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One of my favorite childhood memories is going to Baskin Robbin’s 31 Flavors for an ice cream cone with my mom. As a single-parent household, money could be a little tight. It was a treat to go look at the cases of colorful offerings and know that I could taste TWO – one with the little pink plastic spoon sample, and then what I chose for my cone.
Could I have had more than one sample? Yes, but my mom would have been disappointed. They had a business to run and were not there to give out free ice cream – we were NOT to be one of the people who abused the system.
Being treated to a cone every other month or so let me gradually work my way through all the flavors and learn that I adored things like strawberry cheesecake and Almond Joy- down to the coconut.
Every time I think of the beer flight concept – I am back to being that little girl who wants to systematically work their way through all of the yumminess – to figure out what my favorites are.
What is a beer flight?
A beer flight is a selection of beers – generally, four to six small glasses called tasters, that are served together. The concept behind the flight is similar to that of wine tastings or whiskey tastings and is very popular for microbreweries to help promote their new beers.
What is a Microbrewery?
Traditionally, microbreweries are small, independently-owned breweries that produce fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, usually with a variety of beers. Compare this to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewing company in the world which produces more than 500 million barrels per year.
Why do Microbreweries do beer flights?
The idea is that you get to try a bunch of different beers and figure out which ones you like the best. You can try different styles of the same beer, or go for a totally random selection.
Offering a flight allows the customer to taste several different types of beer and find what they like. It also gives the customer a chance to try something new.
What’s the best way to attack a beer flight?
The best way to order the samples in a beer flight is to start with the lightest beer and work your way up to the darkest. This will allow you to taste the full range of flavors without your palate becoming overwhelmed.
You can also order a beer flight by style. For example, you could order a flight of four IPAs or a flight of four stouts.
No matter how you order your beer flight, be sure to take your time and enjoy each beer. Swirl it around in your glass, smell it, and take small sips.
At Mobcraft Beer, they have an ever-changing lineup of beers on tap. The great thing about their business model is that YOU the customer get to vote on which beers they brew next!
If you’re looking for a brewery with a difference, Mobcraft Beer is definitely worth checking out. This Milwaukee-based brewery allows beer lovers to submit their own recipes online, and the most popular ones are then made into reality. We had the opportunity to check out Mobcraft Beer recently, and we absolutely loved their business model. Keep reading for our thoughts on this unique brewery!
The first thing that we noticed about Mobcraft Beer is their amazing taproom. The space is huge, and there’s plenty of seating both inside and out, although in a Wisconsin winter, we stayed in. The decor is industrial chic, and the vibe is very relaxed.
So Much To See
Your eyes are drawn to different things like the colorful handing plaques that share the names and a brief description of all current beer offerings…the wall of fame that shows who won each month for their suggestions…the vintage game room…and even the wall of swag you can shop from.
My favorite? The gorgeous bar top that is from reclaimed sourcing – just ask them about it!
The next thing that we noticed was the staff. Everyone working at Mobcraft Beer was super friendly and happy to answer any questions that we had. We didn’t feel like we were bothering them, which made us want to stay longer and chat.
As we navigated what selections we would pick for our beer flights, they were super helpful and patiently answered all of our questions.
I am the IPA and fruity kind of beer drinker, while the hubster was more of a dark beer/stout kind of guy. Our guide Harley patiently walked us through the options of great beers and we soon had our flights ready!
I chose the Mobcraft IPA, Ahopalypse, Get Razzy Wit It, and Blue Stone Crush for my flight.
- The IPA was classic and one I could easily drink over and over.
- Ahopalypse was right up my alley, light, fruity, with a little hop to it.
- The Get Razzy With It was a fruited Witbier, unfiltered and with raspberries. It was light, yet fruity. (shocker)
- Blue Stone Crush was my favorite, hands down. They masted the art of a “smoothie” beer, pulling out the hops and letting it ferment with the sugar and fruit. I could drink this all day…the blueberries, vanilla, and mango calling to me. I was fascinated by this and learned that they are going to try more smoothie beer combinations in the future!
He did the Bat Shit Crazy, Fish Fry Rye, PunderStruck, and Kringle Monster
- The Batshit was a coffee brown ale, which surprised me for him to choose as he doesn’t like coffee! It wasn’t overpoweringly strong in flavor, in my opinion.
- The Fish Fry Rye boasts a Marzen style with caraway seeds. I could totally get the Rye taste, even when the hubs couldn’t.
- Punderstruck was like a brewed version of a chocolate-covered cherry to me – he totally didn’t get that out of it. I think I have a more sensitive palette. It would never have gotten made if I was in charge of it, I would have snacked on all the cacao nibs that help create that chocolaty goodness.
- Kringle Monster was another stout and as a nod to their partner Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe of Green Bay, he had to try it. This one was probably his favorite of the bunch.
All in all? We tried 8 amazing crowdsourced beer options.
Don’t forget to eat!
We had our teen with us and that called for pizza! We did a sausage pizza and one of the 16 ounce Soft Pretzels that they offer by the Milwaukee Pretzel Co. with the Dusseldorf Mustard.
The pizza made me think more of a flatbread style, with a marinara base with shredded mozzarella and Italian sausage. I loved how the sausage was crumbled and spread evenly over the pizza – each piece was generously coated with flavor.
If you have to pick I would go with the pretzel as a way to cleanse your palate between each beer sampling…it just feels very Bavarian to me.
Mobcraft and Shark Tank
Mobcraft Beer has been on Shark Tank and they didn’t get a deal. We can see why as their business model is so unique and it would be hard to replicate that elsewhere…but that doesn’t mean that it was a waste of their time.
I would have thought Mark Cuban would have bit on it knowing that he likes his beer – and wasn’t surprised that Daymond John passed as he has mentioned before that he is not a beer drinker. What was surprising for me is that it turned out Kevin O’Leary was the one to bite on the deal – but Mobcraft founder Henry Schwartz said that his craft beer will always be produced in-house…so, in the end, they turned down a deal because it just wasn’t the right fit for their business and they continue to operate independently.
Let’s face it – who could afford that kind of national air time as a small business? They got a lot of press off of it and it only helped them grow.
During a time when so many restaurants and bars struggled to survive, I am not surprised at how well Mobcraft did. Being very engaged with their customers, crowd-sourcing ideas for what to brew next, and creating a darn great product? That was the secret to their success: customer involvement.
Mobcraft Beer has all of the markings of a great brewery – interesting decor, super friendly staff, and customer involvement in what should be brewed next. If you’re looking for a brewery to check out in the Milwaukee area, Mobcraft is your spot!
Places To Stay Nearby
We will be back
I know we plan to go back to my new favorite Milwaukee brewery – I have to see what they do with fun ingredients like maple syrup, vanilla beans, or even graham cracker bits in their craft beer recipes and I might have to submit a combination or two myself.
The best part? I am no longer limited to that one plastic pink spoon!
Check out Mobcraft Brewery and Taproom for yourself at 505 S. Fifth St. , Milwaukee, WI 53204