What’s hot in my sphere? The answer is simple -Craft Beer. There are new breweries, which lightly distribute their products locally and regionally, cropping up all over the place. There’s so many different brew masters, and so many different flavors to choose, it’s almost impossible for me to claim a favorite. Unfortunately, with as many as there are, you can’t simply visit every brewery. Well, you could, but it would cost you time and money. So, why not find a place that brings the top breweries’ finest in one central location? You know, said place could have like fifty beers on tap, and still serve food. Sounds good? Mr. Brew’s Taphouse, which is just off of Hwy 172 in De Pere, Wisconsin, is just that.
Not only do they offer a wide variety of fermented beverages, they also have some interesting burgers that are just as savory. The prices aren’t totally through the roof, although the beers are on the topside of Green Bay’s craft beer range. Roughly, for a couple of beers, two gourmet burgers and fries, the total hovers around forty dollars. I know it’s definitely not the cheapest ticket in town, but the food is delicious. Plus, you’re not limited to a typical Brewpub’s six or so house brews and equally as many guest taps. Basically, any beer you can imagine is available for consumption.
So, on with my dining experience at MR. Brew’s Taphouse.
This year, February has shown signs of bipolar disorder, at least as far as weather would be concerned. There are days where it appears that spring has sprung, and then there are days like today, where temps in the teens, aided by a strong north wind, feel bitterly cold. There’s a Yin and Yang, and if today is the Yin, I’d much rather prefer the Yang. It wouldn’t be so bad, if there was a healthy layer of snow on the ground. Unfortunately, the half melted crust covers the earth intermittently, destroying the opportunity for winter play outside.
So, play today will be limited to a greasy feast along with some beverages derived from hops and barley. Take that mother nature, Chris conquers all! Ok, I just wrote that and fear a meteorite striking my office window, destroying everything in it’s wake. Anyhoo, back to the experience….
As I brave the frigid air to take a few pictures of the bar slash restaurant, Heidi wants nothing to do with it. She sarcastically utters, “Take all the pictures you want, I’m headed inside.” So I snap a few, but damn she’s right, it’s cold!
I soon follow Heidi into the establishment, which sits on the corner portion of a small strip mall. For me, a strip mall restaurant says cheesy or, I don’t know, just not a great location.
But as I enter, there’s that slight industrial feel warmly greeting me, with metal and neon signs alike, advertising some of the brews that are on tap. The singular room is rectangular, as a graffiti like mural on the far wall livens the place. However, the focal part of the room is its long bar. The bar is accompanied by tall dining tables scattered around it, as if satellites orbiting the object with the strongest gravitational pull.
And with large chalkboards behind the bar, boasting fifty beers on tap, the pull is enough to draw me near. Yet, instead,We sit at a table positioned near a large plate glass window, revealing a snow covered patio. I imagine, come summer, there’s plenty of drinking taking place on this concrete slab. If I’m right, there’s also some yard games, to bolster the fun feel of the patio, in the warmer months.
We are greeted by a waitress, who presents us with menus, as the beer list is already on the table. I thumb through the lengthy list and discover a favorite stout from Algoma’s Ahnapee Brewery. Heidi is not quite as decisive, which is quite alright here. She asks for a few samples, which the waitress eagerly brings right to our table.
When we check out the burgers on the menu, I’m captivated by the title of one of their specialty patties. It’s known as a Peanut Buster Burger. I’m compelled to read the description of this truly unique, beef centered, sandwich. I discover it’s a burger with peanut butter, bacon and, of course, a decent portion of beef. I can ignore the fact that my cholesterol is nearing the high side of normal, at least for one day, right? Weather its a healthy choice or not, I have to try it. If it sucks, well, I have food at home.
It takes awhile for our burgers to arrive, as I sip my stout and Heidi an amber ale. We talk, watch college athletes at the NFL combine and check out all the metal signs that advertise regional breweries. I start bragging about all the ones I’ve actually had the pleasure of visiting. I’m not really sure why I’m bragging to Heidi though, seeing how she has been with me for most of them.
When the food arrives, I’m not disappointed. Peanut butter, bacon and beef make a delicious combo. I’m, very much, pleasantly surprised and savor every novel tasting bite. Heidi is loving her burger as well, having added an egg to it for 99 cents extra. And quite honestly, their fries are the best I’ve had in the Green Bay area. Clearly, healthy choices were not made today. Although, Heidi received a double dose of protein, so there’s a bit of nutrition, maybe, ok, not really the best foods for middle aged adults.
Upon leaving, I decide that the atmosphere is comparable to many Brewery tap rooms, minus windows displaying the machinery that creates those malty concoctions. Not to mention, the food and beer is delicious. Plus, there are just novel brew choices galore to indulge in. Add a menu that brings creativity to another American staple, the hamburger, and there’s a good reason to visit Mr. Brew’s Tap House. Its definitely a welcomed addition to a cold February night. Heck, any night would be cause to visit!