Water St. Brewery (Milwaukee)

Water St BreweryBroadcasting on location from Milwaukee this weekend, where I’m spending three solid days hanging out with other IT nerdburglars at a WordPress developers conference. In addition to indulging my geekiest tendencies, it’s a perfect opportunity to investigate the downtown brewery scene.

Four hours perched on folding chairs inside a converted warehouse during Friday’s afternoon session demanded a fermented remedy, so my compatriots and I headed straight for the nearest brewpub, Water St. Brewery.

Allegedly Milwaukee’s first brewpub, Water St. has been around for about 25 years, and has spawned 3 locations during its existence – downtown, Delafield, and Grafton. We visited the downtown outpost, which occupies an expansive, century-old building nestled among the many popular eating and drinking establishments along historic Water Street.

From the interior ambiance to the newsprint menu, Water St. Brewery bore an uncanny resemblance to Madison’s downtown Great Dane. Its beer was also similarly mediocre. The selection of 9 house-made taps spanned the usual brewpub styles – light, lager, weiss, amber, pale, marzen….seasonals included Belgian wit, black lager, and raspberry weiss.

Between my dining companions and I, we tried the amber, marzen, Belgian wit, and black lager. My selection, the black lager, was billed as a Schwarzbier, but more closely resembled a stout. Its thick texture and malty sweetness were not entirely offensive, but it didn’t offer the fizzy, refreshing experience of a quality Schwarzbier. Overall, I’d characterize it as “meh.” Reports by my dining companions on the others beers were similar, resulting in a score of 4 meh’s overall.

Water Street Brewery

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Location: 1101 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI (Satellite locations in Grafton and Delafield)
Established: 1988
Specialties: Unadventurous beers for the masses
More Info: http://www.waterstreetbrewery.com/
My Take: A near carbon-copy of Madison’s Great Dane, right down to the mediocre beer. 4 out of 4 nerdburglars give it a “meh.”

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