Milwaukee Black Friday beer releases (and a few Wednesdays!)
I’ve stood outside in the dark on Black Friday twice in my life: once at Best Buy and another time at a place I can’t remember. I also can’t remember what I bought either time. Such is the stupidity of Black Friday — at least the shopping version.
Fortunately, there is a better version of Black Friday that has taken hold in Milwaukee. Every year, more and more breweries release more and more special beers on a day previously reserved for consumers but has since shifted toward consumption.
Before we get to that, please remember the most important thing if you plan to participate in any of the Milwaukee area’s Black Friday beer releases is your well-being. There are plenty of options that don’t involve driving when you shouldn’t, so take advantage of one. In fact, if you’re going to sip your way around the many wonderful Riverwest breweries, they’ve thoughtfully created the Five Three Brew One Two Brewery Shuttle that’ll take you around to five spots between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday (full schedule here).
Of course, there are many opportunities outside of Riverwest, which is why we compiled the Milwaukee Black Friday beer list below. You’ll find 24 breweries and 64 beers, as well as a handful of Wednesday options if you’re a “Friendsgiving” type and links to order online ahead of time so you can make the most of your day. See what’s being offered, pick out what suits your palate, and — we can’t emphasize this enough — start planning to ensure you enjoy all the good stuff without experiencing any of the bad.
- Plumpy: Black — Naturally soured and super-fruited with all the black fruits we could find (blackberry, black currant, and black cherry). The base beer was designed to be tart and thick even before we stuffed it full of fruit. Contains lactose.
- Sleepless Knight — We took Neon Knights, our BA Imperial English Porter aged in 18yo Heaven Hill barrels, and added whole South American coffee beans. The “Voyager” blend was roasted by our friends at Stone Creek Coffee. Expect added layers of cacao, berries, and cashew to our barrel aged base.
- Kind Gesture Batch 006 — Kind Gesture with 5 mg Delta 9 THC and 7 mg CBD. Zero carbs, zero sugar and zero alcohol. A light and sparkling mango and white peach seltzer.
- Toasted Coconut Major Particles (12.2% ABV) — It wouldn't be Black Friday without a barrel aged imperial stout release. Last year we released Major Particles but had one keg diverted on top of Toasted Coconut. That was our favorite variant (and yours), so this year the entire batch gets the toasted coconut treatment. The base beer includes a blend of beer aged in Heaven Hill barrels for either one or two years. Coffee, chocolate, and candy bar flavors in this beast.
- Bermuda Storms (11.5% ABV) — This beer started out as a golden orange English strong ale, and then went in a variety of Caribbean Rum barrels for most of the year. We then rested the beer on top of natural ginger and lime, creating something that is very close to a "Dark and Stormy" cocktail. Expect warming rum notes, and ginger and lime to be present and balanced, not fading into the background.
Black Husky Brewing
909 E. Locust St.
- Timotheus (16%) — A Belgian-style Quad in our Chien Noir line. Available on tap and in 22oz. Bomber.
Central Waters Brewing Co.
1037 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- English style Honey Barleywine aged in Peach Brandy and Bliss Maple Barrels — A barleywine with a deep mahogany color, brewed with Dark Buckwheat & Dark Wildflower honey from Kallas Honey in Milwaukee. Caramel & toffee candy forward, with the magic development from the peach brandy & maple barrels. We will release three versions of this aged barleywine in four-packs of 12-ounce cans:
- Peach Brandy Barrel – aged one year
- Bliss Maple Syrup Barrel – aged 19 months
- Maple and Peach – a perfectly balanced blend between the two barrel types.
- Gold Label 25th Anniversary re-release — We took the thoroughbred of our base beers for our anniversary stout, knowing that the lower mash temperatures and lower body would blend perfectly into the wheated bourbon from these 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle barrels. Aged for 52 months, this beer showcases the balance of wonderful bourbon flavors and delicate stout flavors. We set some of these bottles aside to release again for Black Friday! This stout will be available in 22oz bottles.
