Hinterland Brewery Restaurant

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Hinterland Brewery RestaurantHinterland Brewery Restaurant
Very Good
19 Ratings
Hinterland Brewery RestaurantHinterland Brewery Restaurant

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

222 E Erie St
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202-6036
United States

(414) 727-9300 | map

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Added by Winter on 11-15-2007

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of Zenboy99
4/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Photo of bowzer4birdie
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.48/5  rDev +17%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Great food. Outstanding service. The back bar is a more casual atmosphere. There were five Hinterland beers on tap and, much to my surprise, three guest taps to include a sour. Well done.

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Photo of RJB66
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Great beer selection; food is rather pricey. I would go back just for the beer.

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Photo of pat61
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Two years ago I would have rated this in the high 80s to low 90s but a couple of weeks ago went there and the menu has been tamed down - much less interesting. The beer is very good but last time had an unchewable wood-fired grilled sirloin chunk with the consistency of shoe leather.

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Photo of GrantPost
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere, while good and friendly people, was not at all what I was expecting and not what I expect when I hear "brewery." It high end... food, wine, patrons. I strolled in wearing jeans and a collared shirt and felt underdressed. Most everyone was in sport coats, dress slacks, dresses. It's more of a restaurant than a brewery-restaurant.

That being said, quality of food is great, quality of beer is mediocre. The selection of beer is minimal and I was a bit disappointed when the bartender went to the fridge and cracked a bottle for one of the beers I ordered. This was not described on the menu and I assumed it would be tap.

I had the scallops and they were great. Most of the selections on the menu sounded excellent, though my tab for dinner and two drinks exceeded $50 for just myself.

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Photo of kvnklingler
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DCdevyl78
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5


Blew through here a few months ago on a Monday night and practically had the place to ourselves.

The beer scene has been pretty well covered in other reviews - this is NOT a beer destination. This is a fantastic restaurant with a fair amount of hinterland beer that you can also find in other bars.

decor is trendy but not overdone - very relaxed atmosphere which was a pleasant sight in the third ward which often seems to be trying too hard.

luckily i was working with an expense account, as a nice dinner for 2 came out to about $170 with wine. the elk loin was fantastic and there were loads of seasonal wild mushrooms on the menu. The chef was one of 2 in MKE (and 5 in the state) nominated for a James Beard award.

not really BA worthy, but since its here, have to tout the menu

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Had a great experience here over the weekend, thanks to BeerFMAndy and Mike for hosting.

Yes, this is a higher-end "gastropub" restaurant, serving house beers not currently available at other bars in Milwaukee to my knowledge.

Atmosphere was very nice, if you don't know what to expect it might throw you off, but it was refreshing to see an upscale place offering their own beers. The interior design was really something, exposed timber rafters, large framed art, reclaimed wood chandeliers, dark tones, overall a contemporary, minimalist vibe.

Bar up front, dining area up the stairs, and a hidden lounge in the back with a second bar. We sat in the back lounge and had a few beers and small plates. Service was excellent and friendly, though friends have complained of dining room service issues in the past.

House beers were varied styles, there were around 6 available including Oktoberfest and Winterland, an American Porter spiced with juniper berries.

The chorizo taco and garlic pork sausage I tried were very tasty and affordable. Loved the taco, the cabbage contrasted nicely with the chorizo spice/heat. Entrees can be pricey, if you eat here it's more of a nice date place.

Overall a unique place in Milwaukee, maybe not suited for everyone, but offering quality beers and cuisine in an upscale setting. Thanks again to Andy for the tip on this place.

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Photo of bound4er
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

After seeing more of Hinterland's beers at the local bottle shops I visit, I decided to hit their brewpub in DT Milwaukee to check things out. We arrived at 6:15 on a Friday night and the place was empty. The bartender informed us that they had buy-one-get-one-free New Belgium Ranger and New Belgium Skinny Dips until 7:00 along with $4 margaritas. I opted for a Ranger and my wife got a margarita. They also had New Glarus Enigma and CW Illumination in bottles along with 6 or 7 tappers with Hinterland brews. The Ranger and margarita were quite tasty.

