A REAL Local Beer, Even the Yeast! Pretty Cool

 Wisconsinite truly a local brew




Drinking local is nothing new to Wisconsin craft beer drinkers. Drinking this local is.

Madison especially, with its CSA boxes, armfuls of farmers’ market produce and homegrown restaurant menus, has an affinity for local sourcing. The beer culture in the area has developed with a similar bent.

New Glarus Brewing has long used the slogan “Drink Indigenous” with its beer. Capital Brewery fired an early shot in the local-sourcing battle in 2006 with the launch of Island Wheat, a beer built around wheat grown on Door County’s Washington Island. The local-ingredients trend has gathered steam in recent years with the success of Mazomanie-based Gorst Valley Hops.

But completing the package of homegrown ingredients has been a challenge for craft brewers who favor the flavors unique to, say, hop varieties exclusive to the Pacific Northwest or European specialty malts.

And yeast … forget about it. According to Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery, every beer commercially brewed in the United States uses yeast with foreign roots.

Except one.

Enter Wisconsinite, a new offering from Lakefront that uses a new yeast strain “believed be to the only North American-grown yeast in commercial use today,” according to a news release announcing the beer’s launch.

“Yeast is the final frontier for craft brewers,” said Lakefront President Russ Klisch. “It’s certainly what gives this beer such a distinct taste.”

The other ingredients are worthy of its name as well, with malted barley from Milwaukee, wheat from Chilton and hops from Gorst Valley.

It’s a cool concept that is bound to have traction among, um, Wisconsinites, no matter how good the beer actually is.


Style: Hefeweizen, a German-style unfiltered wheat beer.

Brewed by: Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee.

What it’s like: Though Wisconsinite shares style ancestry with the classic hefes of Germany like Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr, this is a much more American beer.

The beer: Wisconsinite pours a slightly hazy yellowish straw color, topped with a quickly dissipating head. The aroma has a firm spiciness and bubblegum character anchored by sweet, malty wheat that almost smells like wet pasta. The sweet wheat also figures prominently in the flavor, but there’s also a distinctive bitterness that sweeps in on the finish, cleaning up all the banana and clove notes common to hefeweizens. All of this is subtle, however, and carried on a light, drinkable body that will be right at home on a sun-drenched patio or next to the tackle box.

Booze factor: At just 4.2 percent ABV — on par with Miller Lite — this is a truly poundable summer session beer.

The buzz: Wisconsinite seems like a beer that can be all things to all people. Those who just want a good warm-weather beer can drink it quickly and be refreshed. Those who want to geek out can meticulously parse its delicate flavors — though they’re likely to shift into session mode after one glass. Those who want to celebrate the most Wisconsin beer in decades can get their local on. And those who want to be at what might be the cutting edge of an American yeast renaissance can taste the revolution.


This entry was posted in Glenn's Pint of GFY. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *