Hacienda Beer brings a lush vibe and a selection of experimental beers to Milwaukee's east side
The owners of Gathering Place and 1840 Brewing took seats at the bar for Thursday's sneak peek of Hacienda Beer Co., 2018 E. North Ave.
They weren't just checking out the competition. They were toasting its success.
The taproom, which opens to the public Saturday, is a whirl of color and creative design from the ball-shaped lights hanging from the ceiling to the Madras upholstered banquette seating on the taproom's western half.
If there is any question where the restrooms are located, best practices are to look for the neon sign that says Flush Vibes.
Hacienda Beer Co., has a pretty spectacular sign for the restrooms. (Photo: Kathy Flanigan)
But you're here for the beer, right? Hacienda Beer is the experimental arm of Door County Brewing, which has a 15-barrel production brewery, taproom and music hall in Baileys Harbor. The new 4,500-square-foot taproom serves as a display case of sorts for the lush IPAs, unfiltered lagers and foeder-aged brews from Danny McMahon and the Hacienda brewing team.
Lush is the key word for the Hacienda style. Design company 360 Degrees matched the decor to the beer.
On one side of the taproom, there are bi-fold windows that open to North Avenue, round, curvy seating and a flecked concrete bar. On the other side, there's a curved wooden bar and tables and chairs made of powdered steel. Potted plants, which are in corners and hanging from the ceiling, add warmth to corners of exposed wall.
A couple of details are borrowed from the Door County location, such as the wooden stage — the plan calls for live music on Saturdays — and the wooden beer menus above both bars. Chef Manny Torres was still getting the kitchen up and running Thursday, but he expects to be serving lunch and dinner soon.
Hacienda Beer Co., opens to the public on Saturday. (Photo: Kathy Flanigan)
McMahon said the taproom has 12 taps for beer. For the opening Saturday, the beers likely will include I'm Not a Doctor, an IPA made with lactose, black tea, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon; Tropi-Choco, a milk stout with cacao and orange peel; and Does Anyone Work Around Here, an unfiltered lager.
There are more choices coming for Saturday's grand opening including L'Hiver, a foeder-aged saison with ginger, orange peel and cardamom; and There is No Other Way, a gin barrel-aged farmhouse ale with lemongrass, pink peppercorns and lime peel.