The Best Beer in Milwaukee

This was an article I wrote that was originally published in the March issue of All About Beer Magazine. Hope you enjoy reading and let me know what you think! Cheers!

48 Hours in Milwaukee

Photo courtesy of Company Brewing 

Milwaukee has long been synonymous with beer. Its storied brewing heritage dates back to the 1850s when German farmers settled in the area, bringing their thirst with them. Agriculture flourished and a decade later Wisconsin was producing over three-quarters of the nation’s hops. Milwaukee burgeoned into a beacon of industry on the shores of Lake Michigan and was once the No. 1 beer producer in the world. Dubbed “Brew City,” it was home to four iconic breweries: Miller, Pabst, Schlitz and Blatz. Today, this Old World pedigree is blended with a vibrant beer scene and creative culinary culture. New brewpubs and breweries are sprouting up that embrace the German brewing tradition, but are branching out with some modern creations.

Read the full article here:

Featuring: Purple Door Ice Cream, Sprecher Brewery, Lakefront Brewery, Brewhouse Inn & Suites, Pabst Mansion, Company Brewing, Milwaukee Brewing Co, Hinterland Gastropub, Cafe Bavaria, and Ray’s Growler Gallery.


Baby, Backpacking, and Beers.

IMG_2787Esther, my one-year-old daughter, knew what it meant as soon as I pulled it out of the closet.

“Backpack,” she shouted, in as close an approximation as her little tongue could muster.
“Yes, we’re going for a little hike,” said my wife, Nicole. “Ready to suit up?”
Essie’s eyes pulled wide with excitement. She patted the bright red hiking backpack and tugged on its straps, inspecting it like a mechanic doing a routine tune up.

It was a blustery Sunday afternoon and we were going for our first hike of the year. Nicole and I wanted to make sure we had the backpack stocked with whatever we could possibly need before we ventured too far from home. For being such small humans, babies require lots of hiking equipment. We ran through the checklist. Diapers, check. Wipes, check. Extra clothes, check. Cold beers, triple check. The last item obviously is not baby related, but good hiking beer definitely is a key ingredient for any successful backpacking excursion. And since this was a test run, Nicole and I decided that we should ‘test’ some new sudsy hiking companions. You know, for science.

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Blueberry, Peach, and Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

A good friend from Milwaukee recently gave me a big ole bag of Rishi Tea’s Matcha Green Tea. I’ve always enjoyed drinking the stuff, but he said that many folks were starting to cook with it as well. I figured this would help me on my path towards becoming a hippie so I took my Matcha-fu to the next level. I decided to start experimenting with it and stick it in my food.

I started off easy this morning by making a blueberry, peach, and matcha green tea smoothie! Fruits, greek yogurt, almond milk, and the matcha all combine to make quite the healthful start to the day. I’m trying to ween myself off of coffee (which is hard being a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest because the coffee is so good here!) so it was nice to get a little green tea boost. Here’s the concoction that I decided to go with this morning, but I’m sure almost any combination of fruit would work well.

Blueberry, Peach, and Matcha Green Tea SmoothieIngredients:
1 Cup Blueberries
1 Peach (de-pit-ed)
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
4 Ice Cubes (crush them up to be nice on the blender blades)
1 tsp Rishi Teahouse Matcha Green Tea

1. Toss all that goodness in a blender!
2. Blend… Until blended
3. Drink and enjoy!

Apparently there’s a bunch of reasons to enjoy matcha, so I’m going to start putting the stuff in everything! Next up I might need to make some green pancakes or green tea shortbread cookies (bet the Ninja Turtles would love them)!

Short Story: Kaleb the Pervert is Saved

Short Story: Kaleb the Pervert is Saved
Words: 1230

The doorbell rang and I panicked.

It was morning the Monday after Easter. I had the day off from work. I was lounging on the couch, drinking tea, and reading.

“Who is it?” Asked Wife from the bedroom.

“How would I know,” I responded and took another sip of tea.

“Would you go check?” She asked as the doorbell sounded again. “I’m nursing.”

