The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Microbreweries





Central Waters Brewing Company
351 Allen St  Amherst, WI 54406
(715) 824-2739

Central Waters: The Microbrew for the Microfew
Central Waters began operations in 1998 and moved to a larger facility in 2007.
18 varieties are currently being produced, and Central Waters is sold in over 200 locations in the Badger State.
The Amherst, WI Tap Room is presently open Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm-9pm. Located in a business park a little off the beaten path, Central Waters is in a non-descript metal building.
The Friday night I was there with friends, the place was packed with a mostly middle aged crowd enjoying a good variety of beers drawn by the friendly bar staff.
There is no table service; beers are served from the bar only. One of the people at my table was Randy Clausen, the executive director of the Lettie W. Jensen Community Center. Randy is the right guy to be seated near -- he provided a wealth of information on Central Water's history, that it's the most "green" Wisconsin brewery, and even led a private behind-the- scenes tour including the bottling area and the brewery's expansion!
Notice that one of the barrels is named "The Big Lebowski"!
(Fortunately I'm not Shomer Shabbat, so was able to drive to Central Waters on a Friday night!)
I had two pints and a sample...the pints were the Glacial Trail IPA, a wonderful piney/citrusy amber brew, and the Shine On. The Shine On was good but not as complex as the beers I'm accustomed to drinking.
The sample was the Bourbon Barrel aged La Petite Mort. Translated as "little death," this term also has a more adult'll have to Google it to find out. The beer does live up to its name.
Besides a fun atmosphere and great beers, check out the Scrabble board in the Men's room!



Miller Brewing Company
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ok - Miller is by no means a microbrewery
In fact, MillerCoors/SAB Miller are among the largest brewers in the world!
But we had to put them somewhere.

While in no way a brew pub, the 72 buildings of the Miller Brewing Company dominate at least 3 city blocks on the west side of Milwaukee.   The visitor center, mostly a souvenier boutique, is the gathering place for their tour.  At the appropriate time, they take the group into a theater to view a 12 minute "history" which is mostly promotional material.  From there it is a several block walk to the first stop, the packaging line.  The scope of this is impressive as you are standing at one of the bottling lines and also the canning line which cans 2000 beers a minute.  Another movie explains that process, then on to the warehouse, brewhouse, and famous caves, followed by the free beer:  mandatory Miller Lite, then any of their other products.  You are now on your own, three blocks from where you parked your car.






"They who drink beer will think beer ." ....Washington Irving