A few weeks ago Three Cellars liquor store in Franklin featured the southeastern Wisconsin release of Oso Brewery’s beer lineup at their Thursday Brewery night. Marc Buttera, co-owner and brewer at Oso Brewery was pouring samples of a lot of their beers. Oso Brewing is located in Plover, Wisconsin which is near Stevens Point. Its one of Wisconsin’s newest microbreweries and adds to an already impressive list of Wisconsin microbreweries (Tyranena, Sand Creek, Lake Louie, etc), located in small cities.
The Big O seems to be what will become their flagship beer. Its described as a refreshing light colored cloudy beer that showcases a brilliant malt presence touched off with a balanced subtle hop finish. Translation: its an easy drinking beer that should please fans of Spotted Cow, the current king of the gateway brews in Wisconsin. While its not really something I would typically drink, I liked this beer and could see it being a nice beer to order when you are out with a large group because it has universal appeal. Its not watered down like most macro-brews, but its not as bold as many microbrews.
Being a hop-head I then went right for the Hopdinger, which the brewery describes as “a pale ale that is generously hopped yet balanced through the use of Munich and Crystal malts. Hops added after fermentation gives this American classic an intense aromatic bouquet.” It was interesting talking a bit to the brewmaster about how the hop shortage has limited the hops they can even get their hands on and how it impacts their brewing. He said that they just kind of work with what they can get. I would assume this means the Hop Dinger you drink today may not be the same one you drink next spring. While most brewers strive for consistency, I think this is an awesome approach. Its like a chef cooking with what is seasonal and available at any given time. This beer was decent but not as in-your-face as I like with my pale ales.
One beer that really intrigued me was the Summer Storm, which is a seasonal beer described as a Belgian style wheat. This beer was very refreshing and I was really surprised at the interesting hop profile. It was subtle with a hint of grassy notes. The Belgian-Pale was pretty good and was right up my alley as I love both Belgian beers and pale ales.
I really enjoyed the Lupulin Maximus. Imperial IPAs are all the rage these days with all of these breweries trying to outdo each other and I think its great. I love Imperial IPAs and this one is no exception. It was very strong and you could feel the warming effect of the higher alcohol (9%) content. It was nice and hoppy too and like most Imperial IPAs, its sold in large 22 oz bottles.
The one that really blew me away was Night Train. I am actually sipping one as I type this. Its a porter with lots and lots of malts. According to the brewmaster he was inspired by Great Danes spectacular Black Earth Porter. I think this one might be better. It is one of the best porters I have tried. I think its the mixture of all the malts with the darker chocolate malts giving the beer depth and color and the lighter malts balancing out the flavors.
For a relatively new brewery I think they are doing a good job. Some of the beers could use further tinkering and refinement while some, especially the Night Train, are perfect already. Its always great to see another microbrewery open up in Wisconsin and I think that Oso should find a nice customer base with all of the microbrew fans in Wisconsin. Pick up some of their beers at Three Cellars, located at 6955 S. 27th Street in Franklin (in front of Lowe’s). They offer mix and match of more microbrews than you can imagine so you don’t even have to commit to a six pack of Oso beers.
Oso Brewing is located at 1812 Post Road in Plover WI, 54467. Phone: 715 254-2163 Website: http://www.osobrewing.com/Home.php