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Raised Grain Brewing Company

Waukesha, WI


Crusin’ Rating: C+

Boozin’ Rating: C+

Exterior of Raised Grain

Hannah’s parents suggested stopping off in Waukesha one weekend evening for a place they had heard catered some pretty good pizza and was a brewery to boot on top of that. Hannah’s parents are pretty particular about good food, with gourmet home cooking being the preferred option most nights, so to risk some pizza off of word-of-mouth was an exciting prospect.

I had never heard of Raised Grain before and it’s little wonder. We can barely keep up with the amount of breweries that open and I had this one pegged for another that had done so in the past year. It turns out that assumption is wrong and Raised Grain since 2018. Once we arrived, seeing the size of the place it was a little surprising I had not heard of them or seen their product anywhere around. The building itself is quite large and shares space with one other company but when I say “shares space” I don’t mean half a pole barn. This building was quite large, and really gave me a similar feel to Toppling Goliath in Decorah, Iowa (guest spotlight coming soon!). The space had a very commercial feel to it, but was really laid back at the same time. Hidden away in a business park, the atmosphere was very casual and I could tell this would be a great place to meet up with neighbors or friends.

The outdoor space was generous and offered plenty of seating, with a standalone outdoor bar converted from a shipping container which was really cool. Plenty of tables, the ability to order from your phone made it apparent that they had shifted to COVID friendly 100%. The inside sported a large, curved bar, additional seating, a massive room with the tanks, and another large event/seating space. It just seemed to keep going and going.

One gripe I did have is that, while ordering a flight, there were at least six people behind the bar but you had to wait at a register, in line like at a grocery store to order beer. That was new, a line at the cash register at a fully staffed bar, but anyway, the service was nice, if a little laid back like the atmosphere. An interesting factoid is that one of the primary investors is a doctor at Froedtert Hospital so some of the beers are medical themed which is something you don’t see every day.

As we always say, we aren’t a food blog but the entire reason we went there in the first place was so we could try the pizza and while I was not blessed with lengthy descriptions I was given a 100% vote of “meh”. I guess coming from Milwaukee, the pizza competition must be stiff and this pizza didn’t hit the mark, which is fine, since I’m more of a

Order crappy deliver pizza or Hannah’s mom bakes small little make-your-own pizzas, one of my favorite traditions they have.

Another thing that I was impressed with, and quite shocked, were just how many beers they were churning out and had on tap. There were at least 18 beers on tap, along with an array of seltzers. The seltzers were skipped as they were just syrupy concoctions.

Flights were $11.00 each for four which, is a little high compared to most places we have visited.

2 flights of beer at raised grain brewing company

Black Walnut (4.5% ABV) - This Imperial Stout had a strict black coffee odor and tasted of bitter bakers chocolate with an espresso back. Rich and dark and ending dry. I think, that even though I dislike coffee, this was a decent stout.

Summer Vice (5.3% ABV) - This Hefeweizen was the cloudy, straw-colored, low carbonation and had those sweet banana bread esters I look for. Hannah’s parents thought it smelled like getting your hair permed. I couldn’t argue with that, since it didn’t smell like banana bread, but smell aside, I thought this was a solid Hefeweizen.

Mello Rillo (4.9% ABV) - This Session Hazy IPA ended up being not overly hoppy and was mello and easy to drink. I think I had weird soda expectations going off the name and the branding on the tap, but it did not live up to those expectations. Not that I necessarily would have loved a soda-flavored beer, but it would have been a bold foray. I mean, I get it. Amarillo hops (Rillo) and it’s low ABV (Mello), but still, don’t tease me with the tap looking eerily like the soda can. Why do you build me up, buttercup, just to let me down?

Guitar City (4.8% ABV) - Nothing really wrong with this standard lager. It had high clarity and tasted crisp and bready, smelling of a slight biscuit sweetness. It was pretty light all around both in color and flavor but not bad. Also, I learned that Waukesha is Guitar City, so there’s that. The more you know!

Waukesha is named Gibson GuitarTown, recognizing the birth and final resting place of Les Paul, inventor and musician.

Birdseye (9.5% ABV) - Far and away my favorite beer here, this Belgian Tripel hit all the check marks. It smelled of candy and clove with high clarity and low carbonation. It was a strong beer but not noticeable which is characteristic of the style. This beer tasted of sweet nutmeg with a slight hop finish. An excellent Tripel.

Naked Threesome (7.8% ABV) - This is the third beer cleverly named threesome that has three types of hops in it and the joke is getting a little repetitive at this point, but, uninspired name aside, this beer smelled of freshly cut hay with floral notes. The citra and amarillo hops definitely come through in taste. Wouldn’t say it’s juicy, nor would I say it’s dry, pretty middling mouthfeel with a medium dry finish and high clarity. This was okay.

Paradocs (8.7% ABV) - This red IPA had a strong hop aroma with some caramel notes. It was burnt caramel in color with medium clarity and carbonation with a moderately dry finish. I think I wanted this one to taste like an amber and my mind was expecting it but I instead got an IPA which the disconnect didn’t really do it for me.

Oranje (8.7% ABV) - First of all, what are we going for here? Does someone have a patent on the word “orange” so the spelling needed to be changed? Is it named after a dutch football team? Can someone explain to me what an IPA has to do with the Netherlands whatsoever.

That aside, this IPA was described as a beermosa without the OJ...which I think would just make it beer, which means everything on this list is also a beermosa without the OJ. Hmmm.

For the beer itself, literally named orange, the color was not orange, there was no taste of orange, and no citrus notes to speak of. I think that’s strike three for this beer. I didn’t pick up the citra hops and at this point it seems like they were added just for the bizarre naming justification.

Overall, their naming and branding leaves something to be desired and for as much as the Oranje-gate will haunt me til’ my last days, that Birdseye Belgian Tripel might be in the top spot currently for that category that’s locally made and the Hefeweizen was solid. I can’t recommend a trip here from Madison, but if you’re in Milwaukee or the general area of Waukesha, this would be a great spot to meet up with some family or coworkers and enjoy a beer on the patio.

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

To learn more about Raised Grain Brewing Company please visit their website at: or on Facebook: @RaisedGrainBrewing or on Instagram: @RaisedGrainBrewingCo

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