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Your guide to Milwaukee-area Black Friday beer releases

Every year, Black Friday has become one of the most anticipated days on the beer calendar, with a slew of interesting – and often barrel-aged, boozy or both – brews on tap.

Here’s what area breweries are doing on Black Friday this year. Remember to check back as we will continue to update this guide as information is released by local brewers.

Click the brewery name for a link to its website with address, phone and other information.

Bay View’s 1840 Brewing Company is bringing back its annual Black Friday release, Plumpy – Black.

“It’s a fruited oat cream ale with black cherry, blackberry, black currant and milk sugar,” says brewer Kyle Vetter. “In addition, we will also be releasing a bourbon barrel-aged version of Hawaiian Drinking Chocolate.

“BAHDC is our drinking chocolate base aged in bourbon barrels and later conditioned on toasted coconut, toasted macadamia nuts, cacao nibs and vanilla beans.”

Open from noon until 10 p.m., 1840 will also be selling 16-ounce blac Hydro Flask water bottles with its logo laser-engraved.

The Sheboygan powerhouse plans can releases of two Wolf variants at retail and in the taproom for Black Friday. It will likely offer some vintage cans and bottles, too. More details are coming!

Riverwest’s Amorphic will release its first bourbon barrel-aged beer for Black Friday. It’s called Major Particles, in reference to Amorphic’s Czech dark lager, Weakly Interacting Minor Particles.

“We made (it) about a year ago when we opened,” says brewer Ron Hockersmith. “This beer has little to do with the lager except for its color. It spent about a year in Heaven Hill barrels, and then was blended with a bit of the batch we recently brewed to add layers of depth and complexity.


“It clocks in at 11.5 percent ABV. As we had our soft opening just prior to Black Friday last year, this beer also represents a birthday celebration for Amorphic, and the label is designed as such.”

In addition, says Hockersmith, Amorphic plans to offer the beer first to our Amorphic INSIDER program members, which is free to join. The rest will go on sale in cans and on tap at 9 a.m. when the taproom opens on Black Friday. They’ll also have some donuts to pair with the beer.

“We will also have our first production batch of hard seltzer on tap,” Hockersmith adds. “(It’s) a 10% ABV decadent concoction with oranges, vanilla and coconut that will make you think you are back at the food court in the mall drinking Orange Julius, except with booze.

Owner Toni Eichinger says, “We do our ‘Ahead of the Pack’ release on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, so Nov. 23. We will be releasing 2021 Sparkly Eyes aged in Maplewood Gin barrels. Friday for us is what is called F***ed Up Friday, where (brewer) Tim (Eichinger) goes to the back of the cooler and finds old, vintage or forgotten beers and we release those. Beers (are) 5-9 years old. On Saturday we’re having our Small Business Saturday Maker’s Market in the brewery. Still working on those details.”

Dead Bird will be open from noon until 5 p.m. (no kitchen) and will release a barrel-aged gingerbread brown. The 9 percent ABV is aged in whiskey barrels and finished with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a hint of vanilla.

“It’s back-sweetened with a non-fermentable sugar called allulose –similar to lactose but maple derived – says Nick Kocis. “Probably on tap only since we only have a barrel of it. We’ll also have some other barrel aged options on tap, as well.”

Kocis says that Dead Bird is hoping to revive its Black Friday shuttle service, too. “As soon as Milwaukee Beer Tours signs in we’ll start recruiting breweries along the route,” he vows.

Eagle Park’s Jake Schinker says there will be a trio of Black Friday releases at Eagle Park’s two locations.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Koko Kleiber is 24-month-old bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with maple syrup and over a pound of coconut per gallon of beer.

Double Barrel Fly by Night is a 19-month-old imperial stout aged in Willet Bourbon barrels and then finished in Eagle Park Bourbon barrels and aged on Madagascar vanilla beans.

Finally, DDH Bowie’s Spacesuit is a Cashmere-, Citra- and Galaxy-hopped double hazy IPA with an extra dry hop of Cashmere.

Just like last year, The Explorium is going wild for Black Friday relasing 12 – yes, 12! –  variants of its Milwaukee County Stout on Nov. 25. That’s up 5o percent over last year’s eight.

“Four (variants) will be exclusively in-house releases on Black Friday,” says Nick Scheeler, “and the other eight will be released by our MCS Barrel partners (including Aman’s Beer + Wine, the Bottle Shop of Grafton, Consumer Beverage, the Stillery, Timer’s Beverage Center in Racine, and Total Wine & More).”

“Most of them will be releasing on Black Friday, but some have made the decision to release later in the weekend for Small Business Saturday or even into the first week of December.

“The four varieties slated for exclusive Explorium release will be Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace, J. Henry & Sons, and a blend of Maple-Bourbon with J.Henry.”

After having been released previously in bottles, some of the stouts arrived in 16-ounce cans last year and that will expand this year, with all being released in cans, which are $12 each.

There is a two-can limit per variety of the cans on sale at The Explorium, and both locations will have all four variants. Greendale  will also have a very limited amount of Proprietor’s Blend MCS on draft.

“Only about 700 of each Explorium variety will be available whereas the barrel partners will be seeing single barrel releases totaling between 250-300 cans,” says Scheeler.

The Greendale location at Southridge Mall opens at 6 a.m. for breakfast and the beer release and the Downtown location in the Pritzlaff Building opens at 11.

Good City’s David Dupee says, “We’re going to roll with a ‘Black RyeDay,’ releasing the following rye based beers:

“Barrel Aged Rye Stout: Blend of rye stouts aged in 13-year Sazerac and Great Lakes Distilling rye barrels. Barrel forward, with aromas of cherries and berries.

“Rye DIPA: Rye Hazy Double IPA featuring Cashmere, Azacca, and Michigan-grown Chinook. Targeting 8.5-9 percent.

“Rye Milk Stout: Dense pastry stout with lactose, mango, cardamom, and lime. Makes use of several varieties of rye; malted rye, crystal rye, chocolate rye and flaked rye.”

The beers will be released at 11 a.m. on Black Friday at all Good City locations, but Good Citizen loyalty members will be able to pre-order and get their beers on Wednesday so they can enjoy them with turkey and stuffing. Dupee says there will also be a merch blowout at all the taprooms on Friday, Nov. 25.

“Our taprooms will be open normal hours on Black Friday, and we will be hosting a pre-sale for all of (the) beers (below) at least one week prior to Black Friday,” says Director of Brewing Operations Matt Sampson, who suggests keeping an eye on Insta for emerging pre-sale details.

“Velvet Bulldozer 2022 (is) our recurring imperial stout that changes slightly each year,” says Sampson. “This year’s version is a big, lush 12 percent stout full of oats, dextrinous malts and dark specialty malts to achieve a bunch of thick, dark chocolate flavor up front. We conditioned this year’s version on Madagascar and Ugandan vanilla beans, Ecuadorian cacao nibs and espresso from Isely Coffee. It’s chewy and super decadent. Available on draft and in two-packs on Black Friday.

“BBA Velvet Bulldozer 2022: Following last year’s release of our first bourbon barrel aged version of Velvet Bulldozer, we also put a good amount of last year’s Velvet Bulldozer base recipe into freshly dumped rye-heavy bourbon casks from Hatch Distilling in Egg Harbor. We learned a lot from last year’s version of this beer – and significantly altered the base recipe to be thicker and more decadent to withstand the barrel aging conditions really well.

“Over the past year, this beer has matured beautifully with thick chocolate character and hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. We are releasing the BBA version on its own, as well as a special variant. Available on draft and in two-packs on Black Friday.

“BBA Velvet Bulldozer: Coconut + Vanilla (is) a special variant of the BBA Velvet Bulldozer that we’ll be releasing in cans for our Hacienda Hundred Members only, but draft will be available to everyone starting on Black Friday.

“We took a couple of the Hatch bourbon barrels that had been maturing over the past year and paired them with Ugandan vanilla beans and shredded and toasted coconut. These barrels had their own unique notes of caramel and raisin – along with thick chocolate, vanilla and spice notes – that we thought would pair great with these adjuncts. This one’s going to be very limited. Available in two-packs for Members only and draft for everyone.

