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Corner Pub Brewery

Reedsburg, WI

 

Crusin’ Rating: C+

Booze Rating: B

 

Our first article of the new year and we thought we would start off on a positive note! Although, if we are being candid, Hannah and I did not expect much going into this next place. In fact, this was an instance where we definitely judged a book by it’s cover and were 100% wrong in our assumptions. This week’s article is on the Corner Pub Brewery in Reedsburg, WI.


From the outside, the Corner Pub Brewery does not look like much. True to its name, it sits on the corner with a modest facade of glass and brick. It looks like so many other Wisconsin corner taverns that we initially drove right past it on our way home from Hillsboro Brewing Company. We drove about two blocks discussing whether or not we should stop for a brief snack and quick review or just call it a day. I was a little bit hungry and figured they would at least have some appetizers and I figured I would test a beer or two, not expecting it to be an in depth review. I have been to other local places that seem to cash in on the craft brewing fad where they are a local watering hole or even just a restaurant and decide to brew some really passable beers. My hopes were not high.



Upon entering the space it looked like every other small town tavern you’ve been to from Cambridge to Cumberland; from Crivitz to Cuba City. Wood furnishings, red cushioned stools, beer signs, pull tabs, and bar-facing grill, you know the look. Alright, I figured, some quick food, a flight, and we are out of here. We see an older, grumpy-looking, fellow doing paperwork from the week and we are greeted by a home-town, cheerful girl as our waitress/bartender. There is no one else in the bar on a Sunday at 4:30 PM except a cook that we can’t quite see most of his face due to a mask and baseball hat combo.


Again, I was not expecting much as we ordered some cheese curds and two flights. The beers don’t have fancy names and there isn’t much fanfare about ordering them or reading the descriptions.


Crusin For Booze- Wisconsin Blogger- Corner Pub Brewery- Beer Flight

Bourbon Scotch Ale (7.7% ABV) - This beer, which I am guessing based on color and alcohol content is a riff on a Wee Heavy that may be aged in bourbon barrels. This beer had medium clarity and a dark copper-brown color with low carbonation. It smelled of oaked vanilla and strong toffee notes. It tasted of both sweet caramel and vanilla/toffee as well. There was an oakiness that was in the finish and it finished dry with a medium-heavy mouthfeel, low bitterness, and low hop presence. You know, it wasn’t bad and really checked all of the boxes of the style that I surmise it is based on.


Honey Blonde (5.5% ABV) - This beer was cloudy golden in color with a large foamy head. A light malty aroma with a definite hint of sweetness and then tasting it you definitely get hit with the honey followed by soft bready maltiness. Medium-low bitterness with a medium finish. Medium everywhere means an easy-drinking experience of a beer that is both sweet and mellow.


Porter (5.25% ABV) - Dark, rich brown, almost the color of a slightly-watered-down coffee. Both coffee and chocolate feature in the aroma with maybe even a little resinous character in there. Moderately low carbonation, zero clarity and medium full body full of notes of hazelnut and roasted chocolate. A solid example of the style if not full of frills.


American Pale Ale (4.2% ABV) - This hop-forward (in both aroma and taste) beer is a light gold color with medium clarity. I got both citrus and pine in the aroma. I found the flavors of resin and pine, perhaps even floral that dominated my tongue with just a little bit of citrus with high bitterness throughout with a medium feel and finish. Not my favorite style, but, yet again, it’s almost like reading directly off a description of this beer as I write about it. It checks all the boxes of the style.


Weiss (5.9% ABV) - This beer had a hazy straw color with a thick white head with pretty high carbonation. I didn’t pick up on any banana or clove with my nose but there was definitely some sweet-smelling yeast in there. There was low bitterness in the taste but there was a definite sourness which led me to believe this should be noted as a Berliner Weissbier. While the beer was bright, any fruitiness was lost to me. I didn’t love this beer but again, it tasted as it should. Notice the pattern? Hannah liked this enough to order a glass.


Milk Stout (4.9% ABV) - This stout, most likely brewed with lactose for sweetness is basically black in color with a tan head (think Guinness). Full of creamy baker’s chocolate on the nose and taste, the milk and sweetness components were both very present. Light notes of roasted coffee, plenty of milkiness to give a full-bodied mouthfeel and chocolate made this one my favorite, easily. I liked this one enough to bring a full growler home and enjoy it throughout the week.


Cream Ale (ABV Unlisted) - We found this beer to smell strongly and taste strongly of cream cheese frosting right off of your favorite dessert. Light gold in clarity with high carbonation and clarity and a medium and smooth mouthfeel with a fairly sweet finish. We both agreed that this was a solid cream ale.


Crusin For Booze- Wisconsin Blogger- Corner Pub Brewery- Swag Wall

After we were done eating and in the midst of ordering a glass of the Weiss and Stout the owner, the previously grumpy looking man was quietly friendly and jovial. He explained that this was a family dinner spot and the struggles that COVID has presented- and still presents- to his business which was started by him over 30 years ago and now, while he maintains ownership, he’s brought in a talented home-brewer to run the beer operation. The beer was surprisingly solid and it really took us aback. We had made some pretty strong assumptions about the place looking at it from the outside and we have to own up that while it is an average country-town tavern, the beer is quite good and the owner is a friendly guy that could be just about anyone’s neighbor just down the street.


It was a stark reminder of what COVID is doing to places like this, the struggles they face and a sharp reminder for us all to shop and support local. You just might be surprised by what you find.


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


To learn more about the Corner Pub Brewery please visit them on Facebook: @CornerPubBrews

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