July 25, 2017 Kathy Flanigan  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee loves beer so much it can handle a new beer week

Milwaukee Craft Brewery Week launches Friday with a Collaboration Release Party starting at 7 p.m. and happening at seven breweries throughout the city.

Not to be confused with Milwaukee Beer Week — in which Beechwood Sales and Service ramps up beer events for a week in April — this week is sponsored by the Milwaukee Craft Brewery League.

In a process similar to speed dating, brewers in the league met each other months ago to see which collaborations might work best. They’ll present the results at D14, 2273 S. Howell Ave.; Enlightened, 2108 S. 1st St.; Eagle Park, 2108 S. 1st St.; MobCraft, 505 S. 5th St.; Milwaukee Ale House, 233 N. Water St.; Third Space, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave.; and City Lights, 2210 W. Mount Vernon Ave.

Before you enter all those addresses into your GPS, there is a free shuttle bus to take patrons from one brewery to the next.

Participating breweries include: St. Francis Brewery, Craft Beer Garden at Humboldt Park, Lakefront Brewery, Sprecher Brewery, Broken Bat Brewing, Bavarian Bierhaus, Third Space Brewing Company, Enlightened Brewing, Company Brewing, MobCraft, Milwaukee Brewing Company, The Fermentorium, Gathering Place, Westallion, Eagle Park Brewing, Explorium Brewpub, Raised Grain Brewing and Biloba Brewing.

The league maintains it was created “to celebrate craft beer.” It hosts monthly events at each other’s breweries where beer lovers (or beer curious) can try new brews, sip an old favorite and meet the brewers. Milwaukee Craft Brewery Week is the group’s first big project.

It’s also a way to fill a sales gap created by the Wisconsin State Fair — a period when business slows at taprooms, said Matt McCullough, owner of D14.

McCullough will reprise Project Terroir, a beer festival/street party that is part of Milwaukee Craft Beer Week. Last year, McCullough and 9 other area breweries accepted a challenge to brew a beer using the exact same raw ingredients as everyone else. The only obvious variables would be the yeast used. But brewers also have their own water and methods and the system of brewing makes a difference, McCullough said.

This year’s Project Terroir uses the same concept and runs from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 6 in front of D14. Beer samples will be available for sale. Expect food vendors and live music. Admission is free.

The week’s events include:

Saturday: Milwaukee Brewfest, 1600 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, is a chance to sample more than 100 beers as you look over Lake Michigan. Look for local and out-of-state breweries with samples and booths with information on beers that are part of Milwaukee’s history. General-admission tickets are $55 at the door. General admission begins at 3 p.m. and last call is 6:30 p.m. See milwaukeebrewfest.com. 

Sunday: Brewmaster’s Open Disc Golf Outing from noon to 3 p.m. at Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Road. Tickets are $45 and include beer and an awards ceremony. Tickets are available online atEventbrite.com.

Monday: Fledgling brewers might be interested in “Starting a Brewery: Risk, Reward, and Red Tape” from 7 to 10 p.m. at Explorium Brewpub, 5300 S. 76th St., Greendale. Tickets are $16 and are available at brownpapertickets.com.

Aug. 1: Liquid Food Drive for Hunger Task Force. Beer lovers are asked to bring a donation to be collected when the MCBL takes over the Beer Garden at Humboldt Park from noon to 10 p.m.

Aug. 1: Summer Beer Dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. at Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave. Shully’s caters the meal, which is paired with Third Space beers. Tickets are $60 and are available online at Eventbrite.com.

Aug. 2: Follow the hashtag #drinkbrewcity for discounts at Milwaukee Craft Brewery League breweries.

Aug. 3: Follow the hashtag #drink414 for tap takeovers at Urban Bay View, 2301 S. Logan Ave.; World of Beer, 418 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa; and Draft and Vessel, 4417 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood.

Aug. 4: Breweries pair beers with bands for an event called Amplified Ales at MobCraft, 505 S. 5th St. The schedule includes Sweet Sheiks paired with Enlightened Brewing’s Cream City Brix from 3 to 4:30 p.m.; 4th Street Elevator paired with Sprecher’s Belgian Single from 5 to 6:45 p.m.; Bag Pipes at 7 p.m. paired with Biloba Brewing’s Smoking Grandma Scottish Ale; and The Hungry Williams paired with Third Space Brewing’s Happy Place from 7:15 to 9 p.m. Jacob Jahneke is paired with a MobCraft firkin tapping to perform between sets.

Aug. 5: Wisconsin IPA Fest at Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave. Who will wear the crown of Wisconsin’s best IPA? See for yourself from noon to 5 p.m. when more than 40 IPAs from across Wisconsin will be available to sample for $2 for a 4-ounce pour.

“We will be crowning a Brewers’ Choice Wisconsin IPA Champion and a People’s Choice Wisconsin IPA Champion,” said Third Space co-founder Andy Gehl.

Full disclosure, I’m one of the judges alongside brewers and professionals.

Aug. 6: Project Terroir at D14, 3373 S. Howell Ave., from noon to 7 p.m