Good City Brewing Doing Milwaukee Proud

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Tasting Risk IPA and Motto Pale Ale beer

Beer enthusiasts take great joy in finding treasures along their travels. While I love finding the unexpected, I also find a lot of pleasure in everyday-use beers. Well, and stories.

During a recent stop in Milwaukee, I stopped in an out-of-the-way bakery and grocery store and found a solid local selection. The name Good City Brewing popped out amongst the many selections (and, if you’re wondering, yes I did grab some New Glarus brews during my stop).

A fan of American ales, I decided to grab a six-pack of Good City’s Risk IPA and Motto pale ale, figuring I could potentially find some porch sippers. While there’s nothing I’d call “special” about either beer, I certainly wasn’t let down. In fact, I went through the beer so quickly that I almost forgot to hold back two for the purpose of writing this post.

The brewery is only three years old, but its roots go back to 2008 when brewery Andy Jones came to Milwaukee from Chicago’s Goose Island Brewing to join Lakefront Brewery. He would meet co-founders Dan Katt and David Dupree, who also had moved to Milwaukee, and Good City Brewing was born of a love for the city and a belief in its potential.

Motto Pale Ale is a golden, lightly hazy beer that is hop forward without being aggressive in the process. Its tropical aroma comes from the single-hopping using Mosaic, which also brings with it a piney resinous quality on the back end, but without being overly bitter. The single malt—appropriately, Pale Ale—means a clean body with no sticky sweetness. This clean quaffer is only 5.2% ABV, putting it nearly within the range of being a session beer. One doesn’t always find this kind of flavor balance in a hoppy session ale.

Risk IPA is sort of a companion beer, at least in name, to Good City’s Reward double IPA, and was the first recipe developed by the brewery’s founders. One aspect of the pair of beers I tried were that they had a similar flavor profile—that might be attributable to the use of Pale Ale malt and no others, keeping with that clean approachability. The hops here are the classic IPA hops, Simcoe and Centennial, adding a bit more piney bitterness. Added malt quantities to balance the bitterness boosts this beer to 6.5% ABV and brings forth plenty of flavor, with a bit more of an earthy grit and more of that piney bite in the beer’s moderately dry finish. Just a solid, classic American IPA, something that makes my palate happy every time.

Both beers are available year-round in cans. In addition, Good City opened a second brewery and taproom in downtown Milwaukee in early 2019; that production brewery focuses primarily on wild ales.