Friday, May 2, 2014

Celebrating Beer Week at Burnhearts in Bay View

A Central Waters Tap Takeover

By Joseph Nicol
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During the ides of Milwaukee Beer Week, Burnhearts Bar in Bay View swapped all their taps with nothing but barley pops from Central Waters Brewing Company Wednesday night. 

If you’re familiar with this marketing tactic you’d know that tap takeovers aren’t uncommon in Milwaukee, but this one had a lot going for it. It was the handful of experimental and specialty beers on tap that compelled my good friend and me to exchange a quiet week night for a night drinking very heavy beers. 

The laundry could wait. This was important.

After being greeted by a line that went out the door, we were soon inside studying the chalkboard of beers, cramped, planning our strategy. Which one should I start out with? How many do I grab at a time? Is it acceptable to double-fist snifters? 

The answer to all those questions was yes.

 

The First Beer: Illumination

Only available in spring, this double IPA had a nice nose of pine, grapefruit and caramel with a hefty bitterness and slightly sharp mouth feel. It’s a solid choice for hop lovers.

Damage: 9% ABV

Would I try it again? More than likely.

 

The Second Beer: Sixteen

This is Central Waters’ limited brew marking its 16th anniversary and it does justice. It’s a thick and smooth bourbon-barrel imperial stout with generous flavors of sweet chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and coffee.

Damage: 11% ABV

Would I try it again? Totally, but it’s only brewed once. 


The Third Beer: IPAña Colada

Truly an experimental brew, this firkin-style beer plays off of a piña colada by brewing it with pineapple and coconut. The nose and creamy head was much more engaging than the taste, which was mildly bitter and malty with a muted sweetness. It’s a fun idea, but I wasn’t really on board with the mix of flavors.

Damage: 9% ABV

Would I try it again? Probably not.

 

The Fourth Beer: Boysen The Wood

This was one of their many sour brews on tap and a popular pick among Wednesday night’s crowd. I usually know what I’m getting myself into when selecting a sour beer, but this was a little much. The boysenberry flavor was nice and its sourness was very apparent, but this would have been better suited for a wine bar. Or the juice aisle.

Damage: 5% ABV

Would I try it again? No. It was good for what it was, but not my style.


Did you swing by Burnhearts for the tap takeover? Share your thoughts on the beer.

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