I finished off the last dregs in my mug and laid the book facedown to save my spot. I looked at my t-shirt and winced. It had splotches of white from an early morning burping session splashed over the black, cotton canvas of my chest. No matter how big the burp rag, or where I position it, Baby Girl has a skill for burping everywhere but where intended.

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Our Simple Scone Recipe

Simple Scone RecipeIt’s scone o’clock in the Schwecke household! This is a sacred time filled with plenty of tea as well as Chesterton, Christie, and Wodehouse.

Here’s our recipe for simple scones that we would probably live off of if we could. It’s an easy recipe to tweak, so try experimenting with other ingredients: cranberry + orange peel, lemon + blueberry, or cherry +almond.

Cheers and enjoy!

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Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Grilled Sandwich Recipe

Comfort food was a necessity yesterday. It was cold and rainy in Milwaukee and Nicole spent the day on the couch as she tried to fight off a bug (as if being in her third trimester wasn’t enough discomfort). My go-to comfort food on a chilly, winter night is usually a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. A whole sandwich devoted to and built around cheese? What’s not to love? But our fridge had other plans for dinner. We had a pair of big, red beets that conspired against my cheesy desires because they needed to be eaten. After my dream of that rich, buttery sandwich died, Wife rescued it by suggesting a roasted beet and goat cheese twist on the classic. This is the sandwich embodiment of one of our favorite salads: roasted beets on a bed of greens and topped with toasted pine nuts and goat cheese drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette . The end result cured my craving and was a soothing and savory meal that fought back the wet, dreary evening.

Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think! Cheers!

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Our House Bloody Mary Recipe

Bloody Mary!My wife Nicole has a penchant for whipping up some of the best cocktails from scratch. And the Bloody Mary might be her crowning achievement. These bloody buggers are so fine that Ray’s Growler Gallery recently borrowed the recipe to whip up a batch for a special event. The Bloody Marys were such a hit that they have become a regular staple in the Gallery on Sundays (what’s football without a Bloody in hand?).

Caitlyn Moyer stopped by the Gallery last week and wrote up a nice review of the bloody on her website She asked if we would be willing to divulge the recipe for the secret sauce and here it is:
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Beer and Candy Pairings!

Wine snobs move out of the way, because beer is the new beverage of choice to wash down your favorite grub. Beer is extremely food friendly due to the lively carbonation and its palate cleansing capabilities. Some styles, including Belgian sours, even posses a crisp acidity, like wines, which make them the perfect companions for rich, winter comfort foods or fatty, marbled meats. Beer also comes in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and styles, a total of 141 distinct styles recognized by the Brewers Association in 2014, that lend themselves to creative combinations and perfect pairings. But this time of year, no more perfect pairing exists than Halloween candy and craft beer.

Candy Corn with Extra Special Bitter
Suggested Beer: AleSmith Anvil Ale ESB
What do candy corn and ESB beers have in common? Diacetyl. It is an organic chemical compound that has an intense, buttery flavor used in everything from microwaveable popcorn to the iconic candy corn and is a common by-product of the yeast strain used to brew ESB beers. As a style, ESB beers are all about balance, which works really well with the buttery, sweet treat of the candy corn.

Candied Orange Slices with Wheat Beer
Suggested Beer: Milwaukee Brewing O-Gii Wit
The old adage “thou shalt not fruit thy beer” does not apply here. Zesty, citrus fruits pair well with refreshing wheat beers. Instead of garnishing with a slice of lemon or orange, grab a bowl of candied orange slices and wash it down with Milwaukee’s own O-Gii Imperial Wit.

Starburst with an IPA
Suggested Beer: Solemn Oath Kidnapped by Vikings IPA
Hop strains, much like wine varietals, wax and wane in popularity from region to region and year to year. This year’s en vogue hop is Citra, aptly named since its most pronounced characteristics are grapefruit, orange zest, and tropical fruit. The bitterness of IPAs will balance out the sweetness of the candy and the tropical flavors will augment each other well.