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Best of Milwaukee Beer Dinners v.2 Sanford

Welcome to the next Best of Milwaukee Beer Dinner!  I think we can all say that the first dinner went extremely well and I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we can’t wait for the Sanford event.

I will take a moment to clear a few things up for those who did not attend the first event.

1) This event, and all of the events going forward, will feature all five chefs from each restaurant preparing one course.  The courses assigned will differ at each event, for example, one chef will never cook dessert twice.

2) Each event will also feature ALL five breweries and they will be featuring a different beer each time.

3) Sanford is a smaller venue than Hinterland so I would plan on getting in a little earlier than the start time as there is not a bar area to congregate.

4) I know there is some confusion as to why there is only one Wisconsin brewery involved in the “Best of Milwaukee” beer dinner.  While some breweries in Wisconsin are doing some really awesome things right now, we wanted to showcase the best of what is available.  It just so happens that some of the best breweries in the world are right on our doorstep.


Best of Milwaukee Beer Dinners

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Firkin (Cask Conditioned)

Paul from Bell’s Brewery has come through with another awesome beer.  We are going to have Bell’s Two Hearted Ale from a firkin!  If you aren’t familiar with this beer, it is one of the IPAs that really got me into craft beer, really easily drinkable and great flavor.  Can’t wait to try it out of a firkin.


Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.

RateBeer rating: 100

BeerAdvocate rating: 95


Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

We already have Founders KBS confirmed for the Sanford beer dinner.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is one of the best stouts available.  It is extremely rare and we are grateful to Founders Brewing and Beechwood Sales and Service for making this available to us.


What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.

Beer Advocate rating: 100

RateBeer rating: 100



Reservations are extremely tight as I am writing this, but to place a reservation please call 414-276-9608!


After receiving this question a few times I thought I should go ahead and clarify.  All five chefs and breweries will be participating in each event.  So for the first event the menu will look like this.

First Course:

Chef Justin Aprahamian of Sanford and Goose Island Sofie – Shellfish Chorizo with Grilled Octopus, Leek and Candied Orange

Second Course:

Chef Minerva Benzonan of Tess and a Firkin of Bell’s Hopslam – Housemade meatballs of pork shoulder, beef short ribs and ground veal with chipotle, Bell’s HopSlam!, roasted butternut squash, toasted pepitas and chive oil

Third Course:

Chef Dan Van Rite of Hinterland and Hinterland’s own Maple Bock – Goose (I’ll update more as I get it!)

Fourth Course:

Chef Andrew Ruiz of Rumpus Room and Three Floyds Alpha King – Crispy Glazed Pork Belly and Spare Ribs, Pickled Vegetables, Jasmine Rice Cake, Chile Herb Pistou

Fifth Course:

Chef Daniel Jacobs of Roots and Founders Imperial Stout – Banana Peanut Tart with Malt Crust, Confit Banana, Concord Grape Preserve, Malt Pizzelle, and Brown Butter


This is the first in a series of five beer dinners featuring five of the best chefs in Wisconsin paired with five of the best breweries in the country.

Each chef is working with one brewery in order to create one amazing pairing the likes of which have never been seen in Milwaukee and perhaps the entire U.S.  Our first event will be held at Hinterland and will feature the following lineup!

The Lineup:

Chef Justin Aprahamian of Sanford with Goose Island Brewery (Chicago, IL) – Sofie

Chef Minerva Benzonan of Tess with Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI) – Hopslam Firkin

Chef Dan Van Rite of Hinterland working with their own brewery (Milwaukee/Green Bay, WI) – TBD

Chef Andrew Ruiz of Rumpus Room with Three Floyds (Munster, IN) – TBD

Chef Daniel Jacobs of Roots with Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids, MI) – Imperial Stout


Seats for this event are extremely limited, as a result we will be issuing tickets.  Ticket cost is $95 per ticket.  To reserve a ticket for this event or for more information please call



or email

Hinterland Beer

The Brewery

Hinterland is a small artisanal brewery devoted to brewing world class beer. Founded in 1995, by Bill & Michelle Tressler, Hinterland makes it’s home in a turn of the century meat packing warehouse. Our award-winning beer can be found throughout Wisconsin’s finest restaurants, taverns, grocery stores or anywhere craft beer is sold. In addition, Hinterland beer is served at our restaurant attached to the brewery in Green Bay, as well as Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub in Milwaukee’s Third Ward District and at our affiliated restaurant The Whistling Swan Inn & Restaurant in Fish Creek, WI.

Hinterland Beer is brewed for maximum flavor, color and aroma. Each batch is carefully crafted for quality and consistency so that each bottle and keg delivers on our promise to provide our customers with an exceptional craft beer experience. Currently, we brew eleven beers, some very traditional and others somewhat extreme. We invite you to try Hinterland for the ultimate beer experience and we’d like to hear from you when you do. Please drop Brewmaster, Joe Karls, a line to let us know what you think.

Goose Island

When the first Goose Island Brewpub opened its doors in 1988, domestic, mass-produced beer was deeply ingrained in Midwestern culture. The craft beer industry was still in its infancy, with only a handful of brewpubs in existence in the Midwest. In his travels across Europe, beer-lover John Hall had enjoyed a distinctive local brew in each region he visited. Hall was convinced that Midwesterners could produce beers as good or better than those he’d tasted in his travels. Living on the shore of the largest system of fresh water on the planet Earth, in a city with rapidly evolving tastes – John decided that his hometown, Chicago, would be the ideal place to do just that.

The key to building interest in craft beer, Hall decided, was to allow consumers to watch the brewing process – while providing them with the then-novel experience of enjoying a wide variety of distinctive beers that had been produced on-site. Hall wanted to not only cater to his customers’ tastes, but to challenge them as well. Goose Island’s brewers set to work crafting a diverse selection of unique beers – and on Friday, May 13, 1988 the Goose Island Brewpub was born.

It turned out that John was right; Chicagoans palates evolved rapidly once Goose Island’s Brewpub opened its doors and introduced the city to distinctive craft beer. By 1995, the brewpub had become so popular that John Hall decided to open a larger brewery and bottling plant to keep up with demand. Finding still more room for growth, in 1999 Hall opened a second Goose Island Brewpub just a stone’s throw away from historic Wrigley Field.

Today, Goose Island continues to brew an innovative selection of over 50 craft beers at the brewpub, the best of which are then bottled at our Fulton Street brewery. Goose Island beers are now enjoyed in 26 states and Europe.

Founders Brewing

Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers both had steady jobs when they decided to chase their dreams and open a brewery–which meant writing a business plan, quitting their jobs, and taking out giant loans. They figured if you’re going to live life, you ought to live it hard, without regrets.

After some initial challenges, due to making well balanced but unremarkable beers, we were on the verge of bankruptcy. It was at this point that the original Founders team decided to brew the kind of beer that got them excited about brewing in the first place: complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor.

The Founders Family, a group of passionate beer enthusiasts, has grown around this simple philosophy: “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

Mike and Dave and Barrels

We at Founders Brewing Company have been lucky to evolve into one of the highest recognized breweries in the United States. In 2011, ranked us as the 2nd best brewery in the world (up from 4th best in 2010), and we have several beers listed in the top one hundred beers of the world on We were the second fastest growing brewery in the U.S. in 2009, the winner of four medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup, and the winner of two medals at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

We are proud to be doing what we are doing, and we give great thanks to our many customers and credit to our staff for whom we continually work to reinvent and provide world-class beers.

Bell’s Brewery

About Us

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 100 people over an 18 state area. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today.  We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo.  Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. We strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers.