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Beer from Lakefront's employee series wins gold at national competition

Monday, July 9, 2018   (0 Comments)
Milwaukee Business Journal
Patrick Leary


Lakefront Brewery's signature seasonal program won a gold medal in the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

Brewers from around the country and the world sent more than 6,300 beers of 110 different styles to the Oxford, Ohio-based competition, which was founded in 2009 by brewer Dow Scoggins and recognizes medal winners in dozens of categories as well as an annual top 10 list of breweries. Capital Brewery in Middleton was the 2013 grand champion of the event.

Lakefront won the only gold medal for a Milwaukee-area brewery, and one of two for Wisconsin breweries, in this year's event with My Turn: Kristin winning in the smoked/rauch beer category. The My Turn series began at Lakefront in 2013, and offers an employee, ordered by seniority, a chance to brew a beer alongside head brewer Luther Paul, and the beer gets a spot in the taproom for three months.

Lakefront co-founder and president Russ Klisch said it's an extremely popular series among his employees, who he joked have the date that they get to brew their beer "tattooed on their eyeballs."

"It's been a huge success and we're going to continue doing it," he said. "I think a lot of my employees would lock me up and rebel if I took it away."

My Turn: Kristin was Lakefront executive chef Kristin Hueneke's attempt to "make a beer that tastes like breakfast," according to Klisch. The smoked maple weizenbock was brewed with real maple syrup and debuted in the taproom in January, staying on tap through the end of March.

"It's always fun," Klisch said of the series. "We want to have fun with it and they always come up with great ideas."

Wisconsin breweries won nine medals in total at the 2018 U.S. Open, with Amherst-based Central Waters winning the other gold medal for its Barleywine Ale. Lakefront also won a silver medal for its Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin beer, while Sprecher Brewery in Glendale won three silver medals for its Belgian Dubbel, its Twelve quadruppel, and its Commando Scotch ale. Beers from Capital Brewery and Madison's The Great Dane Pub and Brewing won bronze medals as well.

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