So many breweries so little time. If you think Wisconsin only brews Miller you’re wrong. Wisconsin has quite the craft beer scene. Being in Milwaukee only 4 days and there for a family reunion with my sons in tow I couldn’t visit every brewery so we chose a few. One I had been eyeing from afar (Los Angeles) via family check ins on Facebook was Sprecher Brewery. http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/index.php
Although it seemed all of Wisconsin Breweries were family friendly (Bierlady advice: know your beer limits and only take well behaved kids) I was drawn to this Brewery as they seemed to have as many choices in soda as they did beer. http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/soda.php
As well as their “mascot” or their Label photo, it’s a Griffin. And if you know me Im a big fan of the Griffin, especially my 4 year old named, Griffin. I cant believe I missed the Rootbeer Griffin in the gift shop. I may have been eyeing the beers not the toys. http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/store/details.php?prodId=59&category=6
The week before we headed to the Midwest I shoot out a few tweets to breweries we were interested in checking out. Would you believe Sprecher was the only brewery who immediately tweeted me back. Not only that but within minutes Anne Sprecher tweeted and messaged me that she would meet me at the brewery. Now that’s Midwest nice. I did end up meeting her and she was awesome.
It was the last full day of our trip, and really I should have learned by now that LA Siri does a lousy job in Milwaukee, we used my Iphone to get us to the brewery and of course she took us off course. Maybe she was confused as we have some great breweries in Glendale, CA…sigh…SO we were 10 min late and missed the noon tour. The next was at 1:30 and we werent quite sure if we would be there that long (boy were we wrong, 3.5 hours later…) so we asked if we could just go in their tasting room. The staff was quick to accommodate us and it actually ended up being great. We brought several relatives along. Remember Julie who left me the beer, and Dale and Melissa who were our beer buddies all weekend? They were there. Along with my sweet Aunt Karen and our boys.
They gave us our tasting bracelets that you get with the tour price of a mere $5 (no seriously giant tasters, a tour and you get to keep the glass for 5 bucks) and sent us into their beer hall. The bartendress was kind enough to give us our first taster before she started taking our tabs from our bracelets.
So many beers to taste. WHERE do we start? In truth I don’t remember where I started but I will say there was not ONE fail in the bunch. Not only did I get my tasters but we kinda all shared at the table, and then went back for our favorites. Along with a few tasters Anne gave me so that I didn’t have to wait in line. (Our private biergarten quickly filled up with the tour of probably 60 people).
In my time there I tried, Sprechers Hard RootBeer. Now this could REALLY get you in some trouble. WOW was this good! It was Rootbeer, with a kick I didn’t really taste, hence the trouble part. In the same vein they had a Hard Ginger Beer, which was pretty fantastic as well. I could make a GREAT Moscow mule with that one. Rounding out the sweeter “beers” and “ciders” I tried my FAVORITE of the bunch, Sprechers Hard Apple Pie.
I can’t even describe it other than saying it was perfect.
Some of our other tasters include their Pub Brown Ale, Special Amber, Black Bavarian, http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/beer.php?cat=1
Irish Style Stout, Witty, Abbey Triple, http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/beer.php?cat=3 IPA2, Summer Pils, Piper Scotch Ale, Cider De Pomme, and their Grapefruit Radler. WHEW! I told you we tried all of it! And not one bad one in the bunch. They really hit the taste of everyone in our group. My husband liked the Abbey Triple, Cousin Julie liked the IPA2, Dale was drinking the Black Bavarian and his dad works at Miller, and as I was leaning toward the ciders and the Summer Pils…my cousin Melissa who I have NEVER seen drink any beer other than a cider not only loved but ended up buying their Pipers Scotch Ale, http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/beer.php?cat=3
I wont go into great detail on the “malty flavor” or the “hops used” cause I know you don’t care that much. But what I will tell you is these beers should be available in CA well EVERYWHERE for that matter. I think their ciders and sodas would bring such joy to the LA VEGAN BEERFEST. http://www.veganbeerfest.com/
I did a lil research and Im pretty sure my LA friends would love them too. Look when Sprecher entered some of their beers in the LA COUNTY FAIR competition
2006 L.A. County Fair
Special Amber: Gold Medal – Vienna Style Lager
Oktoberfest: Gold Medal – German-Style Marzen/Oktoberfest
Dopplebock : Gold Medal – Dopplebocks
Black Bavarian: Gold Medal – Robust Porter
Irish Stout : Gold Medal – Foreign(Export) Style Stout
Imperial Stout : Gold Medal – Imperial Stout
Winter Brew : Silver Medal – European-Style Dark/Munchnerdunkel
Sprecher Micro-Light: Silver Medal – English Summer Ale
Piper’s Scotch Ale : Silver Medal – Scotch Ale
Mai Bock : Bronze Medal – Bock Beers
Barleywine: Bronze Medal – Barleywines
Awards don’t lie! Check out some of their other awards: http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/awards.php
Im always so impressed by a brewery that can do such a wide variety of beers and do them all well. We all know the breweries who have the lock on the IPA, or the ones we know can do a lager well, but to do them all across the board from a sweet apple cider to a Triple Abbey and everything in between without us spilling out one taster, not only has my attention but my respect.
I borrowed this from their websites History page, as I found it all interesting. And so true. This brewery can concentrate on making “craft” beer. That’s why its so good.
Sprecher Brewing Co. was founded in 1985 by RANDAL SPRECHER, formerly a brewing supervisor at Pabst Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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. …..
…..Like the biggest selling wines, many mass market beers are made to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible. This means they have to be produced at a highly competitive price and that they must offend no one. Much of the distinctive qualities of the traditional regional type brews is lost.
Sprecher and other micro-breweries have revived both the distinctive quality of regional beer and old world brewing methods as well. The term “Micro-Brewery” refers to the relative size of the brewery when compared to gigantic beer production facilities of mass marketed national brands. Where these “Mega-Giants” produce from 20 million on up to 90 million barrels a year each, a “Micro-Brewery” is a considerably small operation, brewing less than 15,000 barrels a year. Although some have grown to 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a year.
Quite a difference when you consider a barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. In that respect, the smaller Micro-Breweries such as Sprecher can focus more on its specialty “Craft Beers” with an eye on the highest quality and tradition of European style brewing.
At the Sprecher Brewing Co. we are proud to participate in Milwaukee’s great brewing tradition and we’re grateful for the opportunity to present our best to you.
So happy to have tried all of the beers we could. Even happier they had a gift shop where we could bring some home. But now Im on a quest to get Sprecher out to Los Angeles for us all to enjoy. Cause I didn’t bring home enough to share with all of us. Sorry. I only had two suitcases.
For my Milwaukee relatives, keep up with them at http://blog.sprecherbrewery.com/
Anne thank you for your immediate kindness, and I look forward to you visiting Los Angeles, I promise to take you to Tony’s Darts Away http://tonysda.com/ for some CA Brews!