2016: A Year of Firsts

2016: A Year of Firsts

As our first calendar year comes to a close, we paused amid the chaos of growth to look back at all the “firsts” we accomplished in the 16 months we’ve been open. It’s been a wild ride, and as we sit here writing this--with beers in hand--the taproom is bustling with energy, pint glasses and growlers are getting filled and the brewery is humming along in the background.

In no particular order, a few of the “firsts” we’re most proud about:

  • We hired our first employee, Andy, a Waukesha native. Shortly after joining us as a beertender he joined the team full-time as an apprentice brewer. We have since grown our team to 19 people.
  • We sold a keg of beer to our first account, Bernie’s Taproom, in Downtown Waukesha. After the first keg rolled out of the brewery, we’ve added over 50 accounts and our beer can be found throughout Waukesha and Milwaukee.
  • We brewed our first 100 barrels of beer in early January, followed shortly thereafter by our second, third, fourth and fifth hundred barrels of beer and counting. So far, we’ve brewed 99 batches of beer. Our 100th brew will be on January 2nd, and you can expect something extraordinary!
  • We completed our first brewery expansion in May, adding two more fermenters and a brite tank. This 30% expansion was necessary to help us keep up with demand for our beers both in our taproom and the accounts we have in the Waukesha and Milwaukee areas.
  • We won our first award, a Gold Medal for our Paradocs Red IIPA at the North American Beer Awards, then our second and third medals. The year was capped off by a Gold Medal at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival®, again for our Paradocs Red.
  • We celebrated our first anniversary, joined by over 1,500 of our very closest friends that helped us kick 21 half barrels in a single day.
  • We served our first pizza out of our very own food truck. Food was highly requested, and with no room to put a kitchen, we built out a food truck (really, an amazing kitchen) parked out semi-permanently behind the brewery.
  • Our first bottles rolled off the line and will be seen on retailers shelves in the area. We ran out sooner than we expected and are scurrying to get more Paradocs Red ready to bottle.

2017 will be another year of dizzying growth. We will continue to expand our distribution footprint, so you’ll be able to order your favorite Raised Grain beer at a growing number of bars and restaurants. You’ll be able to grab bottles at any number of liquor stores as we continue to spin up our bottling program.

And you’ll be able to count on an amazing variety of Boldly Brewed Beers whenever you join us at our taproom and brewery. We have 13 beers on tap, and we’re always rotating new beers on. Grab a brewery-exclusive bottle of something new we whip up or take a growler with you of any of the beers we have on tap.


-Nick, Scott, Jimmy and Kevin


New Year, New Beer: Threesome In The Dark

New Year, New Beer: Threesome In The Dark

Ever since we opened way back in September of ‘15, our beloved craft beer enthusiasts have been sidling up to bar, loving our brews, but also asking us on a perennial basis,  “So, when are you guys gonna brew a black IPA?” It's been a bit busy here, but we worked one into the brew schedule and are blown away with what we've got!

When our Naked Hop Series concluded back in July with the Naked Threesome APA, tastebuds of Waukesha and beyond got to party together Galena, Amarillo, and Chinook hops. So, what happens when we turn off the lights on that party?  A Threesome in the Dark, our new Imperial Black IPA. Things are always more fun in the dark, and in this case, you’ll discover some new tastes from the old familiar Naked Threesome: the Amarillo’s earthy bite, the Galena’s passion-fruity smoothness, and the pine-tingling of the Chinook are all still here, now paired with a dark rich maltiness that takes this party to a whole new level.

We pride ourselves on Boldly Brewed Beer, and you can’t get much bolder than this. Join us on New Year's Eve to ring in the new year with a Threesome in the Dark.



We are incredibly excited to announce that we will begin bottling our beer, starting with our GABF Gold Medal winner, Paradocs Red! We will be doing a taproom exclusive release for our first run, the details are below:

Paradocs Red IIPA Bottle Release

  • Taproom exclusive release
  • Friday, December 23
  • Release starts at 3pm and will go until we run out
  • 22oz bomber bottles of Paradocs Red available for sale



We will be tapping Barrel One, our first barrel aged beer at 12pm on Sunday, December 4. Barrel One is our Spring City Saison aged in a Great Northern Distilling Vanguard Whiskey barrel for over five months. The honey and orange peel of the Saison combine with the sweet smokiness of the whiskey to create a truly unique beer that's unlike any other.