735 E. Center St., Milwaukee
9 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Holiday Party 2023 (10.4%) — Rum barrel-aged Belgian quad
- Holiday Party Whack and Unwrap (10.4%) — Rum barrel-aged Belgian quad with orange peel and chocolate
- Holiday Party / Thousandfold Blend (10.2%) — Blended Belgian imperial stout aged in rum barrels
- Thunder Thiols (Turn Pro series, 8%) — Dry-hopped thiolized lager, Mega Motueka, X25, experimental 09326 hops
Component Brewing Company
2018 S. 1st St. #169, Milwaukee
- Barrel-Aged Ho Ho Hold My Beer 2023 — Barrel-aged version of the Christmas ale
- Imperial Haze The Lord IPA — Imperial version of the flagship hazy IPA
- Barrel-Aged Swirled Stout — Bourbon barrel-aged stout and first-ever bottle release
Dead Bird Brewing Company
1726 N. 5th St., Milwaukee
- Beanut Putter (10.3%) — Imperial oatmeal stout featuring roasted Texas peanuts
- Bean Water (10.3%) — Imperial oatmeal stroud made with dark roast cold brew coffee, Mexican dark chocolate and loads of Tahitian vanilla
Eagle Park Brewing
823 E. Hamilton St., Milwaukee
8 a.m.-10 p.m.
- BBA Koko Klieber — Brewed in collaboration with Horus Aged Ales, Koko Klieber is an imperial stout brewed with maple syrup, then aged on heaping amounts of toasted coconut. Decadent coconut plays with notes of semisweet chocolate that give way to delicate maple brûlée and subtle roast. We then aged this decadent beer in assorted bourbon barrels for 24 months.
- Fly By Night — A blend of Imperial Stouts with ages ranging from 23 to 33 months in a mix of Elijah Craig, Templeton Rye, and Heaven Hill barrels and then conditioned on a generous amount of Papua New Guinea vanilla beans.
- The Raspberry Vanilla Cheesecake Incident — One of our favorite beers in our collaboration series with Mikerphone Brewing, this version is a berliner weisse with raspberry, vanilla, graham cracker & cheesecake flavoring.
- Milkshake IPA — A massive Milkshake IPA brewed with over 60% oats, dry hopped with Mosaic and Cashmere, and finished off with Papua New Guinea vanilla beans.
2020 S. Allis St., Milwaukee
- Cosmic Nihilism — Czech dark lager
- Milwaukee County Stout variants – Oat Whiskey, Stranahan's Irish Whiskey, Baker's Bourbon, Willett Rye and Heaven Hill.
- William 1066 (15%) — A sweet, malty brew aged for a year and a half on brandy barrels.
- Big Doc (13.1%) — A heavier version of our staple Wee-Heavy Scotch Ale aged half a year in Driftless Glen bourbon barrels.
- Triple Bock lager (9.8%) — Initially lagered in our steel tanks, then laid down in Driftless Glen bourbon barrels for half a year.
- New Quad on the Block (11%) — Belgian-style quadrupel aged with Peruvian cacao nibs
3807 S. Packard Ave., St. Francis
- Mantaycore — Hazelnut, cinnamon and coconut imperial stout
- Sweater Weather Imperial Milk Stout (2023 variants) — English Toffee, Cookies & Cream, and Double Vanilla
- Turbo Hop (9.6%) — Introducing the double dry-hopped, triple IPA. We start with a big, boozy IPA and dry hop it twice: once during primary fermentation to boost aromatics through biotransformation and then again post fermentation to give a pop of hop flavor. Get ready for some big citrus and tropical flavors in this surprisingly drinkable, bold Triple IPA.
- Mélange (9.5%) — A vintage 2020 beer blended with a fresh Imperial Stout. The result is a wonderfully complex beer with notes of stone fruit and cherry alongside beautiful chocolate flavors and roasty finish.
Hacienda Beer Co.
2018 E. North Ave., Milwaukee
- Obnoxious Heckler (12%) — Barleywine
- 2023 Velvet Bulldozer (16%) — A decadent symphony of vanilla, chocolate and bourbon
- 2022 Velvet Bulldozer (12%) — Imperial stout with a base of Proximity malted barley and a host of fine dark specialty malts, conditioned on a ton of Madagascar and Ugandan vanilla bean, Ecuadorian cacao nibs, and locally roasted espresso from Isely Coffee Roasters
Indeed Brewing Company
530 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee
10 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Spumoni Imperial Cream Ale (8.5%) — Layered with pistachio, cherry and chocolate flavors, this captures the essence of the traditional Italian delicacy in one sip. This palate-pleasing dessert-inspired ale mixes three distinct ingredients together while allowing each to shine in its own right. A little sweet, a little tart, a little nutty, this crispy cream ale is thrice as nice.
