seasonal beers, as well as a large variety of sodas. They are well known for their root beer.

Though they don’t serve food at the brewery (other than cheese), they have opened four pubs, located in Glendale, Lake Geneva, Madison and Wisconsin Dells. The Lake Geneva location is a favorite, right on the lakefront with a nice outdoor deck. The Glendale pub is also nice, located in the Bayshore Town Center mall. They have a very good menu with German and American options, happy hour Mon-Fri, as well as varying daily food specials.

Favorite beer:
Black Bavarian – Best Schwarzbier brewed in the U.S.; Huge roasty character, big malty body.

The Fermentorium
Located just outside of Cedarburg, The Fermentorium opened its doors early in 2016. Kristopher Volkman is the founder and president, a locally raised homebrewer.

Currently offering ten beers on tap with plans to expand, the brewery also distributes to restaurants and bars all over Southeastern Wisconsin.

The tap room is currently open Tue-Fri 4pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-10pm. It’s a modern space, very open, comfortable place to hang out and drink beer. The brewing area is in the right half of the room, separated by a wall of windows, so that you can view the process.

For a newly opened establishment, they are already making several outstanding beers, so it was difficult to narrow down favorites.

Favorite beers:
• Strawberry Tart – Berliner Weisse; great combo to balance sourness and strawberry.
• Safe Passage – Porter; huge roasted malt flavor, malty aroma pervasive, outstanding example of style.

Good City Brewing
Their motto is “Seek the Good.” The first brewery on Milwaukee’s east side, Good City opened in June. The three founders connected in 2015 and immediately hit it off, sharing a love for craft beer and the untapped potential of Milwaukee. Andy Jones is a brewmaster who left Goose Island Brewing in Chicago to move to Milwaukee and work for Lakefront Brewery as plant manager for six years. David Dupee is an entrepreneur with a background in securities and regulatory compliance, founder of crowdfunding platform CraftFund, which was formed to help food and beverage companies raise capital from passionate customers and local residents. Dan Katt is a Milwaukee real estate developer.

Good City has a modern, airy tap room with a large bar area, outdoor seating, and shiny fermenters just out of the wrapper. The menu offers a good variety of taproom snacks, cheese and meats, salads, brewfood, and dinner entrees. No more than seven options in each category, so the choices are not overwhelming (a good thing). There are several vegetarian items. There are ten beers on tap.

Favorite beers:
• Pils – Medium body, hoppy Czech style, smooth as silk.
• Detail Porter – Dark, deep color, roasted coffee and chocolate flavors dominate; outstanding example of style.

New York Pizza & Pasta: An Accidental Discovery

I get the Summerlin Review Journal a few times a week and find restaurants featured inside. If they peak my interest, my family and I will plan a day to dress the part and dine with the intention of writing a review. Our favorites are usually best kept secrets that have shabby exteriors, but amazing eats. This restaurant is just that, but not one we found in SRJ. We stumbled upon New York Pizza & Pasta by accident so I had to write about the experience.

I was on my way to pick up my boyfriend while his Jeep needed some maintenance done. We met at a nearby gas station I could easily find, but my son was getting squirrely and needed to be breastfed so we looked for a place within walking distance. We turned the corner of the 7-11 on East Sahara and “Oh!” I said, “There!”. The only sitting place within the shabby strip mall was New York Pizza & Pasta. Walking in the door with my son and boyfriend I gasped, “It smells SO good in here”. “Thank you” replied a man sitting at a table, taking credit. We learned that he was Jimmy, the owner and a character we were amused by for the rest of the day, imitating his thick Italian accent and personality. “Have a piece-a-pizza!”, the suggestion along with the enticing aroma of cooked dough was enough to abandon any other plans being made.

