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Author: Nathan Whitcomb

Beer Craft: The nobility of enlightened brewing

When you hear Tommy Vandervort and James Larson tell the story of opening a brewery together, you’d be forgiven for not immediately thinking of the word enlightened. To hear them tell the story you might think of words like backbreaking, tireless, work-of-love, or even hard labor. But keep listening and you’ll soon find that these two are more enlightened than you might think. Together, Tommy and James mashed in on Enlightened Brewing Company’s first batch of beer in the early days of 2015, when shadows linger long into the cold morning of the Wisconsin winter and snow has lost...

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Beer Craft: A new cooperative of brewing barons

Milwaukee’s Craft Beer Renaissance has brought craft beer drinkers everything from a corner brew pub, to a brewery that pairs art with beer, to an urban farmhouse brewery, and now John Degroote is creating the city’s first cooperative brewery: New Barons Brewing Cooperative. Though still in the planning and development stage, with their sights set on funding a 15 BBL brewery to open in 2018, the cooperative already has 60 members and will seek to gather the capital needed to open from a mix of investors and member-owners. As with any co-op, member-owners of New Barons will be able...

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Beer Craft: The magician of brewing science

When I arrive at 1505 W. St. Paul, I first follow the malty scent of freshly mashed beer, then a series of huge green arrows painted on the outside of the brewery, which lead me to a chartreuse door. Behind the door, I find Third Space Brewing’s Head Brewer and co-owner, Kevin Wright, alone with his work. The hum of Kevin’s massive brew kettle and the caramel aroma of boiling wort fill the cavernous brewhouse, which is crisscrossed by heavy tubes used to transfer beer and water around the stainless steel tanks towering on the south wall of the...

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Beer Craft: Barrel aging writes next chapter of brewing renaissance

As craft beer in Milwaukee continues its renaissance, the popular narrative has been focused on new breweries opening, but the story of craft beer in the city is more complicated than how many breweries we have and what neighborhoods they are in. What this story misses is an exploration of how Milwaukee’s craft brewers are working to build rich portfolios of beers that are complex enough to stand up against breweries with a national reputation. One such story is the story of Milwaukee Brewing Company and their head brewer, Robert “Bert” Morton. Over the last few years, The MBC...

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