Lakefront Brewery - Lakefront IPA

Lakefront Brewery - Lakefront IPA

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Lakefront Brewery - Lakefront IPA

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

    38 (an “honest” number per the brewer; 55 using a different calculation)
  • Serving Temperature:

    45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass or Mug
  • Malts:

    Cargill 2-Row Pale, Dingemans Cara 20, Dingemans Cara 45
  • Hops:

    Columbus, Cascade, Chinook, Simcoe
Look for a hazy, orange-amber on the pour, with a big, fluffy head that retains well before dropping to a persistent collar. The aromas are big – it cries IPA as soon as you pop it open, in fact – with prominent piney, herbal hops offering a somewhat minty cannabinoid character, with a touch of citrus rind. Take a sip and the hops hit upfront with that same bold herbal quality, with hints of grapefruit zest and pine. The malts try to get your attention with a crackery, lightly toasty flavor offering some residual sweetness with a hint of fruity esters thrown in, but ultimately the hops declare their supremacy in this brew as the big hop flavors carry into the finish and linger with a firm but not overpowering bitterness. In fact, that’s one of the things our panel really enjoyed about this brew – it’s not super bitter, but it is super flavorful. The smooth and creamy body makes it very easy to drink, and we found it made a great thirst-quenching accompaniment to some super hot Thai pork stir fry with basil and chilies.

As home to mammoth beer companies Miller, Pabst, and Schlitz, Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been known more for its big “macro” breweries than for microbrewed craft beer.  But, since founding Lakefront Brewing Company in 1987, brothers Russ and Jim Klisch have been dedicated to changing that perception.  While there was a family heritage with roots in the brewing and beer service industry, the Klisch brothers ended up in very different careers: Jim was a Milwaukee police officer, and Russ worked in the field of chemical engineering.  But then sometime in the early 1980s, Jim developed an interest in brewing and Russ gave him a book on brewing for his birthday.  Russ admits that Jim wasn’t too bad at it, and that inspired a measure of sibling rivalry that got Russ bitten by the brewing bug, too.  By the mid-80s, the brothers had become quite adept at brewing, and their homebrew was increasingly popular among both family and friends who encouraged Russ and Jim to expand their hobby into a full-fledged business.

Lakefront Brewery remains a locally-owned, small, family-run microbrewery, that has a knack for innovation.  In 1992 they bottled the first fruit beer in the U.S. since Prohibition, and in 1996 they created the first certified organic beer in the country.  They also introduced “New Grist,” one of the nation’s first gluten-free beers in 2006 (brewed with sorghum and rice in place of barley) so that those with Celiac’s disease could have access to a beer that they could safely drink.  Additionally, Lakefront has been a leader in the green business movement in Wisconsin, being awarded the Travel Green Wisconsin certification in 2007.

For more info on the brewery or brewery tours (in which they give you a beer at the start of the tour instead of the end!), call (414) 372-8800 or visit them at

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