This beer was a Silver medal winner at the 2003 World Beer Championship. Expect rich bagel dough notes with a touch of rye-like spiciness and fresh, roasted barley. Look for coffee notes throughout, blossoming as it warms, all wrapped in chocolate and faint hints of raisins. Packed with flavor, yet it has the smoothness and drinkability characteristic of this lager style. Gentle spiciness mingles with chocolate, prune, and medium-roast coffee bean notes, segueing to a creamy, rich middle, all grounded by late-breaking flourishes of lemon-peel bitterness and espresso. The finish is quite notable; bitter up front, running to slightly sweet, smooth and mellow, with the bitterness returning very prominently at the end. Dark fleshy fruits round out the fade. This is a great beer to have with spiced gravy beef tips or lamb kebobs, or paired with a medium-bodied cigar (Shameless Plug Alert! Visit www.monthlyclubs.com for information about our Premium Cigar of the Month Club.)
The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home to beer giants Schlitz, Pabst, and Miller, is better known for its large brewers than micros. Brothers Russ and Jim Klisch have been working on changing that since opening the Lakefront Brewing Company in 1987. Though the brothers have a family heritage with roots in the brewing and beer service industry, the pair worked in very different fields: Russ Klisch was a chemical engineer and Jim a Milwaukee police officer. But in the 80s, Russ got Jim a book about beer making. As Russ says, Jim wasn’t half bad at it, which inspired a bit of sibling rivalry that got Russ bitten by the brewing bug as well. By the mid 1980s, their homebrewing efforts were becoming quite popular with friends and family, who encouraged the two to turn their hobby into a business.
Today, the Lakefront Brewery is still a small, locally-owned, family-run microbrewery. They’re credited with bottling the first US fruit beer since prohibition (in 1992), introducing the first certified organic beer to be labeled in the States (in 1996), creating one of the country’s first gluten-free beers (in 2006), permitting sufferers of Celiac’s disease to have a beer they can actually drink, and have been leaders in Wisconsin’s green business movement.
For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (414) 372-8800 or check out their web site at www.lakefrontbrewery.com.
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