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Copper State Brewing Co.

Green Bay, WI

 

Crusin’ Rating: A-

Booze Rating: B+

 

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Wine Beer Distillery Blogger- Copper State Brewing Co. Outside

I recently had cause to make a solo trip up to Green Bay, Wisconsin for business unrelated to the blog. I had just enough free time to pick one spot to do a review. Green Bay hosts a plethora of breweries, several wineries, and even a few distilleries so it was a tough choice to make. It came down to two spots that were very close to where I was attending events for the day and I ended up picking Copper State Brewing Co. over Titletown Brewing Co. simply because it was a nice day and I could see some outdoor space at Copper State and Titletown looked large enough to warrant longer than I had time to kill! We will save Titletown, along with all of the other spots in Green Bay for a future trip. Let’s call this visit to Copper State Brewing our Crusinforbooze preview to Green Bay!


I walked to Copper State on an Indian summer 70 degree Tuesday that was the last little bit of warmth of 2022. I had overheard some acquaintances talking about a coffee shop that was supposed to be pretty nice a block away near the brewery. What I didn’t realize is that there is a coffee shop located within the brewery, Copper Rock Coffee. I suppose the name similarity should have given it away, but hindsight is always 20/20. Definitely a first for me, running into a brewery that also houses a coffee shop that appears to be a distinct business but shares space and employees with the brewery? Sort of? It was a little unclear but it didn’t matter much as the coffee shop was closed on a Tuesday afternoon.



I unintentionally approached Copper State from the back entrance and parking lot, but luckily it seemed to be the main way of entering the old brick building. There was a generous and well-kept outdoor space that served as a bier garden, complete with a tap/keg truck for what I assume are busy summer evenings. Walking inside, the space was also larger than I had initially assumed. Not only was there a wood countertop bar in front of me and to the right, but the space went off to left into a little side room with staircase that I guessed led to a second story - t was closed when I was there, and I failed to inquire further about if the upstairs was additional seating or office space. To my immediate right was a cooler with four packs to go and then the coffee shop counter and seating space that featured another sitting room with some type of antique machine that I couldn’t quite make out. Ahead of me and slightly to the left was the swag corner complete with a window that peered downward into a basement level with plenty of kegs and large tanks. There were plenty of windows that afforded natural light but I still found the space to have that inside-cozy-lighting feel. As my curiosity got the better of me I checked the room to my left which featured a wrought -metal chandelier and I noticed a fantastic fireplace flanked by some old brick walls with plenty of character. While it was a little warm for a fire this was an amazing seating room and I would love to visit it in the dead of winter with that fire roaring and chandelier offering some warm lighting.



The layout of Copper State, an elongated rectangle with staircases on both ends up to the second floor and main bar area taking up the middle very much reminded me of the layout of Broken Bat in Milwaukee. On a quiet Tuesday afternoon there were a handful of patrons at the bar and I was greeted by a kind fellow who offered me both a food and beverage menu. You know how we usually feel about brewpubs but in this instance I was happy to have one, and actually partially picked Copper State because of the availability of food. I needed a late lunch with this review or I was not going to make it through the rest of my events that day. I grabbed an order of cheese curds (of course) and the Caprese Grilled Chicken Sandwich with mixed vegetables on the side since I was saving my calories for the beer. In all seriousness, it was a relief to find a brewery with some lighter options, especially for lunch and extremely nice for the side veggies to be sauteed with some actual seasoning rather than the usual boiled broccoli. I found myself wanting seconds of the sandwich and the vegetables, with the cheese curds being serviceable. Throughout my lunch and tasting the bartender was incredibly attentive so props go out to him. The menu also features pub fare, wood-fired pizzas, and other sandwiches, burgers, and salads. While a little large for a brewery, I think that this is a place that did the food well enough to be a spot you’d go for lunch. They have a full bar and feature a seasonal cocktail menu, as well as wine and non-alcoholic beverages.


So the food it good, but what about the beer?!


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Copper State Brewing Co.- Beer Flight

I grabbed a flight of six beers (you can also grab a flight of 4) and it cost $21.00. The beer samples are priced individually but it looked to me like the average cost for a sample is $3.00.


Kupfer Kölsch (4.4% ABV) - You know that this year I tried what might be the gold standard for this style at One Barrel Brewing Co. in Madison but I’m always trying new Kölches just in case. This beer was a cloudy straw yellow with a light and fruity nose that denoted honey. The beer was light and bubbly up front followed by a slippery mouthfeel of orange zest and honey sweetness. The finish was well-attenuated and the hops lingered just a moment too long saying farewell to your tongue. I think if that this finished just a little too bitter instead of rounded out at the finish. I’m fine with, and expect some hops to be there to balance out the grainy sweetness, but the finish and the clarity (should be brilliant) kept this from being an excellent example of the beer.