“Entitled To Mingle: We always like to throw in a special oak-fermented mixed culture beer to pair with our Velvet Bulldozer releases. Entitled To Mingle is a blend of fairly young 6-month-old mixed culture saison and much more mature 2-plus-year-old saison that we conditioned on a bunch of Wisconsin basswood honey and dry hopped with Lotus. Available in 500ml bottles and on draft.

“We may even throw in one of our crowd-favorite, big Hazy Double IPAs for Black Friday, as well.”

Down in Burlington, brewer Tim Sullivan says Low Daily, “will be releasing our first pilsner in 16-ounce four-packs, as well as releasing bottles of our first bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout!”

On that day, the taproom will host a World Cup watch party as Team USA faces England.

“We will once again be holding our annual holiday market on Saturday the 26th,” Sullivan adds, “with around 20 different local vendors set up.”

bottle releaseX

New Barons will release “Q – Belgian Quadruple,” aged in rum barrels. It’s a full-bodied Belgian ale with dark caramel and fruit flavors mixed with spicy phenolics and esters reminiscent of vanilla and plum. It’s named for the character in the James Bond series, says CEO John Degroote.

“Q is meant to be the perfect handy and complex addition to your beer cellar,” he says. “With our small capacity, a barrel aging program here is next to non existent, so when we get to do one we like to have some fun with it. This year, that meant creating a fun brand behind it, as well.”

Q is New Barons’ second barrel-aged brew, says Degroote.

“After the success of last year’s release on Black Friday, we decided to do it again with some expanded entertainment,” he says. “In addition to opening up early at 9 a.m., we’ll be showing James Bond movies all day.

“From Sean Connery to Pierce Bronson, old and new – we’ll be showing all the cheesiest and the most action-packed films. More importantly, we’ll also have live music. Local musician Jon Hintz from The Rumskis will be providing a live acoustic set from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.”

Cake Bandit will be onsite selling vegan doughnuts and baked goods starting at 9 a.m. until supplies run out.


Pre-ordering is now available and closes at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with bottles available for pickup on Black Friday.

Complete event details here.

Waukesha’s Raised Grain will be open from 11 until 11 on Black Friday with full kitchen menu all day long, says Nick Reistad, who says they’ll release three beers, both on tap and to-go.

“Forgotten Barrel #3 in bombers … three barrels of our 2020 Anniversary Stout forgotten for an additional two years. Quantity is extremely limited,” Reistad says. “And Brandy barrel-aged Old Fashioned Red Ale, a red ale reminiscent of a Brandy Old Fashioned aged in brandy barrels for 2 years.”

This one will be in 16-ounce four-packs.

Lastly, promises Reisted, there’s, “Santa’s Sack Christmas Ale, our annual release of our spiced Christmas ale brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and fresh ginger.”

Grafton’s Sahale Ale Works will again release a triple IPA on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and it will also be available on Black Friday.

“This year we are doing a 10-plus percent ABV version of our Sky Breaker Hazy IPA,” says brewer Matthew Hofmann.

“On Black Friday, we’ll release Edge Of The Edge. This double barrel-aged imperial fruited sour ale pushes the style to the edge,” Hofmann adds. “Starting with an Imperial Brown Ale aged in a bourbon barrel for 12 months, the beer was then moved to a neutral wine barrel where a mixed culture and cherries were added. After conditioning for another 12 months, it was deemed ready.”

It clocks in at a heady 11.5 percent.

The Oconomowoc brewery, co-owned by Disturbed drummer Mike Wengren, will have a barrel-aged amber on tap.

Andy Gehl says he and brewer and fellow co-founder Kevin Wright are working on the final details for Third Space’s Black Friday releases, but can say now that, “it will include the second 2 releases in our 2022 Deconstructed Dessert series and a two-year aged imperial stout called Cellar Stash that is very limited.”

Chris Ragaisis, owner/brewer at the Third Ward brewery and taproom, says, “We will be releasing a very limited run of Driftless Glen bourbon barrel-aged porter for Black Friday – Kentucky Rabbit.”

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