We then decided to order from the bar menu and opted for a burger and fries along with a beet salad. The burger was pretty pedestrian as was the salad. Time for another Ranger but the bartender informed me they were out of Ranger and then did something really cool and gave me a bottle of Illumination instead - kudos to him.

The atmosphere was nice - trendy without being overdone although the bar stools need to be replaced with something more comfortable. When we left around 8:00 the place had attracted a few more people - maybe 1/3 of the tables were full. Overall not a bad stop but nothing I am dying to revisit.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Plopped smack in the Third Ward area of Milwaukee, the artsy, trendy atmosphere of Hinterland makes complete sense. It also fits the style of design that Hinterland has going on so far; simple and clean, something I love.

Once I found the place with subtle signage and parked across the street, I made my way inside this location to find the atmosphere to be incredibly earthy. Cases of beer sit by the front door basked in light. Probably not the best place for them. In fact, the absolute worst place for them. The whole front of the building faced south and was almost all glass allowing for the place to be bathed in natural light. The bar faces outside and runs along the front of the building to the left of stairs that take you up to a dining area.

Exposed brick on the walls and wood ceilings with exposed duct-work make it totally earthy and natural. If that weren't enough, neutral, dark, earthy paint tones match the decor with baskets of bundled wood, wood stumps for small tables in front of chairs around the bar, and dried trees which really drives the earthy feel home. Wicker chairs lined up as bar stools along the length of the bar and this was really one of my only complaints. These were uncomfortable as all hell. No back support, no leg support, no cushion. My legs dug into these things and made me wonder why I was sitting at all. If you've got seats like this, you obviously don't want patrons around very long.

Moving on, I went on a Monday for the Pho which I haven't had in a long time and love. For $5, you can't beat it. Only four other people where in the whole place. It was slooow. Being the case, the service was good. The bartender was nice and helped me out all she could, especially with the Pho and finding me extra chili sauce. Good Pho for sure, the beef was delish. (Next time I'll be going for Taco Tuesday!)

The beer was fresh as can be and tasted great. The tap list was good for what Hinterland offered and prices were right on par with what I expected. They also had a Fat Tire guest tap. I saw Pabst, Bud/Bud Light, New Glarus Enigma, Central Waters Illumination, New Belgium Ranger IPA, Skinny Dip, and Clasthauler non-alcoholic. Middle of Milwaukee and they serve Bud but no Miller? Hmm. Also, I found the level of beer options compared to the veritable wine cellar they had disturbing. For a place based on a brewery, you think beer would come first...then again, with location in mind, it makes sense.

This would also explain the appearance of all the clientele as well as the constant indie music on the speakers playing moderately quite as to not disturb conversation.

Lastly and most importantly, the reason my review of "quality" is at 4 and not 4.5, the glassware. I was served a Whiteout DIPA in a snifter. The glass was clean. My next beer was their Pub Draught which was served on nitro tap. This came in a stange-like pint and was INSANELY dirty. You know when carbonation clings to the inside of a glass, it's because of dirt molecules catching the carbonation? Well, this glass didn't just have a few spots, the beer was almost impossible to see because the whole glass was covered in carbonation-cling. Disgusting. I don't know how the glassware is washed, but much better care should be taken to avoid this striking problem. It wasn't just that beer either, my nitro-tap Java was the same way.

I like the location but either the bartender just didn't care that day or a change in procedure for the glassware cleaning needs to be taken. Regardless, I really liked their brews and I'll be back for more as well as the Taco Tuesday, $2 tacos!

EDIT. Having been to this location plenty of times now, I feel compelled to up my scores without rewriting the whole deal. There are some awesome bartenders here and certainly an awesome manager and bar manager. They've been outstanding. I've tried more food and while most of it isn't really my style, I've pretty much loved everything I've had. The chorizo tacos are to die for.