For $13, we will be giving a 10oz pour. The first 50 people get a commemorative 10oz Barrel One glass. There is only one 1/6 barrel, so this beer will not last long!

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Growlers and Santa's Sack!

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Growlers and Santa's Sack!

With the terrific and unusually warm weather patterns we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks, it’s hard to believe that we’re in the homestretch of November.  Before you know it, we’ll be inundated in a sea of red and green and Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time!”  However, we here at Raised Grain still have a lot on tap (literally) for the latter days of November.

The biggest news for Thanksgiving week is the highly anticipated return of Santa’s Sack Christmas Ale. St. Nick will be dropping off the four-spice ale on Black Friday, just in time for the 2016 holiday season. In fact, not only will the 2016 edition of Santa’s Sack be launched on Black Friday, but on that same day at noon, we’ll be tapping something very special: the 2015 edition of Santa’s Sack, which has been aging for over a full year! For fans of this special ale, it will be a must have and it’s likely not to last very long!  

We have special Thanksgiving hours so you can spend time with visiting friends and family:

Tuesday 11/22: 4pm - 9pm

Wednesday 11/23: 3pm - 11pm (Food Truck 4-9)

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) 11/24: CLOSED

Friday 11/25:  Noon - 12am (Food Truck 12-9)

Saturday 11/26: Noon - 12am (Food Truck 2-9)

Sunday 11/27: 11:30am - 6:30pm (Food Truck 12-5)

Chef Mark will be slinging the best pizza in Waukesha County from our brand new food truck. So, in addition to filling your growlers on Wednesday, be sure to stick around and celebrate Thanksgiving a little early with your favorite Raised Grain beers and some seriously delicious food. And, if you’re not too full from the previous day’s feast, be sure to grab a meal while you try Santa’s Sack on Black Friday. Food will be served from 4-9 on Wednesday, 12-9 on Friday, 2-9 on Saturday, and 12-5 on Sunday.

Milwaukee Craft Brewery League Comes to Raised Grain!

Milwaukee Craft Brewery League Comes to Raised Grain!

An exciting opportunity will be awaiting beer lovers in our tap room and brewery this Wednesday, 11/16. The Milwaukee Craft Brewery League (MCBL) is joining us for a tap takeover, beginning at 6pm. Check out 11 different Milwaukee-made craft beers on tap, plus a couple Raised Grain favorites. On Wednesday, these beers will be served by a special group of beertenders - the very brewers that make them, along with other brewery representatives.

All are welcome to come and drink the best of what Milwaukee-area breweries have to offer, while rubbing shoulders with the local craft beer industry’s giants. Plus, there will be Q&A panel discussion starting at 7:30, where everybody will get to ask questions and get answers from the brewers and brewery owners of the MCBL. This is a great opportunity for homebrewers to learn the tricks of the trade.

MCBL holds tap takeovers in different taprooms on a monthly basis, however, the elevated level of interaction being offered to our devoted local craft beer lovers and the representatives eleven local breweries will make this event a unique experience. This is definitely a can’t miss event and, perhaps best of all, there is no cover charge! So come out to the tap room this Wednesday night (November 16th) and join us for a night that you won’t forget!

Tap List

St. Francis Brewery - Bean Me Up Scotchy, a Scotch strong ale with coffee

MobCraft Beer - Hop Cobbler, a cinnamon apple weizen

Third Space Brewing - Happy Place, a hoppy pale ale

Lakefront Brewery - Eastside Dark, a Bavarian dark lager

Milwaukee Brewing - 2016 Louie's Resurrection, a brandy barrel aged amber ale

The Fermentorium - Underwater Panther, a double IPA

Sprecher Brewery - WIPL, a Wisconsin Pale Lager with Fresh Wisconsin Cascade Hops

Enlightened Brewing Company - The Human Condition, a single-hopped French Saison made with Simcoe.

