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When I first heard of the beer Wisco Disco, I wondered, do I need boogie shoes to drink this beer? I thought it was a joke.
And then I tasted it. The joke was on me. Again.
Brewer Brad Stillmank calls his Wisco Disco a “Refreshing Handcrafted Wisconsin Ale,” or that is the description on the pint cans.
It has been described as an amber ale, but in the 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championships Wisco Disco took a gold medal in the English special bitter category. It also took a bronze last year at the Great American Beer Festival.
All of that is huge for a small Green Bay brewery that just recently moved into its own space, complete with taproom that opened last October.
Wisco Disco is an excellent session beer. Milk sugar – or lactose – is one of the ingredients. Usually you only see that used in milk stout. It may be the reason for the softness on the palate that makes this such a drinkable beer.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a beer dinner featuring Stillmank’s beer, and attended by Stillmank and his wife, Erin. The event was held at a Mexican restaurant. Attendees could choose two of four entrees, each one of which was paired with one of Stillmank’s beers.
I chose chicken enchiladas in mole paired with Stillmank’s Perky Porter, which just took a gold medal at the 2015 World Beer Championships, and fish tostados with his IPA called Super Kind (in Hawaii, where the term originated, that would read Super Kine, but Stillmank is, after all, in Green Bay, where pidgin is probably rarely spoken).
The enchiladas were smoky, spicy and slightly sweet. Perky Porter was perfect with those flavors, as if they were meant to be. Ditto the fish tostados and Super Kind, but in an entirely different way. It really was a beautiful sensory experience.
For dessert we all had rich chocolate cake topped with a sauce made with Perky Porter, and washed it down with Perky Porter, which includes locally roasted coffee as one of the ingredients. Again, this was a match made in heaven, but both Stillmank and I agreed that while the chocolate cake and Perky Porter was good, the Perky Porter and mole/enchiladas was great.
I also sampled his Bee’s Knees, a honey rye ale. Loved it. It’s his lightest beer, yet it has a depth of flavor you wouldn’t expect from a lighter entry. That’s both the honey and spicy rye weighing in with their deep characters.
As a result of this, I look forward to making a rare visit to Green Bay for his limited spring release Bock of the Future (why not Bock to the Future?). The website says it is a Maibock – one of my favorite styles. It will be Stillmank’s first lager.
I think you will be hearing more about Stillmank Brewing Co.