Specific gravity is a measure of the density of the beer wort (unfermented beer) compared to water. It indicates the amount of sugar present, which affects the alcohol content. Original Gravity (OG) measures the sugar content before fermentation, while Final Gravity (FG) measures it after fermentation.
Off-flavors are undesirable tastes or aromas that can develop in beer due to various factors like improper brewing techniques, contamination, or aging. Common off-flavors include skunkiness, diacetyl (buttery flavor), acetaldehyde (green apple flavor), and oxidation (stale or cardboard-like taste).
Proper pouring techniques can enhance the presentation and taste of beer. General guidelines include holding the glass at a slight angle while pouring, allowing a moderate amount of foam (head) to form, and serving the appropriate amount in the glass. Pouring methods can vary depending on the beer style.
Malting is the process of converting barley (or other grains) into malt. It involves steeping the grains in water, allowing them to germinate, and then halting the germination by drying them with hot air. This activates enzymes that convert starches into fermentable sugars, which are essential for brewing.
Beer culture encompasses the social, historical, and cultural aspects associated with beer. This includes the traditions, brewing techniques, beer festivals, and the role of beer in different societies. Exploring beer culture can be fascinating and provide insights into regional beer styles and customs.
In the heart of West Allis, Wisconsin, a new chapter in the state’s storied brewing history began to unfold over Memorial Day weekend in May 2022. Ope! Brewing Co. opened its doors, breathing new life into the former industrial space of Perfect Screw Products Corp. at 6751 W National Ave. The brewery was the brainchild of three friends and Wisconsin natives: John Onopa of Wauwatosa, Kyle Ciske of West Allis, and Adam Anders of Brookfield.
The inception of Ope! Brewing Co. can be traced back to 2018, when the trio, fueled by a shared passion for craft beer and a vision for creating a unique brewing experience, decided to embark on the journey of establishing their own brewery. The name “Ope! Brewing Co.” was chosen as a nod to the Midwestern expression of surprise, encapsulating the spirit and culture of the region in a single, exclamation-filled syllable.
Kyle Ciske, a seasoned brewmaster who honed his skills at The Explorium Brewpub in Greendale, was the catalyst for the venture. His journey into brewing began much earlier, however, with homebrewing experiments alongside Onopa, a childhood friend. Ciske’s formal education in brewing at Chicago’s Siebel Institute further solidified his path in the craft beer industry. His professional trajectory saw him join Northern Brewer, where he worked with Adam Anders, and later, both Ciske and Anders found themselves at The Explorium Brewpub, where they refined their brewing expertise.
The dream of opening their own brewery simmered for years, with ideas fermenting and a growing list of potential beer names—reaching about 300—showing the depth of their creativity and enthusiasm. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced a layer of uncertainty, challenging the trio’s plans but not their resolve.
Despite the hurdles, Ope! Brewing Co. materialized into a 12,650-square-foot facility, boasting a 15-barrel brewhouse with an impressive annual capacity of approximately 7,500 barrels. The taproom, designed to accommodate over 250 patrons, is a testament to the founders’ vision and attention to detail. A striking 20-stool bar, adorned with barley malt encased in transparent epoxy, serves as the centerpiece. Above, industrial chic chandeliers pay homage to the building’s industrial past, while green-glowing hop cone light fixtures dangle along the bar, adding to the ambiance.
Ope! Brewing Co. does not offer a traditional food menu but instead features a permanent food truck, providing patrons with a variety of culinary delights. The establishment is not just a place for beer enthusiasts; it’s a community hub complete with volleyball courts, fire pits, a bocce ball court, and a cornhole play area. The space is also welcoming to canine companions, provided they are leashed and well-mannered.
The brewery’s draft system boasts 16 lines, delivering a diverse range of beers. Customers can indulge in core beers, seasonal brews, and unique one-off creations. The selection includes IPAs, pale ales, lagers, imperials, and sours, many with pun-inspired names like “Ope Sour-y,” “Ope C-Daisy,” and “Ope Didn’t See Ya There.” Collaboration beers, crafted with other local breweries such as Third Space, G-Five, New Barons, Eagle Park, and Ciske’s alma mater, The Explorium, highlight the cooperative spirit of the craft beer community. The taproom also caters to non-beer drinkers with offerings of soda, kombucha, CBD sparkling water, and non-alcoholic beers from Untitled Art.
Ope! Brewing Co. represents more than just a place to enjoy a good beer; it is a testament to the enduring spirit of Wisconsin’s brewing heritage, a celebration of community, and a beacon of innovation in the craft beer scene. As the founders look to the future, they carry with them the legacy of Wisconsin’s brewing past, the camaraderie of the present, and the promise of new surprises—much like the exclamation “Ope!”—for years to come.
At Ope! Brewing Company we are aiming to bring you an experience you won’t get anywhere else in the Milwaukee area. We are combining great craft beer and a one of a kind facility with activities like volleyball, cornhole, bocce ball, food trucks and fire pits in a dog friendly environment, spanning across our half acre outdoor beer garden and 6,000 square foot taproom.Ope!
Pale Ale – American
Ope! ‘Scuse Me! just gonna reach past ya there and grab the ranch. This American Pale Ale doesn’t have any ranch in it but it does have Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops.
Wheat Beer – American Pale Wheat
A dry hopped wheat with Cashmere, Amarillo and EXP #09326 hops to blend in nicely with the peaches for a taste as refreshing as the wonderful community we are lucky to be a part of! Brewed in collaboration with our friends/neighbors @ Perspective Brewing Co.
Barleywine – American
This here is our American laaager don’tcha know. Crafted from only the finest of ingredients and whole lotta love. Crisp, light, and refreshing, perfect for a day on the boat fishing, or sitting on the beach.
Wheat Beer – Dunkelweizen
Sometimes you just need to go do something familiar, like going bowling. This Dunkelweiss should feel just as familiar and comforting! Drink 3 in a row for the Turkey! 🙂 Stike hard and don’t leave a spare behind!