I guess it’s getting to that point. Microbreweries are everywhere. Because of that, finding one with unique appeal is becoming quite difficult. And, as a failsafe, whenever I’m stumped for a new blog topic, I try to seek one out. So, lacking a good destination and craving a jaunt towards Appleton, Wisconsin, I searched for breweries within the city limits. The spot I found was located downtown, right on College Ave, and is known as the Appleton Beer Factory.
My latest discovery isn’t horrible. Yet, although it boasted attributes that I haven’t seen in similar places, the setting was rather bland. There were the regular nuances like brick walls, which are becoming quite cliche, set in random portions. And these walls looked like recent additions. Mainly, when I want a solid throwback vibe, I crave authentic. I did, however, dig the ornate wood ceiling that hovered over the bar.
The coolest thing about this place, as their beer is decent, having a handful of staples and some outlandish prototype concoctions, is that the three roomed establishment allows for separate ambiances.
The following three paragraphs are purely my interpretation of the owner’s intentions. Whether or not that is really what the Appleton Beer Factory wanted to convey, I can’t truly say. I didn’t talk to the owners. But, like me, you might find my take somewhere in the ballpark.
The first setting is a contemporary taproom scene, maybe with a slightly formal feel. It isn’t incredibly snooty or anything, but I felt a slight tinge of distinguished throwback elegance to it. Even so, a large chalkboard rests on a wall, displaying what they have to offer.
Behind the bar, seemingly intended to allude to the two sides of the industrial revolution’s class and standards, lies the factory portion. Here, the brewing machinery is standing proudly in a corner, as rudimentary building materials allow a hint of grit. I assume that the bar is the showpiece and, sensing classy suggestions of a dingier atmosphere, this is where I belong. Working with the grunts, making money the best way we know how…blood, sweat and tears.
The other room, set off to the side of the tavern-like taproom, is a sitting room. And this, never, have I ever, seen in a microbrewery taproom. It’s an artsy little nook. Obviously a quaint and elegant place for the ladies to get together. They can peacefully discuss the day’s events, or gather for a small social function…or whatever it is women do when they convene in small groups.
The beer is reasonably priced at five bucks a pint, and is served in a stemmed pint glass. I ordered a black ale, because I don’t come across many. The Butte Des Mortes, being the title of this ale, is pretty malty and quite tasty…and I can drive home after drinking one. The ABV resting at a harmless 4.8%.
The Menu was slightly pricey. And I didn’t know if I’d really enjoy half the entrees offered. So, we decided on next week’s blog topic for food. I’m sure the Appleton Beer Factory’s dishes could please someone with a deeper pocketbook and slightly different palate.
In closing, the beer is definitely good, although I didn’t venture their prototypes. The ambiance is partitioned off into three separate vibes. And although it feels rather ordinary when set aside like establishments, The Appleton Beer Factory is a solid place to hang out and chat.