Initial review was a B+ 4.5, 4, 4, 3.5, 4.

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Photo of botham
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Finally, a place in Milwaukee with fresh beer that also offers high quality food placed in modern surroundings. This is not a typical brewpub (or satellite brewpub) when compared to most others (especially in Milwaukee), but it does accomplish the rare feat of providing house brews with upscale dining offerings (for Chicagoans, think The Publican).

Atmosphere is a clever mix of old warehouse meets a bit of a northwoods lodge, all while remaining contemporary and modern. The bar faces away from the front windows, behind which is the dining room a half level up. the bar area is lit very well during the day, with laid back and relaxing conditions. Too bad the brews weren't the best.

Quality and service were good. No complaints here, except for the fact that the brews are not actually brewed on premise; they are driven down to Milwaukee from the Green Bay brewpub weekly by the owner.

Selection is a bit weak. Only standard offerings for an American brewpub, including a Vienna Lager, Pale Ale, Scotch Ale, Amber, and Stout. The tap list could use some rounding out, but there is an extensive wine list for those who go both ways. The brews themselves were standard as far as quality goes. The Pale Ale on nitro-tap was probably the best offering, with the Scotch Ale (really a rauchbier, quite smokey) close behind. The Barrel Aged Stout was probably the worst offering.

Food was solid. Very well crafted and well priced for what one gets (though when compared to the typical beer bar or brewpub, it is a bit more expensive). This BA had the Smoked Duck Ravioli, which was smothered in a kalamata sauce; very good.

Overall, this is the kind of place that will get low marks around these parts simply because it will be seen as 'trendy' and 'foo foo', but for those looking for high quality dining options and a fresh beer list as well as an extensive wine list, this is a great place to check out in Milwaukee.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5

Stopped in here last night. First off not a brew pub by definition in my book. The place is more high class foo foo restaurant with a bar then anything.

It's super dark which made it rather hard to read the menu. Once we made our selections we were less then impressed. We tried four different beers and all were average at best. The bourban stout was about the best of the four though.

The bartender was helpful but rather useless when it came to beer knowledge.

They only offer seven beers on tap and a handful of bottles. So no real wow factor there either.

We didn't try the food but the menu was mostly high priced gourmet selections.

Not exactly my kind of place when looking for a brew pub. I will most likely pass on this place for now on.

EDIT: Revisited and tried the food plus a few more beers and must say I have to bump my scores a bit. This place is starting to impress me.

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Photo of veggiecore
2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

Hinterland was overall the most disappointing of the brewpubs I hit during my recent "beer extravaganza" weekend trip to Milwaukee. It wasn't all bad, but I have no intention of returning to this "brewpub." Green Bay Brewing makes all their beers and nothing is made on site, although we were told they will start brewing small batches on premises soon.

Upon entering the establishment, there was a hostess station to the right, a long bar section along the front windows to the left, and straight-ahead a short staircase leading up to the dining area. High ceilngs with sort of a modern minimalist decor offered a cold, uninviting feel, but through the use of dark woods and plants for warmth the overall atmosphere seemed to be balanced nicely.

I was there for the beer only, so I parked myself at the end of the long bar. My friend and I were the only patrons in the whole place, yet we still had to wait for service. After several minutes I was halfway tempted to just walk out, just when the barkeep finally approached us. We asked what beers he had on tap and he gave us a menu to look over. There were 6 beers listed. A sampler of 3 small 4oz. glasses of our choice for $5 was the only option aside from full glasses. They only had 4 beers on the menu that looked appealing, but when we ordered a flight of our preferred 3, the bartender just gave us samples of every beer on the menu, plus one from a tap in back (something not on the menu just yet). No extra charge, which made up for the initial cold shoulder when we first walked in.

