As the summer season gets into full swing, beer gardens will be back throughout southeast Wisconsin.
In Waukesha County, the park system is partnering with both Raised Grain Brewing Company and Brewfinity Brewing for a series of beer garden events.
“Waukesha County started partnering with Raised Grain in 2017, so that was the first year they traveled the park system. It was really successful; super well-received,” said Emily Heller, public communications coordinator for Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use.
The beer garden events have remained popular in the years since, even last year when just a handful of popup gardens were held before canceling due to the pandemic, according to Heller.
“There’s definitely a lot of interest,” she said.
“I think it’s a combination of being outside in nature in really nice parks and hanging out with the community,” said Heller, explaining the appeal.
She added that the breweries typically bring a selection that includes options for non-beer drinkers, like hard seltzers. And the park settings also allow participants to space out, if preferred, Heller added.
The beer garden events do include the park entrance fee to support the county park system, according to Heller.
Nick Reistad, owner and chief operating officer of Raised Grain Brewing Company, said the business is looking forward to the popup garden series.
“It is a great way for everybody to get out and enjoy the beautiful Waukesha County Parks and connect with family and friends they haven’t seen in awhile over a glass of Raised Grain beer,” he said.
Reistad said the business will have eight beers on tap for the popup gardens in a variety of flavors as well as a hard seltzer.
This year, in Waukesha:
■ The Raised Grain Pop Up Beer Garden locations will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays through September. The Waukesha-based brewery offers a wide selection of beers that can be views on its website at: https://www.raisedgrainbrewing.com/.
■ Brewfinity Beer Garden locations will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays. The Oconomowoc-based brewery also crafts a variety of beers that can be viewed on its website at:
For a full list of dates and locations of beer gardens in the Waukesha County parks, visit: https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/.
Homestead Hollow kickoff
In Washington County, the 1840 Brewery Beer Garden Series will kick off Friday at Homestead Hollow County Park in Germantown.
The series will include 10 events. It is in its second year in the county and is a partnership between the Washington County Park and Trail System and 1840 Brewing Company from Milwaukee, according to a news release.
Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann encouraged people in the statement to “come on out to our parks and enjoy everything we have to offer with our upcoming beer gardens.”
And 1840 Brewing Company owner Kyle Vetter said the company is “thrilled” to be bringing the traveling beer garden series back.
“The parks are beautiful and the the community so welcoming it was an easy decision to return for another season,” he said in the statement.
The beer garden hosted on Friday, July 23 at Homestead Hollow is anticipated to be a community fundraiser day and the Friday, Aug. 20 date will be a beach party celebrating the grand opening of the county’s newly expanded beach at Leonard J. Yahr Beach, according to Jamie Ludovic, director of community development for Washington County.
She said the Friday, Oct. 16 date at Sandy Knoll County Park will be a fall fundraiser with the United Way to wrap up the season.
1840 Brewing Company makes a variety of ales and lagers, according to the series press release. It features “some light, dark, sour, hoppy and fruity.” The company’s tag line is “Drink Slow Beer” referencing the time it takes to craft the company’s beers and the “thoughtfulness” with which the beers are created.
For a full list of dates and locations, visit: https://www.washcowisco.gov/.