Friday, April 8th, 2016 Brews Cruise


It's finally Fri-Yay, friends! For many of you, this means being able to grab dinner and a drink with friends, family, or your significant other. You deserve it! And hey, if you come across a place you LOVE, definitely let me know.

As some of you already know, I'm a huge craft beer nerd. Besides being a Wisconsin wedding photographer, I manage Brickhouse Craft Burgers and Brews in De Pere. I get the insane joy and privilege of choosing all the beers, cocktails, and wines that are served at Brickhouse. I've learned so much in this position, and the challenge of keeping up with new breweries and offerings is exciting. 

I certainly don't think I know everything there is to know about craft beer, I have a long way to go. I do, however, love sharing the beers I've had lately and what I thought of them. So if you're willing to indulge in my lushful hobby of craft beer drinking and hear my opinions, I will gladly share them with you. Once a week (hopefully), I'll fill you in on the latest and greatest craft beers I've had. Without further ado, here are this week's contenders:

1. New Glarus Brewing Dancing Man
Where I had it: Brickhouse Craft Burgers and Brews
Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 7.2%
My rating: 4/5

Dancing Man is simply drinkable. It's refreshing, light, and a total crowd-pleaser; I think domestic and craft beer drinkers alike will fall in love with this beer. Pouring a dark gold with a creamy head, Dancing Man's high effervescence excites the palate and awakens the senses. I've been fairly surprised by the number of people that are unfamiliar with this New Glarus release. I remember the first time I had it, about four years ago. I was just starting to sample craft beer and had picked up a bottle at Woodman's in Green Bay. I was just blown away that a beer could be light but flavorful and complex and exciting all at the same time. Low in hop bitterness and medium to high maltiness, the yeast does a lot of the heavy lifting to make this beer shine. True wheat beer flavors of clove, banana, and bubble gum resonate throughout, with a slight bitter finish. Totally crushable any time of year, Dancing Man is perfect for a hot summer day on the patio. 

2. Left Hand Brewing Good Juju
Where I had it: S.A.L.T.
Style: Herb/spice ale
ABV: 4.5%
IBU: 20
My rating: 3.5/5

Good Juju isn't a beer that everyone will enjoy, but just hear me out. If you like ginger, or a zippy brew that's gonna explode over your taste buds, Left Hand Good Juju is the beer for you. Pouring a golden color with medium effervescence, the ginger notes are able to come through loud and clear without being overshadowed by big bubbles or sharp hop notes. Personally, I like ginger in small doses, and I think Good Juju achieves this brilliantly. The balance between the malts and hops serenade the finish quietly, and flavors of lemongrass linger. A seasonal release from Left Hand Brewing, Good Juju will be freshly available in Green Bay soon.

3. DuClaw Brewing Sweet Baby Jesus
Where I had it: my kitchen (sorry, folks!)
Style: American Porter
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 53
My rating: 4.5/5

Holy peanut butter and chocolate, batman! This beer is freaking delicious. Tyler and I sampled it together a few nights ago. After the first sip, we looked at each other with glee and said "Woah!!" It really tastes like a Reeses Peanut Butter cup on delicious steriods with some serious roasted malts. Pouring almost black with medium effervescence, the chocolate malts hit the palate first. The peanut butter stickiness comes with the finish and leaves you smacking your lips with satisfaction. Chocolate and peanut butter go together fantastically (hello, have you seen the candy aisles lately?), and brewers have been fascinated by this combo for some time now. This Sweet Baby Jesus is by far the best rendition I've ever tasted. The subtle sweetness at first sip doesn't overwhelm the other flavors, and makes it an appealing beer that isn't reserved for only after dinner. DuClaw is one of the top breweries in Maryland, hopefully they will be available in the Green Bay market in the near future. Until then, sorry friends, I'm keeping my stash to myself ;)

Got a beer you want me to review? Send me a message at, or better yet, send me a beer! Cheers to you and your craft beer adventures. Stay inspired, and keep drinking!