no. 369

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I skipped the line at Good City Brewing’s second annual Density Day, a bottle release and celebration in honor of their eponymously named Barrel-Aged Stout. When I arrived just before 9:30 a.m., the line was already snaking throughout the building. By the time the 10:00 a.m. public release started, the line had wrapped around the inside and outside of the building.

“I’m with the band!” I yelled at some disgruntled front-of-liners, as I walked through the unlocked door. It was a half-truth. Some of my agency's coworkers were inside (I designed Good City's website), setting up to film the event.

It’s no secret that Milwaukee loves its beer, and that beer culture is part of everyday life here. You can’t attend an event in this town that isn’t sponsored by a brewery. Every party—baby showers and first birthdays included—features a cooler of local brews.

What is new is the shift from old guard to small breweries—lines beginning to appear at brewery doors, and excitement around the dozen or so new spots, like Good City, that have opened in the past few years. It’s a welcome change to the culture, a culture that probably needed a fire lit under it, if we're being perfectly honest.

“The first people here set up chairs at 6:30,” owner Dan Katt tells me as I greet him inside.

“You’ll know you’ve made it when they’re here next year in tents,” I joked.

But that wasn't much of a joke at all. Hopefully I can skip the line next year, too.