So what does one do on a Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin in mid-February? The sports world is a little thin right now for my tastes. I really don’t care much about Nascar or Daytona and the NBA All-Star Game is a bit too much fluff for me to sit through all of it. Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training but baseball is a long way off. And the Badgers had already won on Saturday, so my Sunday was wide open. So why not do some day drinkin’? The Midwinter Brewfest at The Milwaukee Ale House was just an awesome experience. Much thanks and love to my oldest daughter Melissa for hooking us up with some passes into this outstanding event. And props to her place of employment, Boelter Beverage, the company that supplied everyone with their sampler glasses. I have not been to many events like this but damn, this was like the perfect storm of Wisconsin fun. Allow me to explain.
First of all, it takes place in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward which in itself is always a treat to visit. And then the vast majority of the 35 breweries represented that I wanted to check out were in the basement. Now we walked down to the basement and let me tell you…it was a basement. I mean, all it was missing was Tyler Durden hosting an evening of Fight Club. No frills and chills..just the basement of a 100 plus year old building in Cream City. And the first thing you hear is the blaring of horns as the UW Alumni Band blew out a great rendition of “When You Say Wi-Scon-Sin, You Said It All” and “On Wisconsin”. By the end of the event, I went up to the leader of the band and told him “F the beer, I’d have drove up here just to listen to you folks”…it was that cool. The place was littered with some of the coolest beings on the planet and I got to meet several of my daughter’s work peeps which was also very sweet.
And then there is the beer. 35 breweries and of course the home brewers all were represented. Just in the party basement alone there were world class breweries like Sprecher, New Glarus, Bell’s, Goose Island and Founders. And of course my personal favorite, 3 Sheeps out of Sheboygan. I was also happy to try new flavors from places I wasn’t familiar with like Half Acre from Chicago and Hacienda from Door County. And then of course you toss in complimentary Smoked Italian Sausage from the good people at Usinger’s and what you got is a mid-winter extravaganza. And one more thing; portable bathrooms…in the basement…how Wisconsin is that?? You don’t even have to drink beer to appreciate a great winter event like the Midwinter Brewfest, all you have to do is be a Wisconsinite. Oh sure, there may have been folks from other states in the house, but that building reeked of Badger fun on so many levels.
I feel fortunate to have a daughter who shares my interest in quality beer. I am over-the-top fortunate when that same daughter works for a nationally recognized leader of what I call “beer schwag”. Glasses and mugs and coasters and keychains, just about anything that one can think of that has to do with beer can be found at Boelter Beverage. So the next time you see a beer celebration similar to the one that took place Sunday in Milwaukee…go to it. It is just so much more than beer. It is Wisconsin at its finest. Also a special shout out to my wife and my son-in-law for altering their schedules to make sure they were there for us so no one was driving buzzed. It was a perfect afternoon of Drinkin’ Wisconsinbly.