We were seated by a waiter, given easy to navigate menus and a high chair for my son without even asking. Ordering was a cinch, something that never is with me. We both ordered a slice of whatever we wanted (2.70 per slice and.50 for each topping), a basket of buffalo wings with french fries and ranch (8.75), a beer and two waters. As we waited for our meal we looked at the space and imagined all the things it could be. The paint wasn’t much, and the decore was minimal and obviously personal to the owner and staff. Our waiter forgot our marinara and returned with the wrong toppings on my slice, but the friendliness of service and deliciousness of the food was enough to forgive. My pizza tasted fresh, homemade and was exactly what I wanted because I was able to personalize it to my liking (sausage and mushrooms). The wings were saucy and not fatty like cheap bar wings. The french fries and ranch tasted like past favorite restaurants from Minnesota. It all came out hot, enhancing all of it’s flavors. Stresses from the day fell away, we were so pleasantly surprised by the treasure we’d found at this place. I’m not sure we can put our thumb exactly on why it was so phenomenal, we just had a great time in whatever vibe this place had facilitated.

My parents met us and had a few slices before we left. Jimmy and his staff made more conversation and I checked out the bathroom, “a must” when reviewing a restaurant my mom taught me. Just like the rest of the restaurant, the unisex bathroom wasn’t much to look at, but was extremely clean.

The restaurant set the tone for the rest of the day, fun. We all left smiling. I can’t wait for the day that New York Pizza & Pasta is brought up again and we have an occasion to revisit Jimmy and his staff.

The Best Romantic Restaurants In Seminyak

If you’re thinking about the perfect romantic getaway, think about Bali. They say that Bali is the break-up island, but that’s not the case at all. Myths about love hitches in Bali have been debunked, and you can splendidly enjoy your romantic vacation in Bali. Isn’t it a wonderful place to ignite the fires of your love and togetherness?

Bali is a city with a laid back atmosphere. You can revel in its dreamy landscapes. In South Bali, you can go a bit farther to the beach town of Seminyak. It is the next town located at the north of Legian. You’ll be engrossed in the luxurious ambiance of Seminyak. As another top scenic and tourist spot in Bali, Seminyak is more uptown and fashionable. You’ll find high-end spas and boutiques in Seminyak, considering that it is Bali’s shopping capital. At daytime, you can relax at the beach. It’s quieter at that time. But what makes Seminyak more attractive to locals and tourists alike are the high-end restaurants. Bring your dearest to wine and dine in Seminyak. It’s the perfect place to nurture your affections and passions for each other.

There are different ways to dine with your beloved in Seminyak. Your dream date comes true in this romantic and sophisticated paradise. Here is a list of the top 5 romantic restaurants in Seminyak:

Lestari Grill and Pasta. Here is the ideal place if you want to indulge in a fantastic gastronomic delight while wooing your beloved. When in Bali, they say you can’t miss this dining destination. The restaurant serves classic European grills and pasta with a touch of the Asian influence. Lestari is found at the heart of Seminyak and it is known to deliver perfection to your table. Foods they serve are grilled according to your preference, but save some space for their lip-smacking desserts as well!

Ku De Ta. Dining experience in the beach front Ku De Ta is unsurpassed. Dine while you are surrounded by the fragrance of the fresh ocean water. The view of the astounding Indian Ocean will take your breath away as you savor the restaurant’s mouthwaterining meals. As you are satiated, you might even be tempted to walk along the beach and dip your feet in the sand.

The Restaurant at the Legian. This is the place to be if you want to dine Asian, French, European and contemporary cuisine. If you’re a health buff, you can ask for their gluten-free options. Dining at the Legian is a spectacular setting. With their varied selections at the menu, but not too many to choose from, dining is made easier. When in Bali, visit the Restaurant at the Legian for a beautiful location with a touch of paradise.

K Resto. This restaurant is known to be the most upmarket of all the beach restaurants in Seminyak. The menu at K Resto is classy. It ranges from Indonesian cuisine to other Asian dishes. You’ll have selections from cheaper standards to the most expensive ones. How about the feeling of eating at the beach with your toes in the sand? You’ll find it at K Resto in Seminyak.

Metis. This is where you get the best of Bali when it comes to French dining. The location is so romantic that swooning over your partner comes naturally. On the way to this splendid paradise of a restaurant, you’ll pass by pretty gardens with full-size lotus ponds. If you’re a foie gras enthusiast, Metis is the perfect romantic restaurant to visit in Seminyak.

Enjoy the best of love, scrumptious cuisine and a touch of paradise at the romantic restaurants in Seminyak!