Plaid Jacket Pils (5.1% ABV) - Another style that I will always try, for those who just want a standard German beer and none of the fruity or craft shenanigans. This Pilsner was a little sweet up front and exceedingly crisp at the end with a light mouthfeel filled with some malt. This beer had brilliant clarity but I really struggled picking out the aroma here other than some slight malt sweetness. I’ve discussed at length that calling a beer a Pilsner can be somewhat of a mess since Pilsner is not only a malt but also a family of beers made for that malt. Credit where it is due, Copper State did label this a Czech Pilsner and I will not digress too much but I’ll just say that there are more than one Czech beer styles made from Pilsner malt. Anyway, I would say that this is not a great example that shows off complex malt characteristics typical in Czech lagers that usually feature Pilsner malts. Long story short, this is an okay, not-too-exciting “lager”.


Pomegranate Pucker Berliner Weiss (3.1%) - It has been a while since I have run into a beer that is under 4% ABV and, as you know, I’m a firm believer in below 4.0% ABV is a session beer. The caveat though is that it’s a Berliner Weisse which is usually quite sour. While the ABV is correct for the style and may suggest that you can slam these, I don’t see anyone feeling great after three or four, and I’m not talking about being tipsy, but you might be a little pukey. This beer was cloudy and the color of toast if you put the toaster on the “2” setting (which Hannah argues isn’t actually toast, just warm bread). This beer was quite weird. On the first sip my sample almost had a skim-milk consistency and was only a little sour on the finish. This one was not sour enough. I didn’t really pick up any pomegranate, on the nose or tasting. There was a little vague sweetness but that was it. Again, it sort of reminded me of milk that is just starting to turn. A little sweetness from the sugar, and then a little bit sour. Not really a great taste-memory I am putting out there but other than the ABV, this one really missed the mark for the style.


Bucket List Double NEIPA (8.3% ABV) - This beer was almost mountain-dew yellow, you know that radioactive yellow green, but turned out to be dangerously drinkable and fruity. Despite the presence of Citra, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops in it’s making the hop presence was not overly profound and I would even say low so, if you’re one who doesn’t relish, or is just a little over everyone putting out IPAs that are overly strong in pine, resin, and earthy-floral tones, this one is for you. I think there were enough hops to balance out the perceived fruity-sweetness of orange, strawberry, cherry, and even some lemon when tasting which contrasted with the orange and citrus I picked up when smelling. This was an IPA I enjoyed enough to grab a two four packs of pints to take home to let friends try.


Silent Canary Imperial Double IPA (8.2% ABV) - More adjectives in front of IPA, for those of you just joining us, usually means hoppier or stronger hop flavors! This one is Imperial AND double, here denoting that double the amount of hops are used and imperial usually referencing big flavor and big ABV. I mean, not bigger than the last IPA? Anyway. This IPA was copper brown with high clarity. I smelled sap, red fruits (particularly strawberry) and some herbal notes. I tasted a lot of passion fruit juice when sipping this beer and there was a solid punch, but not unpleasant, of hops at the end to end this beer in an affirmative punctuation. I found myself enjoying this IPA as well. Again, I usually avoid overly hoppy beers but here I am enjoying two supposed double-IPAs. That may mean they are not great examples of double-IPAs as there are other breweries with regular IPAs that I don’t love and double-IPAs I find undrinkable. That being said, even if these two were not great examples of the style, I still enjoyed them.


Chocolate Coffee Peanut Butter Nitro Porter (5.9% ABV) - Whoooo and we thought the last beer had adjectives. I suppose these are all pretty self-explanatory, but just in case, Nitrogen (Nitro) is usually added to beers to create a heavier head or a smoother mouthfeel. While this beer featured a fine head of foam reminiscent of a famous dark beer from across the pond I found some peanut butter smell wafting right off of it, peanut butter when tasting, and a little coffee right toward the end along with some bitter chocolate. This beer was fine, but I was not in love with it as I found the peanut butter really overpowering. I’d say it was good, but not great.


Overall, I consider picking this brewery not only for lunch, but for the beer too. I really enjoyed the two IPA offerings and thought it was a great lunch spot. This is one of the exceptions to the brewpub paradox wherein both the food and beer was good. I cannot get enough of that room with the fireplace and was really digging the intriguing logo. While it is a far hike from Madison or Milwaukee and I can’t yet compare it to other breweries in Green Bay, I know that if I have the opportunity to visit again, I definitely will be going back. I left with two four packs of an IPA and a nice warm hoodie for the cold that I know is going to show up here soon.


Until next time, keep on crusin’, don’t stop boozin’!


To learn more about Copper State, please visit their website at: https://www.copperstate.beer/ or on Facebook: @CopperStateBrewing or on Instagram: @CopperStateBrewing

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