Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Fixed Gear

Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

Style: Altbier
ABV: 6.5%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Our Michigan correspondent, Rings, has been heard to remark that in the state of Wisconsin, every other building third house is a bar. And in Milwaukee, that sometimes seems true. One of my favorite bars to visit in Brew City, U.S.A. is Wolski’s Tavern, which sits in the middle of a very residential side street, and appears to be nothing more than some friendly stranger’s basement. You can feel the 100-plus years this place sports. Although the beer list is more dive bar than craft friendly—the times I’ve been there they’ve had Blatz on tap, for Christ’s sake—the vibe more than makes up for the lack of diverse beer offerings.

And if you want a real list of great brews, you’ve got to truck over to Roman’s Pub, in the sleepy Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. Easily one of the better beer bars I’ve been in and, like Wolski’s, located in a residential area and looking like a converted house. Plus, I’ve heard the owner tell someone who came in to order a soda because he “didn’t drink” to get the fuck out. Doesn’t get much better than that.

That’s my super mini tour of Milwaukee, home to tonight’s featured beer, Lakefront Fixed Gear. This is one of Lakefront’s special offerings, available only on draft or 22-ounce bombers. But if you see Fixed Gear on the tap handle or in the fridge, grab yourself some and enjoy, because this is one great beer.

The pour is a dark, murky red, more opaque than translucent, perhaps due to the fact that this bastard’s bottle conditioned. (Yay!) Slapped on top of everything is a thick, goopy, off-white head. It’s not the prettiest of beers, but ugly things can come in yummy packaging, if that makes any sense.

The nose is grainy and malty, not a lot of hop aromas to stir things up. The sip starts the same way, malty but pleasingly smooth, drinking on the easy side for a medium-bodied brew. The malt lays right through to the middle, all set to overwhelm the entire sip, until a wave of hops rises up with an assertively bitter finish.

This is one well done beer. It’s on the hoppy side for an amber and/or alt, but if you like your beers with a bitter side, this one is damn near perfectly balanced. One of Lakefront’s better beers, if you ask me.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on November 4, 2011.
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