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Lion's Tail Brewing Co.

Wauwatosa, WI

 

Crusin’ Rating: B+

Booze Rating: B+

 
Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Lion's Tail Brewing- Outdoor entrance

This week we are checking out a brewery that has two very different locations; one in Neenah, WI and the other, Wauwatosa, WI. We decided to check out the Wauwatosa Taproom on a recent visit to the Milwaukee area, saving the Neenah location for a future review! North Avenue in Wauwatosa is a happening spot, with plenty of coffee shops, bars, and a handful of breweries all within a relatively short travel distance. We’d driven past Lion’s Tail on a few occasions and were always drawn to the large semi-enclosed patio and sheer size of the taproom.



The Wauwatosa location used to be home to a garden center and now serves as a very spacious taproom. With two distinct indoor “wings”, one for the main bar and the other wing as a secondary tap bar, additional seating, and a view of the basement that will serve as a production space in the future - currently the beer is brewed at the Neenah location. Given the fact that the space used to serve as a garden center, there are a plethora of doors both at the back and front of the building and a decent amount of light coming in throughout the entire space. To give an idea just how many people this taproom was serving while we were there; six bartenders were constantly slinging beers behind the square bar of the main taproom during our entire visit. That taproom opens up to the partially enclosed patio that once served as a greenhouse. With plenty of overhead heat lamps, a spring jacket or maybe a blanket is all that is needed to enjoy a beer out there even on a day that was fully overcast and just under 40 degrees. Hannah and I were both impressed with a taproom that had plenty of indoor space, including a wing that was sparsely populated for a quieter beer, the lively taproom full of TV’s and chatter, and the patio that afforded plenty of seating (when a table finally became free). It was nice to be able to pick between different levels not only volume, but even a bit of a different feel to each of the areas - community biergarten, sports bar, or quiet seating.



While there wasn’t in-house food, a food truck was parked in the courtyard and we’ve seen either that same food truck another food truck parked on more than one occasion. We were able to order a flight, but instead of paying by the flight, you paid here per pour, with each pour costing between $3-$5 which put a standard flight from anywhere from average to one of the most expensive flights we’ve come across. We noticed N/A beverages on the menu but no cocktails or wine. Without an in-house kitchen, Lion’s Tail is Barlow approved!


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Lion's Tail Brewing Co- Beer Flight

On to the beer!


Oats & Honey Blonde (4.8% ABV) - this Blonde Ale poured honey gold with brilliant clarity. I picked soft notes of honey and cereal grains. This beer was an easy sipper that was slightly sweet with low carbonation. This beer was a soft, fairly by-the-book blonde and my only critique would have been wishing for a little more of that honey sweetness which isn’t so much due to any sort of residual sugar, but just the malt expressing itself in the absence of strong bitter character.


King Kula - Rum Barrel (11.4% ABV) - A beer ordered for it’s description alone but one who’s ABV would make the Thirsty Badger proud, this Imperial Golden Wheat Ale was aged in Caribbean Rum Barrels for 1 year. This 7 year anniversary beer was a must for me. If you follow along with us - and if you don’t, subscribe now! - you’ll know I love my rums, barrel-aged beers, and pineapple. Without getting too excited, I tried tasting this one and not judging it fully by its cover. A deep gold that is fully clouded this beer smells of overripe pineapple, mango, decaying wood, and molasses. While that may not sound great, it is a smell that you will come to love if you give it a chance! I didn’t pick up on much wheat character here and tasting it, I am not sure it quite has the malt character you’re looking for if you’re a wheat beer fan, but it’s definitely there in the background. Tasting gave notes of pineapple syrup and some barrel character, that deep woodsy note. Although this was a little on the sweet side and probably not going to be for you if you don’t like rum, this was an absolute winner for me and I was willing to pay the hefty price tag of $20 to take home a two-pack. It was that good.


Juice Cloud (6.3% ABV) - This New England Hazy IPA poured candy-corn yellow and smelled of bright lemon and citrus. This beer had minimal hop presence when tasting, instead accentuating tropical fruit, orange, lemon, and lime zest. I thought this IPA tasted clean, almost like how some of your favorite wood-cleaning products smell. I could take or leave this one, Hannah agreed that it wasn’t overly hoppy or taken over by the hops, not minding it at all.


Sticks & Stones Slushee (4.8% ABV) - This fruited sour poured a ruddy brown, almost like dirty orange juice and was as thick as lava, totally opaque with zero clarity. Think of mixing too much grenadine into orange juice and you’ll get the exact color of this beer. Hannah and I both picked up primarily sweet apricot when smelling and picked up apricot and peach when tasting. Boy was this beer thick in mouthfeel like a milky, melted popsicle in a glass. Neither Hannah nor I found any sourness whatsoever which left me taking notes on an off example of the style and Hannah sorely disappointed.


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Lion's Tail Brewing Co- Basement Brewing area
Looking down into the basement, you can see the location of the furture brewing space

Overall, I believe that Hannah and I will be back to Lion’s Tale and not just because we stay fairly close when visiting family. I’ll keep looking into their limited edition and specialty beers and I am sure Hannah will look forward to giving the sours another chance and having a space to bring Barlow for a beer or two (not for him of course, no matter how much he pouts). As I mentioned before, Lion’s Tale is reasonably distanced from some other breweries in Wauwatosa that we will be reviewing in the future while looking forward to one day getting to the Neenah location. If you’re in the Wauwatosa area or even in Milwaukee, I’d suggest giving Lion’s tail a try. If you’re in Madison, there are enough breweries in Milwaukee and the surrounding area that you can definitely make a good weekend of trying them and I would Put Lion’s Tail on that list. Absolutely pick up or taste King Kula - Rum Barrel if you’re lucky enough to come across any!


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


To learn more about Lion's Tail Brewing Co., please visit their website at: https://lionstailbrewing.com/ or on Facebook: @LionsTailBrewing or on Instagram: @LionsTailBrew

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