Andrew McCann
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Coffee, Chocolate and Beer

Milwaukee Coffee Festival returns. And Riverwest gets a new brewpub.

By - Apr 7th, 2015 04:02 pm
Company Brewing is taking over the former Stonefly space. Photo by Brian Jacobson

Company Brewing is taking over the former Stonefly space. Photo by Brian Jacobson

If you like coffee, or for that matter, tea or chocolate, the news is good.

The Milwaukee Coffee Guild’s third annual Coffee Festival is scheduled for September 19 at the Urban Ecology Center’s East Side facility in Riverside Park.

As in previous years, local roasting companies will attend to dole out samples, secrets, and information to fans of the good stuff. Last year, several local roasting companies from across Wisconsin attended the festival. Anodyne, Weeden Creek Farms, Torke, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Hawthorne Coffee, and Fiddleheads were only a few.

The festival last year wasn’t just limited to coffee, either. Other local vendors like Indulgence Chocolatiers, Urbal Tea, and Sartori Cheese also set up shop to share their products.

Attendees can participate in number of events led by industry aficionados. So far, the schedule includes presentations like “The Science of Coffee” by Stone Creek and “The Sustainability of Coffee” by Hawthorne Coffee. There will also be home roasting demos held throughout the day. More events will be announced as the festival draws nearer.

Organizer TJ Sizemore is eager to see how many attend this year’s festival. The number of java junkies jumped significantly from 500 in 2013 to 650 last year. This year he hopes to see the trend continue.

Sizemore was a barista at Starbuck’s for 10 years before earning his MBA, and was excited by the thriving coffee scene in the Cream City. He founded the Milwaukee Coffee Guild to educate and engage his fellow caffeine-aholics on the finer points of their addiction.

Sizemore also has plans underway for his own mocha-centric business, which will launch online later this year. Pendulum Coffee Store is still in the planning stages, but Sizemore has a solid vision. The store will offer up high quality gear and equipment, as well as specialty coffee beans – locally roasted at first, with plans to expand with international products after the company’s established.

Pendulum is set to launch this summer. Sizemore plans to set up a physical store soon after.

If you love coffee like we do, keep a bloodshot eye on Walker’s Point for Pendulum’s brick-and-mortar storefront. And stay tuned to the Milwaukee Coffee Festival’s official website for further details.

Company Brewing

Great companies serve great beer and great food, owner George Bregar believes, and they should always be enjoyed in great company.

His new venture, Company Brewing is soon to be Riverwest’s newest brewpub. Located out of the former Stonefly Brewing Co. space at 735 E. Center St., plans are underway for the company’s soft opening later this month. If all goes well, Company’s doors should be open to the public by the end of April.

Bregar is no stranger to beer. As Colectivo‘s former director of coffee and an experienced home brewer of beer, he helped develop several of that company’s signature brews, even going so far as to lend a few of his own recipes, according to He also helped establish the coffee company’s beer brand, Colectivo Keg Co.

Food is a different matter. That’s where Karen Bell, owner of Third War butcher shop Bavette La Boucherie comes in. Bell has agreed to work with Bregar, creating a menu for Company Brewing. The team is branching out with quality food options, straying from what you’d typically expect from a brewpub menu.

“’Quality nourishment’ is a sort of slogan we’ve been using,” Bregar told “It’s really about serving the kind of food that’s genuinely good to eat.”

That’s not to say the menu’s no fun. Bell is a butcher, after all. There are fewer deep-fried options, she says, and you won’t see as many sandwiches, but you will have a range of quality choices, like sausage, steak, and cod. Charcuterie and bar snacks are par for the course as starters and appetizers.

For more details, follow Company Brewing on Facebook.

Beer Co-Lab Offers Series of Dinners

Speaking of Milwaukee’s favorite brew, a collaborative beer-dinner series with top Milwaukee chefs is launching this month: Beer Co-Lab. As the Journal Sentinel reports, the inaugural dinner will be April 13, featuring beer by Like Minds and Central Waters brewing companies, and will be held at the Iron Horse Hotel at 500 W. Florida St.

The lineup of chefs for the dinner will include Justin Carlisle of ArdentJoe Muench of Story Hill BKC, Justin Aprahamian of Sanford and Bradford Shovlin of Smyth.

Each chef will prepare a course paired with his assigned beer. Carlise will handle the first course: fluke, shiso and buttermilk; Muench will do the second course: grilled belly-wrapped loin, leg confit, giblet crepinette, pea cassoulet, fried grits and smoked citrus emulsion; Abrahamian’s third course will be lacquered wild salmon, cured salmon and mustard green agnolotti, and apple-mustard green puree; Shovlin’s fourth course will be saba, soubise and wheat; and he will also do the dessert, a churro with ginger, malt and caramel.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with cocktails; dinner follows at 7 p.m. It’s $95. Call (414) 831-4615 to reserve seats.

The Beer Co-Lab will be held quarterly, and the next dinner will be at Story Hill BKC on June 8.

Now Closing


The West Side small-plates restaurant has closed, according to Carol Deptolla of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The intimate, artsy restaurant – formerly Café Perrin – opened last August. Owners Tesa Santoro and Joe Schulte told the Journal Sentinel a number of factors led to the restaurant closing its doors, including road construction and issues balancing the couple’s separate catering business.

Following Chef Christian Schroeder’s resignation, the restaurant hasn’t been open since last Thursday. Schroeder served as the chef at Von Trier’s before the East Side tavern closed its kitchen. His small plates at Nourri helped earned the restaurant a spot on the Journal Sentinel’s list of top new restaurants of 2014.

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