New brewpub suits Riverwest

Christina Pfenning Craig, Contributing writer

Black Husky Brewing is easy to spot at the corner of East Locust and North Bremen streets in Riverwest. Just look for the mural of a black-and-white husky howling at the moon.

The new beer bar and tasting room is owned by Tim and Toni Eichinger, who named the space after their late husky Howler.

A few years ago, Toni bought Tim a home brewing kit and he became obsessed with the art. Things developed quickly.

“We started out very small, brewing 15 gallons at a time up in Pembine (an hour and a half north of Green Bay),” Tim Eichinger says. “We both kept our full-time jobs at the time, because we had no idea what to expect from the beer-brewing business.

“We did beer festivals in Eagle River and Minocqua and we realized that most of the attendees were vacationers from the Milwaukee area. We decided to bring a few bottles and kegs down to the Brew City and the beer went over really well. Once we decided to relocate here, things moved very quickly — we first set eyes on this building in June of 2015 and now here we are.”

The centerpiece of the Black Husky tasting room is a bar that Tim Eichinger handcrafted using logs from Wisconsin’s Northwoods. You won’t find an overwhelming number of taps behind that bar or a wall with flat-screen TVs. The Eichingers want to keep things simple, even when it comes to the number of offerings.

“We will only have between 8 to 12 of our beers on tap at a given time,” Tim Eichinger says. He plans to serve his pale ale and Sproose Double IPA year-round, but he’ll also serve one-off small-batch beers, including seasonal offerings.

Growlers will be available so customers can take the brews home with them.

And they will: Black Husky’s beers are good.Black Husky Brewing

The Sproose Double IPA, brewed with locally harvested spruce tips, is quite refreshing. The hint of spruce settles nicely on the taste buds without being overpowering. The Chocolate Milk Stout is delectable, even on a warm summer evening on Black Husky’s patio. It’s the perfect pour to savor around the fire pit that’s planned for the bar’s outdoor space.

Toni Eichinger concedes that while the couple certainly knows beer, food isn’t in their wheelhouse.

“We’ll let the neighborhood restaurants handle the food,” she says. “People are welcome to carry in and we’ll have a bunch of menus on hand, but we want to support local dining establishments.”

The Eichingers stress that Black Husky is a casual, family-friendly establishment. A sandbox is slated for a corner of the outdoor patio. Inside, parents will be able to sip their Deck Dog German Pilsner while the kids play with games and toys.

“We’re pretty low key,” says Toni Eichinger. “We want this to be a place where you can enjoy a beer while sitting and talking with friends.”

Milwaukee owes a pint to Toni Eichinger for the gift of that home brewing kit. Prosit!

THE QUICK BITE

Name: Black Husky Brewing.

What: Beer bar and tasting room

Address: 909 E. Locust St., Milwaukee

Menu samples: Pilsners, pale ales, stouts, seasonal brews and imperial beers

Bite-size review: It’s a relaxed neighborhood spot to sip good beer with good friends.