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 2018, Lane Smith along with his wife Sherry, the visionary founders of Sunshine Brewing Company, embarked on a journey to bring a unique fusion of flavors to Lake Mills. With a passion for Belgian-inspired beers and a love for Southern California-style Mexican cuisine, Lane Smith opened the doors to Sunshine Brewing Company, marking the beginning of an exciting culinary adventure.
Lane, a devoted fan of Belgian beers, made a life-changing decision when he relocated from San Diego to Wisconsin in 2006. At the time, Lane was the owner of a successful national business-to-business company, but he yearned for something more local and meaningful that would allow him to involve his children in his ventures. When he eventually sold his business, he seized the opportunity to embark on a new adventure—a brewery that would not only showcase his passion for Belgian beers but also bring a touch of the sunny San Diego spirit to the people of Wisconsin.
Lane’s vision was clear: driven by a desire to showcase the artistry of Belgian brewing traditions, Lane carefully crafted a lineup of beers that pay homage to the rich history and diverse range of flavors found in Belgian brewing. From aromatic and complex Belgian ales to refreshing and crisp farmhouse-style beers, Sunshine’s offerings transport beer enthusiasts to the cobblestone streets of Belgium, where centuries of brewing expertise have flourished.
But Lane didn’t stop there. Recognizing the harmonious marriage between Southern California’s vibrant culinary scene and Mexican cuisine, he sought to create a unique gastronomic experience at Sunshine. Drawing inspiration from the bold and vibrant flavors found in Southern California’s Mexican street food, Smith curated a menu that seamlessly integrates the freshness of locally sourced ingredients with the comforting familiarity of beloved Mexican classics.
Initially they had planned to name the brewpub “Houblon,” the French word for hops. However, recognizing the limited knowledge of French in the area, they settled on the name of Sunshine Brewing, served as a homage to the Smith’s roots in San Diego, where sunny weather and a laid-back lifestyle were emblematic of the city. By bringing a little “Sunshine” to Wisconsin, they sought to evoke that same sense of joy, warmth, and enthusiasm among beer enthusiasts in the region.
In pursuit of their dream, Lane enrolled in the craft brewing certification course at Madison College, taught by the knowledgeable Madison Beer Brain, Joe Walts of Ale Asylum. This course provided Lane with the skills and knowledge needed to create exceptional beers.
When it came to finding a location for their taproom and brewhouse, the Smiths stumbled upon a building that had been vacant for decades. However, its history and unique features captured their imagination. The original Cream City building was used as cold storage in the late 1800’s. It boasted 16-inch-thick brick walls, which had once served as protection for ice harvested from the Rock Lake and brought into the back door for the Knickerbocker Ice Co.
To bring their beers to the market while working on establishing a taproom and brewhouse, Lane began contract brewing at Madison’s now-defunct House of Brews. This strategic move allowed them to introduce their brews to the public and build a loyal customer base. It was during this time that Lane honed his brewing skills, refining his techniques, and experimenting with different flavors.
At the heart of Sunshine’s operation lies its lively taproom, which provides beer enthusiasts with an immersive and enjoyable experience. Divided into two distinct areas, the taproom combines the charm of a small bar and seating area in the front with a larger space at the back that houses tables, games, and hosts various events. This setup allows patrons to witness the brewing equipment and processes firsthand, enveloped in the enticing aromas that permeate the space.
When entering the taproom, visitors are greeted by a cozy bar and seating area in the front. Here, they can engage in lively conversations with fellow beer lovers or simply sit back and relish the company of friends while sipping on Sunshine’s exceptional beers. Guests are also treated to more than just a great beer. Sherry, being an artist, lends her creative touch to the space by adorning the walls with her vibrant paintings. This artistic touch adds to the welcoming and aesthetically pleasing ambiance of the taproom, creating a space where visitors can not only savor Lane’s meticulously brewed Belgian-style beers but also appreciate the beauty of the surroundings
However, the taproom’s offerings extend beyond Sunshine’s own creations. Recognizing the value of collaboration and the diverse range of craft beers available, the brewery also features several guest taps from other esteemed craft breweries across Wisconsin. On occasion, they may even showcase beers from neighboring states, adding an element of surprise and novelty to the taproom’s selection. This collaborative approach not only supports fellow brewers but also allows visitors to explore an array of flavors and styles beyond Sunshine’s repertoire.
In addition to serving as a gathering place for beer enthusiasts, the taproom serves as a hub for various events and activities. With its spacious layout, the back area of the taproom provides ample room for tables, games, and hosting a wide range of events. Whether it’s trivia nights, live music performances, or educational brewery tours, Sunshine’s taproom becomes a vibrant and versatile space where patrons can engage in a multitude of experiences centered on their shared love for craft beer.
Sunshine is a nano-brewery where their 3 barrel system allows them to have new, fresh beer every week, brewed on site.
Located in the heart of downtown Lake Mills, Sunshine Brewing Company is a must-visit for beer lovers and foodies alike. Our brewery offers a wide variety of handcrafted beers, including a range of delicious Belgian-inspired brews. But we're not just a brewery - we also serve up mouth-watering Mexican cuisine that pairs perfectly with our beers. Whether you're looking for a casual night out with friends or a cozy spot for a date, Sunshine Brewing Company's warm and inviting atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for any occasion. Come visit us and experience the best of beer and food!Sunshine Brewing
Lightly fruity notes in aroma and tase as well as a pleasant hoppy bitterness.
Wheat Beer – Hefeweizen
Light and effervescent with notes of clove and banana.
Brown Ale – Belgian
Roasty and malty with notes of coffee and a solid hop bite.
IPA – American
Strong dose of piney hops balanced out with strong malt backbone and a hint of toffee.
Bitter – Extra Special / Strong (ESB)
Perfect balance between malts and hops. Not too bitter not too malty…
Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel – 14% ABV – Creamy Caramel notes with a bit of heat from the alcohol.
Farmhouse Ale – Saison
Notes of cherries and chocolate with a dry finish.