Try Tapas and Beer experience Thursdays
By BETH STAFFORD
SURPRISING. Imaginative. Delectable.
For me, that describes the beer and food samplings that Sprecher Brewing Company has created for the company’s new Tapas and Beer experience.
Traditionally, tapas are “small plates.” Sprecher Brewing’s version features a dozen craft beers, each paired with five to six different food items. Each tidbit is selected to highlight and accent flavors in that specific pairing.
Since this is Sprecher Brewing, the beers, of course, represent a wide range of styles. By the end of Tapas and Beer, tasters sample more than 70 flavor pairings. I learned how pairings change and enhance the flavors in both the beer and food items.
In foodie terms, this is a great opportunity to experience “contrasting and complimentary” and “dominant vs. secondary” flavors.
The food samplings cover the salty, sour, bitter, sweet and savory landscape. I expected to be treated to some of Wisconsin’s finest cheeses, since Sprecher Brewing already recommends pairings for specific beers and products from the state’s artisan cheesemakers such as Carr Valley and Sartori.
But it was amazing to find Sprecher Hefe Weiss paired with chile spiced mango pieces and dried banana chips, Sprecher Pub Brown Ale with roasted coconut strips and dried apricots and Sprecher IPA with ruby red grapefruit sections and pickled beets. I’m obsessed with tracking down the source for the bacon pralines and dark chocolate toffee, but at least I know that the brewery’s Beer Popcorn and Oktoberfest Beer Brittle can be snagged at the Sprecher Gift Shop.
The host or hostess at each Tapas and Beer session provides a lot of background on beer brewing and brings visitors up-to-date on what Sprecher Brewing has been up to lately. For our group, that included a description of Sprecher’s new Hard Root Beer. This root beer with bourbon and oak flavors is strictly for adults 21+ and is delectable. (It’s also very limited in availability right now, so visit the Sprecher Gift Shop or check
We also learned about Sprecher Commando, Pipers Scotch Ale aged in oak bourbon barrels, and Sprecher Czar Brew, Imperial Stout, similarly aged. I’m a bourbon lover with a bit of Scotch-Irish in the family tree, so I’m going (with) Commando.
Sprecher President Jeff Hamilton believes Tapas and Beer is a first for any brewery in the country and currently plans sessions every Thursday beginning at 6 p.m., although additional times may be scheduled. The pairing will change seasonally, reflecting Sprecher’s current beer lineup. The cost is $30 per person, with a maximum of 18 guests each session. Reservations are recommended and all participants must be 21. The brewery is located at 701 W. Glendale Ave., in Glendale. Reservations and info is at 414-964-2739 or sprecherbrewery.com.
BARS & CLUBS BY LOCATION
MILWAUKEE BRAT HOUSE, 1013 N. Old World 3rd St. 273-8709.
METRO BAR & CAFÉ,
411 E. Mason St. 272-1973
MYKONOS GYRO & CAFE, 1014 N. Van Buren St. 224-6400
COUNTY CLARE, 1234
N. Astor St. 272-5273.
SAFE HOUSE, 779 N.
Front St. 271-2007.
E. Wells St. 273-4900
STREET BREWERY, 1101 N. Water St. 272-1195
TRINITY - Three Irish Pubs
RUDY'S, 1122 N. Edison
113 E. Juneau Ave. 289-0700
1111 N. Water St. 274-7213
THE LODGE, 154
E. Juneau Ave. 765-9999
N. Water St. 278-8888.
BALZAC WINE BAR, 1716 N. Arlington Pl. (Arlington at Brady St.). Vast wine list, 23 different bottled beers, eight beers on tap, and 13 different martinis, plus “small plate” fare.
CRISP PIZZA BAR & LOUNGE
HI HAT LOUNGE & GARAGE,
1701 N. Arlington Pl. 225-9330
DISTIL, 722 N. Milwaukee St.
PUB, Corner of N. 5th and W. Wisconsin Ave. in Hilton Milwaukee
City Center. 271-BEER.
233 N. Water St. 226-BEER
RYAN BRAUN’S GRAFFITO, 102 N. Water St. (opening April 4). 727-2888.
CHEZ JACQUES 1022 S. 1st St., in Walker’s Point. 672-1040
NUOVO CENTANNI, 218 N. Water St. 221-6565.
EL FUEGO MEXICAN RISTORANTE, 909 W.Layton Ave. 455-3534. "Hottest Happy Hour in Mllwaukee" 2:30-6 p.m. every day, 9-11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.
ST. FRANCIS BREWERY, 3825 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., St. Francis, near Mitchell International. 744-4448. Special events, team trivia 8 p.m. every Thurs.
THE PACKING HOUSE, 900 E. Layton Ave. adjacent to Mitchell International Airport. Live music in the lounge Wed.-Sat. evenings.
GENUINE BAR & GRILL,
7413 W. Greenfield Ave.
JOEY'S SEAFOOD & GRILL, 12455 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield. 262-750-9500.
HOUSE, 5539 W. State St. 453-2410
4700 N. Port Washington Rd. 962-4710
PORT HOTEL RESTAURANT AND BAR, 101 E. Main St., Port Washington
VON ROTHENBURG BIER STUBE, N116W15863 Main St., Germantown. Choose from more than 200 imported and domestic beers.
COMEDYSPORTZ, 420 S. 1st St. 414-272-8888.
COMEDY CAFÉ, 615 E. Brady St. 271-5653.
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