Waves creeping onto a sandy shoreline. The sun dipping into the glassy horizon. The sound of laughter and clinking bottles. These are the sort of recollections Big Bay Brewing wants to evoke with each sip of its frosty beers. The master brewers use natural ingredients, such as proprietary yeast and real sugar, while concocting the tasty pours that comprise their menu of small-batch seasonal ales and year-round staples.
Big Bay Brewing's tasting room and retail center also prompts visitors to recall memories of relaxing vacations with its teakwood tables, crackling fireplace, and confused tourists standing around with maps. Those enamored with the tasting room—described by Shepherd Express as decorated with boathouse adornments and daubed in aquatic blues—can rent out part or all of the space for holiday parties, fundraisers, and other gatherings.
Riverside dishes up a delectable menu of American favorites and handcrafted beverages against the backdrop of the Milwaukee River's placid flow. Feast on a fleet of specialty sandwiches, including a quartet of grilled paninis teeming with tasty portobello, prime rib, or tuscan chicken ($8.95–$10.95) and a saucy slew of barbecue baby back ribs lounging with fresh veggies on a grilled kaiser roll ($8.95). Carnivorous patrons can sink mouth swords into a lean petite sirloin filet ($15.95) or savor a cluster of skewered tequila-lime shrimp grilled in butter ($18.95). A crab and lobster ravioli bursting with crab mousse, drawn butter, and a charming bouquet of fresh herbs courts a shy blush alfredo bedecked in a ravishing parmesan crumble ($24.95).
Sendik’s Fine Foods and its vino-savvy staff offer wine-tasting classes each month, allowing fervent oenophiles to flood taste buds with a plethora of flavors. Each wine tasting includes eight to ten carefully selected wines, artisan cheeses from Sendik’s collection, and hors d’oeuvres that can be savored alongside the sippables or smuggled out and bartered for a signed photo of Dom Perignon. Choose one of several upcoming classes, such as Champagne and Sparkling Wine on December 16, which focuses on the best holiday bubbly, or Sake 101 on March 24, 2011, where you’ll experience the Japanese libation while learning vocabulary such as seimaibuai and junmai. Afterward, you’ll be able to take home any of the wines sampled at a special discounted price. Openings for each session are limited, so call to make your reservation before overenthusiastic grape groupies snatch all the spots.
Bin One Eleven Wine Store and Tasting Bar owner Tim Kollmeyer constantly researches new wines, sampling up to 40 varietals every week. He brings the best ones to his shop to serve in German crystal wineglasses and pair with cheese or chocolate. Guests can also sip craft beers at the bar or head outdoors to a brick patio. As an added draw, Kollmeyer supports many community organizations with donations.
An array of bottles line shelves and tables and pack boxes, filling the Wine Cellar of Wisconsin with its namesake beverage. Frequent specials are highlighted weekly, including recommendations from the staff. Additionally, evening wine tastings encourage visitors to sample and learn about various varietals. Although the store primarily carries wine, it also stocks a number of craft beers from the likes of New Glarus Brewing, Bell's Brewing, and Ale Asylum.