2nd Annual Wisconsin IPA Fest, Menomonee Valley, Milwaukee

Well shit. If it’s not another post in the same decade. Must be the sign of end times. But here I am, writing to you about something that happen like three days ago*. That’s right, fam. Three DAYS ago. Not months. Not years. Days. And what’s the reason for this? First, I am trying to be more timely in my writing in general. And second, the blog is called daze of beer. Not yerez of beer. So, I present, on this dreary Tuesday following a hellishly hot Saturday the tale of the second annual Wisconsin IPA Festival hosted by Third Space.

This is the second time that we have visited Third Space and also the second time that we visited for a fun celebration on an ungodly hot day. If you recall correctly for the last time we went to Third Space last September, it was also well into the 90s that day. It makes for standing around outside drinking IPAs rather unenjoyable, but as we are consummate professionals, we still did our best to drink and drink and drink and drink. So we decided to buy five drink tickets a piece when we started our endeavor. Now, head’s up. This means that we each had five different kinds of IPAs. Not full pours, obviously, but it’s still a lot of ground to cover so let me just quickly throw down what we were drinking.

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Round one: Ashley and I both had the Closer Everywhere IPA from Hacienda Beer Co. and we both loved it. Like, deeply, profoundly loved this beer. It was almost too bad that we started on such a good note because it set an impossibly high standard for the rest of the IPAs to live up to. Jake’s first beer was MobCraft IPA, which I gave him so much shit for because we go to MobCraft every week and for some reason he decided to still get their IPA instead of something from a brewery that we are not as close to or do not frequent literally. Every. Week. But regardless, he liked it. And I knew he would because it’s a good IPA and I know it’s a good IPA because I have had it before, numerous times, as we go to MobCraft. Every. Fucking. Week.

Round two: I had the Hopped By Ziggy IPA from New Barons Brewing Coop. I didn’t like it. I’m sorry but I just did not like this IPA. It tasted like nothing. No flavor whatsoever. It wasn’t even that “oh, I just taste a shitton of hops.” It wasn’t even that. It was literally like drinking a Miller Lite they forgot to sprinkle a flavor packet into. Ashley’s second beer was Zed Cloud with Motueka Hops from Lion’s Tail Brewing Co. out of Neenah. She liked it. I don’t honestly remember what she had to say about it although I do believe this is the beer she insisted I take down a direct quote for and I just didn’t because it was really hot and I had to drink fast or else my beer would also get hot. Jake’s second beer was the Bitter Bitch from Biloba Brewing. He didn’t like it. It was too bitter. And then someone made a comment that it must be what I taste like. Because I, too, am a bitter bitch.

Round three: I got the Tropidelico IPA from Gathering Place Brewery and I really liked it. I love a very citrus-y IPA. And then here’s also where things got dicey because Ashley tried to get Demon Haze from Eagle Park Brewing Co. but they were actually out of it, so she ended up getting the Space Whistle IPA from Company Brewing, which she still liked. Jake’s third beer was Mosiac Theory from Component Brewing. Jake’s assessment was that the beer didn’t have much flavor.

Round four: This was a big one for me, guys. I got the Galaxy IPA from Octopi Brewing and I adored it. It tasted like Blue Moon ice cream. That’s right. My favorite flavor of ice cream which is an illusive flavor that is hard to describe because it’s so firmly rooted in it’s chemical makeup that it never occurs naturally but that is what this beer tasted like. I was so into it that I tried to see how other people described it on Untappd and Beer Advocate and other people were also struggling to articulate the flavor of the beer, which is exactly how I also feel about having to articulate what blue moon ice cream tastes like! So brilliant. Ashley’s fourth beer was Juju the Avenger from Rock County Brewing. She had some very unpleasant things to say about this beer. It would be indelicate to repeat them here in this high class blog. And Jake’s fourth beer was Juice Packets Citra from The Fermentorium. I think he liked it enough. He doesn’t like IPAs though, so this whole day was a hard read for me on what Jake was thinking about any particular beer.

Closing round: I had the NZF from Lucky’s 1313 Brew Pub which I don’t remember drinking. Not because I was sloshed after five four ounce pours, but more so because it was so hot and all I could think about was how hot I was. Ashley’s last beer was the Bunny Green Toe from Lake Louie Brewing. Again, I don’t know what she thought about it. Jake’s last beer was Ride Fast Take Chances from Fifth Ward Brewing Co, which I do remember him liking. Especially since it was Fifth Ward Brewing Co out of Oshkosh and not someone trying to call Walker’s Point the Fifth Ward again.

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And then he bounced because it was goddamn hot guys. But I will say, the beer that won the People’s Choice award for best IPA was the festival was the Demon Haze IPA, which is you recall from scrolling up, was also the IPA that Ashley tried to order and they were already out of. So I think everyone sort of saw that coming in terms of what the People’s Choice beer was. I voted for the first beer I had, for the record, the Closer Everywhere IPA from Hacienda Beer Co. The IPA that was named best in Wisconsin from the experts that be was Upward Spiral from Third Space, which I didn’t have at the festival, but it is definitely a staple of my home beer stock. I almost always have either Upward Spiral or Happy Place stocked up in my kitchen, so I’m glad to see them getting recognized for having such an outstanding beer.

Honestly, I love Third Space beers and I love going over to their brewery and I am going to have to find an excuse to head over there on a typical day, maybe on a day that hell is firmly contained below Earth’s crust and now just leaking into life.

*This now happened over a month ago, but I still wrote it three days after the fact and I’m

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