Brenner Brewing Co - Chocolate Stout

Good City Brewing - Reward DIPA, brewed with Citra, Amarillo and Eureka hops

District 14 - Nu Kung Fu 4 Yu

This Year's Door Jam Cherry IPA Release

This Year's Door Jam Cherry IPA Release

Back by popular demand, we will be releasing our fall harvest ale, Door Jam Cheery IPA, in the taproom today. With 100lbs of fresh-picked Door County tart cherries and Tenacious Badger Hops from Wisconsin Rapids, this beer is truly farm-to-glass. 

Tenacious Badger Hops is a new hop farm that supplied us with last year's hops, Wisconsin-grown Mt. Hood and Cascade hops. The hop growers hand-delivered this year's hops just days after they were harvested and processed. Our brewer's wife picked up the tart cherries on a trip up to Door County the same week they were harvested. Super fresh hops and cherries jam this beer with intense flavor giving you a unique IPA experience that you can't find anywhere else. 

Like our Doktoberfest, we don't expect this beer to last more than a few weeks...

Raised Grain Wins Gold at Great American Beer Festival

Last weekend, we won a Gold Medal with our Paradocs Red Imperial IPA, and we were the only brewery in Wisconsin to bring home a gold medal at this year’s GABF®. This is the fourth medal we've picked up and it's only our first year of operation.

The Great American Beer Festival is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence. Paradocs Red Imperial IPA was awarded a coveted gold medal. There were 96 categories and more than 7,200 commercial beer submissions from some of the top breweries in the US.

“This is a very prestigious award and we’re extremely proud to bring home a gold medal to Wisconsin,” said Dr. Scott Kelley, brewmaster at Raised Grain. “Our success at the GABF mirrors the success we’re having in our first year. We’ve already expanded our facility to keep up with demand and we have a number of exciting growth plans in the works.”

Our Paradocs Red IIPA, named for the two #DoctorBrewers that brew all our beer, is a brightly hopped beer with Citra and Amarillo hops balanced by a caramelly malt base.

View all GABF winners on their website.

Naked Threesome

Amarillo, Galena and Chinook hops jump into one beer, the Naked Threesome.

What's Your Summer Vice?

What's Your Summer Vice?

Our brewer Scott recently returned from a vacation to Germany filled with inspiration (and a suitcase full of beer). So amazed was he at the German wheat beers that he brewed a hefeweizen the day he got back to the brewery. We were excited to have a fun, light, summer wheat beer to drink on our new outdoor patio. It was ready before we even had a name for it, and someone said, “Let’s just call it Hefeweizen!”

It turns out we loved it and so did everyone else, so we decided to brew it again. But if this beer is going to have a place on our beer board, it better have a worthy name. We sat outside on our new patio enjoying a few pints of hefeweizen, and conversation quickly drifted elsewhere…

Summer in Wisconsin is fleeting. It’s gone as quickly as it comes. Everyone, we agreed, needs a good, guilty pleasure to enjoy as they soak in the few warm rays of sunshine. A summer vice that makes you feel good even when you know it’s a little bad. At that very moment, lightning struck (literally… so we moved inside).

It was that instant we knew we had a name for our hefeweizen, Summer Vice.

June Events

June Events

Summer is here (finally!) and we’ll be out and about, sharing our favorite beers with new and old friends. Here’s a list of some of the places you’ll find us this month:

Raised Grain Now Offering Brewery Tours

ince we opened eight months ago, we’ve been giving anyone interested an unofficial brewery tour–you know, the kind where you get the “real” stories of how a brewery is built and beer is made. We’ve really enjoyed giving these impromptu tours, as they allowed us to be very candid and get more in depth about our brewing process.

