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Torzala Brewing Company

Milwaukee, WI

 

Crusin’ Rating: B+

Booze Rating: B+

 

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Torzala Brewing Company- Backlit Logo on the back of the bar

We’re continuing our booze cruise of the Lincoln Warehouse in Milwaukee, WI. This one is located on the second floor in an apparently blessed space as both of the former occupants, Component Brewing and Eagle Park Brewing, have seen success and moved into larger spaces. Torzala Brewing Co. is the newest resident of Suite 207. The brewery was started during the Covid-19 pandemic by two sisters, with their respective husbands running a chunk of the brewing and mechanical operations. With a unique mixed heritage of both Polish and Mexican background, this brewery is slinging beers named after historical figures and featuring plenty of local Milwaukee history. Evident from the Polish Eagle, Mexican Flag Snake and Milwaukee’s Hone bridge as their logo, we knew as soon as we walked in that we were in for a learning experience.


If you’ve ever been out to suite 207, you know that the space is fairly small. Seating for maybe 30 total, the space features bar seating, a couple of high top tables, and low top tables. We took notice of a small Fisher Price style kitchen and low table full of crayons which was clearly geared to some young children that were running around. We’ve definitely seen families at breweries but I believe this is the first brewery we’ve seen that had an area geared toward keeping kids entertained. Hannah pointed out that the walls had reclaimed wood adorning them, and the wall immediately left of the entry door sported a couch and chairs out of a vogue version of That 70’s Show. Next to that there was a small rack of swag and a cooler that sported to-go 4 packs for $20 each. Looking around the space with that couch, the wood, and even the children’s area reminded me of hanging out in a neighbor’s basement, listening to records as a child and that vibe of the neighborhood cozy basement with us for the entire visit.



Our host was one of the owners who was not only kind enough to give us some of the backstory on Torzala, but also was more than willing to walk us through some trivia details on the beers we were tasting:


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Torzala Brewing Co- Beer flight

Forty-Eighter (4.5% ABV) - This Blood Orange Hefeweizen poured a cloudy pale gold. We got bread, banana, and spent orange pulp when smelling. Now, I expected this beer to be full of malt and plenty of blood orange and I was already a little bummed that it didn’t have some of that blood orange coloration when pouring. When tasting we really missed out on orange and really any citrus character outside of a little bit of orange rind at the end. I was fully expecting zesty citrus that would have blurred the lines between this style and a Belgian Witbier. There was low clove profile, strong banana notes and pretty forward doughiness. There was a little bit of tartness to combat balance out the heavy doughiness at the end, but I would have preferred more stand-out citrus. Overall though, this was a good Hefeweizen.


A little history fact: This beer was named after the 48ers - a good chunk of them Polish Laborers who were involved in the Bay View Massacre in Milwaukee in 1886. We had never heard of this massacre before, but were thankful to learn about an otherwise forgotten dark smudge in our State’s history.


Na Zdrowie! (6.0% ABV) - Named quite literally “Cheers” in Polish, this Pale Ale was described to us as using all the same ingredients as the ever-popular Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and, truly, it was almost indistinguishable if my memory serves me right. Plenty of sap and pine with just a touch of Lake Michigan near Jones Island. So not exactly the best smell on earth. Tasting was better, with some sweet swap reminiscent of grapefruit pith and lots of pine presence. The hops stick around for a long, long time though. If you want Sierra Nevada but want to keep your dollars local, this is the answer.


Secret Hero (4.6% ABV) - An Elderflower Golden Ale, this beer poured honey yellow and smelled of Elderflower pollen, prairie grasses, and wild honey. There was a lot of pollen and floralness when tasting along with edible wildflower notes, with a mouth-drying quality that I’ve only ever experienced after eating flower garnishes off of cocktails, a sort of bitter but fresh mouthfeel entirely different from most hop bitterness we’ve experienced. This beer is rounded out with honey sweetness. Perhaps a little bit too floral of a beer for us, but definitely something new.


History lesson: This beer was named after Mildred Fish-Harnack, a Milwaukee native who eventually served in the Nazi Resistance in Germany. Check her out! This beer was created by the two sisters themselves as part of the Pink Boots Collaboration with an undeniably fitting namesake.


Dinámica Dolores (6.2% ABV) - A Chile Rauchbier that was dark bark in color. True to the Rauchbier style, this beer smelled of smoked, charred chiles and woodsmoke. Imagine what a spicy campfire would smell like and you’ve got this beer. True to its smell this beer was smokier than some of the boldest Scotches and had some excellent heat to boot. Anything but subtle, if you don’t enjoy some very bold flavors working in tandem I would avoid this one. Hannah had nothing but praise for a beer that finally reached the heat level she was looking for. She admitted the smoke was a little on the heavier side, but that didn’t stop either of us from grabbing a pint of this to relax with. It grew on me and was the clear winner of this tasting.



Torzala is off to a strong start. While it may need a little bit of polishing up, we were pleasantly impressed with this brewery. We learned plenty of interesting facts and tidbits about Polish Culture, Mexican Culture, and the history of Milwaukee. What’s more, the little pieces we did learn led us down various rabbit holes when we got home. There have been breweries that have left us thirsty for more of their beer, but never one that has also left us thirsty to learn more about our state’s history as well. This is definitely a brewery you’re going to want to keep your eye on!


To learn more about Torzala Brewing Co. please visit them on Facebook: @TorzalaBrewing or on Instagram: @TorzalaBrewingCompany

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