Water Street’s main drag boasts sundry bars and brewpubs, such as Stout Brothers Public House and Irish pub, Oak Barrel (where I met a bartender who took my friend Jeff and I to a tiny, wood-shelved bar with a wild assortment of aged liquor and hand-crafted beers. Initially visited May ’01, we also hit Irish pubs Sweeney’s, Mc Gillucuty’s, and Fitzgibbons.

 Beforehand, we’d shared award winning honey lager, pale ale, and pilsner over lunch at Water Street Brewery. Decent bottled beers found on trip included Lakefront, Sprecher, Capital, and New Glaurus brews. At Miller Park Stadium, home of baseball’s Brewers, had unexpectedly good Point Cascade Pale Ale and New Glarus Fat Squirrel, August ’04.

Revisited Milwaukee in July ’05, finding exceptional New World Wine Company, which boasted a great microbrew selection, then sojourned to all three Milwaukee brewpubs. Milwaukee’s first brewpub, the upscale brick-walled WATER STREET BREWERY, specialized in German-styled beers to match its Bavarian populous. An enormous glass-encased beer can collection filled the walls inside the midsize dining area (with high definition TV) and beer taps were shelved in central bar area.

Traditional brews include watery maize-soured lemon-dried Honey Lager Light, sour-grained malt-heavy raw-honeyed Munich Lager, peppery red-fruited tea-teased Pale Ale, frisky Band-Aid-scented smoke-spiced Water Street Amber, and murky popcorn-like Old World Oktoberfest.

Better were seasonal fare: banana-tart clove-backed mango-peach-kiwi-infused Bavarian Weiss, bitterly acidic orange-peeled lemon-tart Belgian Wit, astringent raspberry-rasped lemon-dropped Raspberry Weiss, and impressive hop-roasted caramel-Scotched off-dry Steam Beer.

Water Street opened brewpubs in Grafton and Delafield around 2008.


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