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Wisconsin beer and breweries: News and reviews
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A look ahead to Wisconsin beer in 2013: Breweries around the state
Year of the bomber bottle rises!
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A new year of bomber bottles
Credit:Robin Shepard

Wisconsin breweries have big plans for 2013, with many new offerings of 22-ounce bomber bottles the most visible element of their growing ambition. Beer fans have a lot to look forward to from breweries in and near Madison, but there is even more in the works across the state.

Here is a look at more upcoming beer releases and brewing developments to watch for in 2013, with a focus on breweries around Wisconsin.

Central Waters Brewing of Amherst
The newest beer for Central Waters will be a bourbon-barrel-aged version of its Sláinte (a Scottish ale) that is expected to be out by April. The brewery is also planning to install a special bottle filler for bombers in 2013, which will complement the its growing barrel aging program, which already turns out many small, limited batches of bourbon-barrel-aged and sour beers. (Recall Exodus, one of the Wisconsin brewing highlights of 2011.)

Central Waters celebrates its 15th anniversary this January. But brewmaster Paul Graham is anticipating being around well beyond a crystal anniversary, with plans for a beer aged in 20-year old bourbon barrels to commemorate the brewery's 16th year come 2014. Last fall, Central Waters won a Great American Beer Festival gold medal in the wood-aged category with its 14th Anniversary beer.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company of Chippewa Falls
Fans of the Big Eddy beers can expect two new entries in the special release beer series. No word yet on what they'll be, but C.J. Leinenkugel has hinted that one might be a barley wine. As for the main lineup of Leinie's brews, a rye Kölsch called Canoe Paddler should be out before the winter ice is off the water. And in its Heritage line of brews, the brewery will introduce Hop and Helles in six-packs.

Lakefront Brewery of Milwaukee
Lakefront will be releasing new entries in its My Turn series of 22-ounce bottles. The name is a reference to an opportunity given to each of the Lakefront brewers, who get a turn at designing a limited special release brew. Brewery president Russ Klisch says a barley wine will join the lineup of bombers in February, and later in the year another My Turn brew will be made with maple syrup. Established in 1987, Lakefront is also planning to release three new beers in its 25th Anniversary Series over the upcoming year. Next up will be a big and bold imperial stout that's made with cherries, vanilla beans and coco nubs.

Milwaukee Brewing Company of Milwaukee
Milwaukee Brewing plans to expand its barrel-aged beer offerings in 2013. Louie's Resurrection, a barrel-aged amber ale, was released this past fall in four-packs, and the brewery plans to double production of the beer next year. Brewer Robert Morton says expect more Rishi tea-infused beers, modeled after his Weekend at Louie's Amber Ale. And he says O'Gii Imperial Wit will join the brewery's line of 16-ounce cans. Over at the affiliated Milwaukee Ale House, hop heads will be offered a special treat throughout the year with Twelve Months of IPA, in which a new India Pale Ale will be served every month.

Moosejaw Pizza and Wisconsin Dells Brewing Company of Wisconsin Dells
Brewmaster Jamie Baertsch is looking to offer more hoppy beers in the new year. One in particular is a brew she's designing for participating farmers in the Wisconsin Hop Exchange. She's hoping to serve it as a thank-you during some of their meetings in 2013. She'll also be releasing a bottled root beer in the year ahead.

O'so Brewing Company of Plover
Fans of O'so will see more sour beers, as well as more big bottles, in some cases together. Owner and brewmaster Marc Buttera says he's planning to release several of his sours in 750 mL corked bottles. The first will be his Wee on the Lamb, a sour brown. Later in the year, he's brewing a Brettanomyces-fermented Pilsner. Buttera also intends to release a bourbon barrel version of Night Train porter in 22-ounce bombers. He is also thinking about aging his maple amber ale named Spike in rum barrels, but if so, it wouldn't be available until later in the year. Spike is made with maple syrup and is named after Buttera's great-grandfather.

Port Huron Brewing Company of Wisconsin Dells
Tanner Brethorst's beers should be more readily available in 2013. The Wisconsin Dells brewery started serving beers on tap in early summer, and released its first bottles, including its Alt Bier, by the end of the year. Brethorst is now finding more time to make special releases, and these should soon start making their way to tap lines in some of Madison's best beer bars. His oatmeal stout, a smooth, full-bodied stout with lots of chocolate malt, debuted in December at the Malt House.

Potosi Brewing Company of Potosi
Potosi Brewing is planning to introduce new packaging in 2013. The brewery's Fiddler Oatmeal Stout, Wee Stein Wit, Potosi Bock, ESB, and Rye IPA should start appearing in a new line of four-packs. Meanwhile, brewmaster Steve Buszka has been tweaking the recipe of his Tangerine IPA, so it too may join this new series early in the year. This tangerine-infused beer has only been found at the brewpub and on select Madison taps. Other Potosi beers that you may see in future four-packs include a Belgian IPA, an Abbey ale, and a Black IPA.

Stevens Point Brewery of Stevens Point
Over the last three years, Stevens Point Brewery has made significant expansion moves, acquiring new equipment along with cellaring and storage capacity. In 2013, the brewery plans yet another major addition to the facility. Its biggest brews, the Whole Hog series, will get even bigger in the new year. Brewery spokeswoman Julie Birrenkott says one new style will be added, but she's not disclosing specifics. Currently the brewery offers five different styles in limited-release four-packs: a saison, an imperial stout, an IPA, its Pumpkin Ale, and a barley wine.

3 Sheeps Brewing Company of Sheboygan
3 Sheeps is another brewery that opened its doors in 2012, its beers appearing on tap in early summer. Based in Sheboygan, it installed a bottling line in November, and so bottles hit shelves shortly thereafter. Owner and brewmaster Grant Pauly plans to send four different styles to Madison in 2013. Those include Baaad Boy (black wheat), Rebel Kent the First (amber ale), Really Cool Waterslides (IPA) and Cirque de Wit (Belgian white).

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