1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee
- Imperial Stout – Aged in bourbon and brandy barrels, the 2023 version of the famous brew combines massive caramel and roasted malts with huge vanilla and oak flavor. There are under 3,000 19.2-ounce cans being sold for $20 plus tax each.
- Triple Black IPA – Big, bold and hoppy, this Triple Black IPA hits the glass obsidian black with a foamy tan head kicking up aromas of chocolate, orange zest and rose water. Gratuitous Cascade, Chinook and Centennial hops yield up-front citrus and tropical fruit notes, while malts lend balance with sweet cocoa and caramel flavors. There are under 1,000 19.2-ounce cans being sold for $20 plus tax each.
- Double Barrel-Aged Christmas Cookie Barleywine – Back by popular demand, this big, chewy barleywine is brewed with honey, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon that forms the base of this delicious treat. It was first aged in rum barrels for a year before it was transferred to bourbon barrels for another year. The double barrel-aging imparts layered flavors of oak plank, toasted almond and molasses. There are under 1,000 19.2-ounce cans being sold for $30 plus tax each.
- 5-Year-Old – This big stout has been asleep in bourbon barrels since 2018. The big, roasty, chocolatey Imperial Stout left all traces of alcohol heat behind in the barrel and picked up flavors of vanilla, pecan praline, marzipan and a touch of pipe tobacco. There are under 1,000 19.2-ounce cans being sold for $30 plus tax each.
- BA-BR — A barrel-aged Imperial Stout fermented with Belgian and American yeasts, then aged in a mix of bourbon and rye barrels from our friends next door at Twisted Path. Blended before packaging, this stout features strong whiskey and vanilla oak barrel notes on the nose followed by a pleasant roasty chocolate grain flavor that is smooth and clean with a hint of banana esters from the Belgian yeast.
Perspective Brewing Company
7508 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine
- Lactarius Imperial Mushroom Stout
Raised Grain Brewing Co.
1725 Dolphin Dr., Waukesha
11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Santa’s Sack Christmas Ale — Brewed with four spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, fresh ginger and star anise. Well-balanced and delightful for the Christmas holiday. Pairs extremely well with desserts.
- #1,000 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Coffee Stout — Aged in bourbon barrels, with extra sweet cinnamon and locally roasted coffee beans added. This Imperial stout has a robust flavor profile with a hint of bourbon and a touch of sweet spice.
- Doc’s Old-Fashioned Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Red Ale — An Imperial red ale aged in brandy barrels, then doctored with spices, orange peel and cherries.
- Doc’s Old-Fashioned Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Red Ale — Same Imperial red ale, but a more traditional old fashioned aged in bourbon barrels and tends to have more notes of vanilla and oak.
Sahale Ale Works
1505 Wisconsin Ave #170, Grafton
5-11 p.m. Wednesday
3-10 p.m. Friday
- Set The World A’Haze (Wednesday release, 14.2%) — Features Necteron hops that contribute an intense mix of passion fruit, peach, grapefruit and pineapple
- It's Tearin' Up My Tart When I'm With You (Friday release, 13.4%) — Imperial mixed culture fruited sour, drier and more acidic/tart
- Quit Playing Games With My Tart (Friday release, 13.6%) — Imperial mixed culture fruited sour, more complex and funky
Sprecher Brewing Co.
701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale
11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- J Henry Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Bavarian — Complex with notes of caramel and vanilla
- Cadette — A Munich-style Helles lager with spicy, herbal and delightfully bitter hop notes atop a nutty, bready highly flavorful Germanic malt bill.
- The Frightener — French Oak-aged abbey-style quad brewed with Mobcraft and Radix Fermentation
- Saison Fernwood — Farmhouse-style amber ale Bière de Garde
Deconstructed Dessert Linzer Torte Variety Pack, which includes:
- A seven-month bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout (the base)
- The Lemon & Vanilla variant
- The Honey & Cinnamon variant
- The Pecan variant
- The Red Currant variant
- The Linzer Torte, featuring a delectable blend of all five beers
Vennture Brew Co.
5519 W. North Ave., Milwaukee
5 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
- Mumble Biscuits — English barleywine tossed into J Henry Bourbonbarrels for some long-term care.
- Grandma's Boyfriend — Double West Coast IPA with Sultana and Citra. Pale, hop saturated and full of dank pineapple and citrus smells.
- Thanksgiving Sangria Bruv — Berliner-style Ale with pomegranate, cranberry, orange and Zinfandel juice. A beautiful tart wheat beer that’s zippy with a melding of flavors.