Raising the Bar
A part time job I had many years ago is where I learned that beer can be quite enjoyable if you buy the “good stuff,” and it allowed me to attend industry trade shows where I was able to try many new beers that would eventually stock the shelves and become regular purchases for myself.
I continue to learn about beer by purchasing craft beers, going on brewery tours, and checking out the local beer scene. Raised Grain Brewing Company is a newer brewery on the eastern edge of Waukesha. They opened in September and I have had the opportunity to check out the digs a few times. Obviously if I came back, you know it has to be good!
Raised Grain offers at least twelve of their beers on tap at a time switching out Seasonals when new beers are ready to be featured. The décor is industrial-rustic in the tap room that includes saw blade lights and chalkboards.
I recently enjoyed a ladies’ night out with three of my close friends. We each started with a beer flight so we could experience the brewery’s variety. The flight is four beer samples of your choosing served in a muffin tin (how resourceful), with a mini chalkboard on a magnet to remind you which beer is which, and pretzel bites to nibble on and clear the palette between tastes.
Their beers are all over the board and they have something for everyone’s palette. I tend to go for the lighter beers and tried a Saison, Hefeweizen, and Tripel in my first flight. Each one had a very distinct aroma and flavor and the beers don’t skimp on flavors–they are really good!!! All the ladies agreed that these are quality beers. I shared with my friends that their beers recently won top honors at the North American Beer Awards–Gold for the Paradocs Rad IIPA and Bronze for the Black Walnut Belgian Imperial Stout. We completely agree the beers deserve accolades.
Because we were having such a great time at Ladies’ Night, we ended up staying out long enough for some of us to enjoy another flight and check out the fun to be had in the brew room. The next four beers that I tried were really good and heavier in flavor, but I think I still favor the Tripel and Hefeweizen.
The brewery offers cribbage boards in the tap room and bean bag toss (or cornhole) and jumbo Jenga in the brew room. We got really competitive at the bags and though the boards are farther apart than I am used to, the brew room has the to accommodate my high tosses. We met a couple that came to Waukesha from out of state to celebrate an anniversary and selected Raised Grain to enjoy part of their evening. We told them that was a good choice and they played bags with us too. Raised Grain was really smart to put some tables in the brew room to relax at while enjoying the entertaining games.
My friend ended up scoring us a late-night ‘quickie’ tour that provided additional information about how its brewing process works. I have enjoyed many brew tours in the Milwaukee area and other cities and I love to hear how they breweries are trying to be green and local.
Raised Grain has a relationship with a local farmer who picks up the mash (beer making leftovers) for their cattle and yeast for their compost piles—minimizing their carbon footprint with each brew!
Recently Raised Grain added additional brew tanks to help compete with the demand—so awesome that a new company already needs to expand. The company can fill four kegs at a time from the new tanks and the backstock is kept in a cooler right behind the tap room.
Not only can you get these beers at Raised Grain, but they have about 25 rotating taps around the city. (Bernie’s Tap Room in downtown Waukesha is one that was mentioned to have the beers.)
Typically, on Fridays and Saturday nights, you will find a food truck parked out front near the outdoor seating. These are rotating based on availability so check the website for the updated lineup each week. If there isn’t a food truck, you can enjoy pizza, pretzels, and chips.
Saturdays are the day to check out Raised Grain. For feature Yoga in the brew room. For $15, enjoy a class lead by a certified instructor and finish it with a beer. Then come back for a brewery tour at 2:00 – your $10 gets you a close up look at the brewing process from start to finish from one of the brew doctors (yes they have PhD’s), samples, and a pint glass to take home.
If you can’t make it on a Saturday, I just recommend you come check it out the next time you are in the Waukesha Pewaukee area. It’s a guaranteed good time.