With the recent addition of new equipment in the brewery, one of our #DoctorBrewers thought, “What a perfect time to introduce an official brewery tour!” We’ve kept the candidness, the stories and detail that we’ve all come to love on the impromptu tours. We’re keeping tour groups intimate and small. And in true Raised Grain fashion, we plan to give an educational, interactive and fun experience that can’t be had on a “your everyday regular” brewery tour.

The tour includes:

  • A guided tour of our facility where you will get to learn our background, brewing process and sample some of our most popular beers
  • An interactive test lab that will provide you with a hands-on experience with different elements of brewing, such as sampling wort and an interactive dry hopping simulation
  • Beer samples at the beginning, middle and a beer pour of your choosing at the end
  • A pint glass to take home

Spaces will fill up quickly, so reserve your spot here!



We will be open on Memorial Day from 12-4pm for growler fills (and a glass of beer if you want one!).

In the spirit of remembering the men and women that have served in the armed forces, we are donating a portion of each growler sale on Monday to USO Wisconsin. $2 from every growler and $1 from every howler (half growler) sold will be donated.

USO Wisconsin serves active military and their families who reside or transit in Wisconsin. It provides programs for the 25,000 Wisconsin military families from each of the five branches including reserve and guard units Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.

You can learn more about the amazing things USO Wisconsin does, as well as how to get involved, atwww.usowisconsin.org.

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to everyone that has served, is serving or will serve in the US Military!


Our second beer in the Naked Hop series, brewed with Wisconsin-grown Galena hops, is now on tap. Our brewer Scott compares the Galena and Amarillo beers in our latest video. These hops are produced by Gorst Valley hops, located just west of Madison.

Read more about the series from our previous post.

Naked Hop Series Explained

Scott, our brewer, explains how and why we are doing a limited production single hop beer series. We are launching Beer #1: Amarillo this Thursday, April 14th at 4pm.

Read more about the series from our previous post.

Mission: Naked Hop Single-Hop Series

Mission: Naked Hop Single-Hop Series

Our mission at Raised Grain, as we’ve chosen to accept it, is to elevate grain to its most distinguished form, and this includes a great deal of experimentation and on-the-job education. Our Naked Hop series plunges us into our exploration of the myriad hop varieties available today, both nationally and locally.

The beers in our Naked Hop series are designed to be the purest expression of each hop varietal, and we’ve chosen the name specifically because there is nothing for the hop flavor to hide behind. A simple malt base provides a blank canvas for the bright splashes of hop bursts you will get with each beer. By building a bigger, bolder IIPA recipe, we are able to amplify the hop characteristics. The recipe and process for each beer will remain consistent, with the only variable being the hop itself. At the end of the experiment you will be able to compare all beers side-by-side.

We invite you along on this journey as we release four beers in our initial Naked Hop series.

Beer 1: Amarillo Hops (4/14 RELEASE DATE)
Beer 2: Galena Hops
Beer 3: Chinook Hops (late season harvest)
Beer 4: Capstone Combination, Amarillo, Galena and Chinook

We’ve sourced our Galena and Chinook hops from Gorst Valley Hops, a Wisconsin hop producer with an incredible depth of knowledge.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to sample all four beers and learn about each of the hops and their characteristics. At the end, stop by for our grand-finale debriefing and try all four beers in a flight.

BEER #1 RELEASE at 4pm APRIL 14th

Raised Grain and the 20 Best Beers of 2015

We were shocked earlier this week to find out that we made Milwaukee Magazine’s list of 20 Best Beers of 2015. We’re in the company of a number of top-notch local breweries, as well as nationally and internationally renowned breweries. Our beer, Paradocs Red IIPA, is one of our favorites. It is brewed with a tremendous amount of passion–it’s the beer that got our brewers thinking of more than just homebrewing. The bright hoppy aromas and flavors are balanced nicely with a smooth, malty base.

All we can say is WOW! We’ve been open for barely four months, and already our beers are hitting the top of the charts! We think a lot of credit is due to everyone that has come in to try our beer and spread the word to their friends. We started our brewery as a way to share our beer with friends, and the great press we’re getting should help the cause. So thank you to everyone that has come in and enjoyed our beers. There are many more to come!