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Vennture Brewing

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Crusin’ Rating:  B

Booze Rating: B+


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Brewery Blogger- Vennture Brewing Milwaukee

This week, we are checking out a spot in Milwaukee  that functions as both a coffee roaster and brewery!  We’ve seen breweries with coffee shops in them at Copper State Brewing, Gravity Box, and Sway Brewing, but this is the first brewery that roasts its own coffee that we’ve visited!  Vennture Brewing Company is mixing up different ways for the surrounding community to come together (Vennture - Venn Diagram - got it!) I can easily say that it’s a brewery that keeps the earliest hours - 5:00am, although don’t plan on getting a beer that early.  For those keeping track, 6:00am is the earliest you can buy a beer on the premises from what we can tell.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it - it might be quite the bucket list to have a beer in a brewery at 6:00am followed by a coffee - just to say you did it once!  Heck - if you have done this and tag us on Instagram, you may just find yourself winning a little Crusin’ for Booze Swag!

We arrived at Vennture on a chilly Spring day and were eager to get inside, although we did briefly admire the wooden facade that really gives Vennture an elevated curb appeal and helps it to stand out from the myriad of businesses that we passed along North Avenue.  Inside, white walls and wooden floors definitely gave me coffee shop vibes and it was interesting walking in to be met with the aromas of roasted coffee and baked goods mixed in with the sweet smell of beer.  I will note that while Copper State and Gravity box seem like breweries that also feature coffee, Vennture, not unlike Sway Brewing - gives the impression of coffee first - beer second.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but if I didn’t know ahead of time that Vennture was a brewery, walking in, I would definitely think it was just coffee - if not for the taps behind the bar or the to-go fridge of four packs.  It was definitely an interesting comparison to see coffee at the forefront.  Vennture furthers this coffee shop/cafe vibe by occupying a relatively small space.  If you had people absolutely packed in, you might get 45 people in seats, but that would be every seat occupied, packed to the brim.  

There was a movie playing through Netflix on the TV, and another first as far as I know, a neat little popsicle fridge it that was flanked by two glass-doored fridges featuring to-go four packs and the other, various non-alcoholic options (other than coffee).  There were baked goods available for food, but no wine or cocktails available - coffee or beer - or some teas, are your options!  Hannah actually did take part in getting a “spicy” chai latte which turned out to be just more of the chai spice rather than actually spicy like she was hoping for, but other than that, she said the Chai latte was serviceable (it’s her favorite warm drink).  

Although there on a Saturday evening - the space was relatively quiet and we were free to take our notes and really soak up the cafe-ambiance.  Hannah noted that she wished there was more branding throughout the space - she’s a big fan of branding on walls and I could understand - it was tough to tell you were at Vennture once inside unless you really looked for the name.  There was another large TV that had a slide show that was really going entirely too fast to read most of the beer descriptions, so our suggestion would be to snag a printed menu right when you get there!

Left to Right: Critical Ajustment, Blueberry Vanilla Bruv, Taco Beer, and The Heights

Hannah and I snagged a flight of four beers and then each grabbed one pint after our tasting to warm up for a supper club dinner in the Tosa Village.  

The Heights (5.2% ABV) - This Saison made with Crystal Hops featured medium-high clarify and was straw yellow.  Having a floral, slightly sour aroma, with even a little bit of tea-like herbs to it, this beer was not unlike some sours we’ve smelled, sans any fruity notes when put to your nose.  There was low tartness up front, with an almost spiced yeast note, low bitterness, and well attenuated finish.  This was a light, pleasant entry of a Saison that we both enjoyed and my one wish would be a little bit of fruit impression when smelling/tasting.

Taco Beer (4.8% ABV) - You know, Hannha is becoming quite the fan of breweries stylizing a lager with lime.  Hannah loves lime, and loves beers a little on the sweet side.  So this Mexican-Style Lager was a must-try for her and featured a light gold color with brilliant clarity.  While not featuring lime on the nose, rather faint corniness and none of the skunkiness you often find in commercial examples.  This beer was light in the mouth and a punch of lime oils right up front that persists to the middle of you mouth, and tapers off into a nice dry finish.  Hannah is always going to request more lime, but this was one that she enjoyed enough to snag a pint of and even debated grabbing a four pack to go - it just wasn’t quite warm enough yet to fully enjoy it.  This beer is always going to taste better on a patio or boat.

Blueberry Vanilla Bruv (5.0% ABV) - This Berliner Weiss was candy apple red in color with medium clarity.  I’ve gotten into the nitty gritty between the difference of a Berliner Weiss vs. a Gose (Gose has salt and coriander added) - two styles of German wheat beers, and I’ve also compared those both to modern sours.  I’m not going to rehash all of that here, but you should know that a Berliner Weiss is a low-ABV wheat beer with a clean lactic sourness.  This one was not really in that low ABV threshold - (3-4%, perhaps a sessionable sour) but it did have that clean lactic sourness required.  Smelling of fruity, sugared red berries and blueberry muffins, this beer had that clean sourness up front, then moved into blackberry skins, and lots of vanilla.  Hannah commented that the vanilla really downplayed the clean sourness and took over your palate and I’d have to agree with her.

Critical Adjustment (8.6% ABV) - Of course I’m going to grab a stout that featured Guatemalan Coffee roasted right on site.  This deep brown stout featured low coffee notes on the nose, as well as molasses and plenty of malty chocolate.  Surprisingly light and effervescent in the mouth, I got lots of roasted malt, bitter chocolate and an earthy nuttiness in the finish.  This one was not my cup of tea, but recall that we aren’t big coffee drinkers!

Bonus Round - New Rules (9.5% ABV) - on a whim, I snagged a pint solely because this Double New England IPA featured Vic Secret Hops which I had never seen before.  Brightly orange-yellow and totally opaque, this beer smelled of tropical flowers and sweet passionfruit - toeing the line of too sweet even on the nose.  Those flavors carry over - tropical fruit and floral hop notes with a slightly piney finish.  I think this was definitely the sweetest IPA I’ve ever had, probably too sweet for the style, but I liked it enough to get a pint afterward

In all, Vennture proved to be solid in the beer category and I would like to make a trip with a coffee connoisseur to see if that aspect stands up.   Though in Milwaukee, Vennture is close enough to Tosa to make an enjoyable trip between there and Lion’s Tail for an afternoon.  Vennture does feature two garage doors that we presume stay open all summer that lead out to their small sidewalk patio.  You all know that the beer scene in Milwaukee is incredibly competitive.  Vennture may not be worth a trip from Madison, on it’s own, but there are plenty of spots that you can try nearby in conjunction and I don’t think you'll be disappointed with the beer.  If you’re in Milwaukee and haven’t been yet, I would seriously consider adding it to your list of spots to try!

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

To learn more about Vennture, please visit their website at: or on Facebook: @VenntureBrewCo or on Instagram: @VenntureBrewCo

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