The scottish ale was described to have a smoky background, but to me it seemed to be a straight-up rauchbier or smoked beer. The barkeep warned us that it tasted like a slab of barbeque ribs. Sure enough, it did. I can't imagine that's a hot seller. As for the rest of the beers, the honey wheat was light on body and taste; the pub draught was creamy and smooth and filling with rich flavor, much better than Boddingtons in my opinion; the stout and amber were not memorable to me at all, but the pale ale was by far their best beer. No complexities, just true to form of an American Pale. Overall impression of the beers? I'd place them below average.

I got a growler of the Pale Ale to go. For those who care, the growler was clear and the screened label flaked off in the car before we got home. Never had that happen before. Our bill for the one $5 flight and the growler came to just over $25. Most expensive standard growler I've bought (aside from the fancy ones with the flip tops and cast handles that some places sell). I'm thinking those extra "free" samplers the barkeep gave us somehow found their way into the price of the growler. Figures...

As for food, we never tried it, simply because we couldn't afford to.

All in all, it's like I said, I have no plans of ever returning. I do encourage you to stop by though if your a curious beer-tourist. Maybe you'll have better luck or maybe you've just always wanted to know what's it like to drink a cold slab of ribs. Bottoms up!

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Photo of ronhocker
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I think this is a relatively new place in the 3rd ward, because you just can't have too many uber-trendy places in the 3rd ward.

Our evening started out with the waiter asking us if we would like to try a glass or merlot or some type of trendy cocktail to begin. Since I had come here because it was associated with beer, I asked, can't I get a beer, don't you make your own (at another location)? The waiter then responded he was in charge of wine, not beer. Service ended up being poor overall. Waiter forgot on at least two occasions to bring us something he said he would...This was primarily due to the fact that a table of 3 late twenties single tall blonde women were also at his service, and this is where he spent 90% of his time. I think the table of women even ordered a beer sampler after they had finished their merlot.

I tried the barrel-aged IPA, and I agree with the other reviewer, any hoppiness was masked by the whiskey flavors. I would have called it a barleywine. Also tried a cream ale similar to boddington's served on nitro, was pretty good.

Food was well presented, typically the styles I prefer, fusion type cuisine, although price was up there. I think three of us dined and had 1.67 beers each, and two people had dessert... bill totaled $160+ (and two of us ate vegetarian).

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I think my taste in beer establishments is changing; more and more I look for "beer culture" more than a big selection of taps. I didn't find Hinterland to really have either. Unless you looked carefully, you would not guess that there were specially brewed beers in this place. Fairly trendy decor, pricey nouveau cuisine (Kobe beef mini-burgers, sushi, etc), prominent wine displays, and no prominent displays of beer . There were only a few mainstream bottles evident in the cooler behind the bar, and the 6 tap handles serving Hinterland-brewed beer were small, unlabeled, and partially concealed. Although this place serves beer brewed at their Green Bay location, it is hardly a celebration of beer. I enjoyed the Luna Stout I tried, but I'm not very likely to return here.

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Photo of Flyer
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

Green Bay "gastropub" how has a second location in Milwaukee's Third Ward. I liked the place, but it does walk the line between "discerning" and "trendy." Lots of exposed brick and wooden beams, typical of sophisticated but (generally) unpretentious places. And yet it did border on the pretentious, possibly because of the trendoid-oriented menu, more likely because the music on my visit was decidedly loungey. The house-brewed beers are brought down from Green Bay. The three I tried were all more interesting than good -- but that's good, because I do like to experiment. The barrel-aged IPA was overly-whiskeyish -- not necessarily a bad thing, but I could barely detect the hops underneath all that. Similar reaction to the two others -- distinctive, intriguing, but still flawed. I will try this again, probably more than once, because there's a spirit of experimentation here, but with so many other great beer bars in Milwaukee (Romans, Comet, Nessun Dorma, Palm Tavern) Hinterland probably won't be a priority. (And they only had four guest beers, of which Pilsner Urquel was the only top quality entry.)

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Hinterland Brewery Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI
Place rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 19 ratings