Even with the ambitious goal of trying a new variety every night, it would take months to sample every single beer at Stubby’s Gastrogrub & Beer Bar. Not only are there 53 different drafts and an array of cellar reserve bottles, but the selection is constantly updated with new craft brews from Wisconsin and around the world. Beer-savvy bartenders make their own recommendations behind the circular center bar as servers deliver trays of imaginative gastropub dishes—crab-stuffed jalapeños, freshwater bluegill sliders, and the hefty burger lauded by reporters from A.V. Club Milwaukee as “drool-inducing.” When not toppling giant Jenga blocks or throwing darts, guests can gaze up at the flat-screen televisions and cheer when a hardened banker learns to love in a Lifetime movie. The massive wooden deck gives al fresco enthusiasts space to linger over bites of cod tacos and barbecue pork nachos.
Local and Sustainable Ingredients | James Beard Award-Nominated Chef | In-House Brewery | Uncommon Food Pairings
What to Drink: Sip the beers that get churned out at Hinterland’s Green Bay–based brewery, including seasonal specialties and limited releases. Or, energize with a cup of Luna coffee or Rishi tea.
Who’s Cooking: Executive Chef Dan Van Rite, a three-time James Beard Award finalist, prides himself on bold flavors and off-the-wall pairings—many of which are made possible by his utilization of local and seasonal ingredients.
Keeping it Fresh
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: For those a bit north, there’s always the Green Bay location (313 Dousman Street). Stop in and take a Saturday-afternoon tour of the brewery, which makes its home inside a turn-of-the-century meat-packing warehouse.
Originally built as a Schlitz bar more than a century ago, Upper 90 Sports Pub maintains the links to its storied history by pouring drinks in front of the original stained glass that still adorns the old saloon's back bar. Now showcasing Milwaukee's transformation to a modern city inspired by local teams, Upper 90 Sports Pub takes a twist on the classic German eats with a full menu of gastropub fare artfully presented to its sports-centric clients every day of the week.
Upper 90 incorporates local favorites, such as Usinger?s sausages or Nueske's bacon, into flavorful spins on traditional cuisine, creating dishes such as battered and fried corn dogs served with Guinness mustard and raspberry balsamic ketchup or bacon-stuffed Angus burgers flavored with cheddar cheese and rosemary aioli. The restaurant opens its doors early on select game days or if threatened by early-rising big bad wolves, feeding just-woken bellies with its Saturday breakfast, followed by appetizer fare featuring the unique flavors of fried alligator and Milwaukee's biggest pretzel. While sitting under vintage sports equipment and memorabilia, guests can sip on the pours of a range of craft brews, including drafts from local breweries such as Lakefront, New Glarus, and Sprecher.
Though it's new on the restaurant scene, Spotted Fox Ale House is already making a name for itself thanks to its rotating selection of craft beers and its large menu of comfort food. Local beer offerings from Goose Island, Revolution, and Two Bros. share tap space with ales and stouts from California's Lagunitas, Colorado's Left Hand Brewing Company, Indiana's Three Floyds, and Michigan's Dark Horse. Diners can pair pints with dishes ranging from blackened tilapia tacos and pesto chicken paninis to Swiss mushroom burgers and Jail Island salmon. As they eat and drink, they can catch the big game on two large HD projectors or the 32 HDTVs throughout the sprawling space or in the reflection of their date's eyeballs. Live dance music takes place every Saturday starting at 8 p.m. and an outdoor patio is coming soon. Private party rooms are also available.