Just like our scratch kitchen, Handcrafted Hospitality extends into the brewery. Our brewmaster Rob personally designed and produces every drop of beer that we serve. We're not reinventing the wheel, or chasing the latest fad, and we don’t brew hype. We focus on the classic beers for our core offerings because these beers have stood the test of time, pair up great with our food, and are not challenging to drink. We take an honest, straightforward approach to our beer and strive only to make beers of the highest quality that you’ll love to have.
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At Crust Brewing, we start our process with high-quality ingredients. From there, we craft them into unforgettable, delicious beers. Each flavor is a unique transformation of raw ingredients to create a unique, distinct flavor. These are the staples that we have year round:
Brilliantly golden modern Pilsner. The soft malt base gives way quickly to a floral and aromatic bouquet of noble hops. Light-bodied and clean, it’s a great start to your CRUST experience. 5% alcohol by volume.
Deep copper-colored classic Lager. Solidly malty and slightly sweet with a delicious, spicy hop balance. Not just great, but really the perfect pair with any or all of our pizzas. 5.1% alcohol by volume.
Complex, mahogany-hued dark lager. A tawny, full bodied beer with subtle notes of dark chocolate and mild coffee. Rich, but not heavy, it’s the quintessential lager and your sandwich’s best friend. 5.5% alcohol by volume.
AGAINST THE GRAIN
Pale, slightly cloudy American wheat beer. Crisp, slightly fruity, refreshing, and capped off with just the right amount of bright citrus from Pacific Northwest hops. Pair it up with salads, dessert, or better yet, both. 4.8% alcohol by volume.
Deep golden American Pale Ale. Slightly fruity with a solid malt presence balanced by ample hop flavor. Taste of citrus and pine from classic American hops. 5.3% alcohol by volume.
Slightly dry Irish stout. As traditional as a stout comes, following a recipe that stands the test of time. Nitrogen charged to cascade the silky smooth texture. 4.5% alcohol by volume.
If you’re new to craft beer, don’t worry, our Brewmaster Rob isn’t. While traveling in Europe, Rob had his first beer that wasn’t brewed in Milwaukee or St Louis and noticed something right away; it was full of flavor and delicious. A few years and a brief obsession with home-brewing later, he began his brewing career at a brewery in Nashville in 1995. He’s had a lot of practice in the last 25 years or so, and kind of has this brewing thing down. Along the way he’s helped found the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, and served as president of the Milwaukee district of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.
It’s true, you can brew beer in your bathtub, but it won’t be very good. You can brew good beer in old dairy equipment, but it’s hard to do and damn near impossible to make it consistent. If you set out to make good beer, having good equipment is a great place to start, and here at Crust Brewing we have the best. Our 2,000 liter Kaspar-Schulz brewery was designed, engineered, and built by hand in Bamberg, Germany. The brewhouse can accommodate any mashing regimen from single infusion to multiple decoction, and a full suite of automated controls ensures that every batch runs strictly to plan. Digital control continues into the cellar to maintain temperatures and pressures at precise levels, and with parameters like these well under control, the brewer can focus on more qualitative tasks that demand his attention and expertise. Like tasting.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PROCESS
That honest and straightforward approach that we take to our beer leads us to use traditional methods to make it. We’re certainly not old-fashioned, but we don’t take shortcuts, either. We brew our lager beers with multiple infusion mashes, which means we mix malted barley with water and gently heat it to specific temperatures with resting periods in between. Some specialty beers get a decoction mash where we actually boil part of the mash to heat the rest of it. Takes forever, smells great, lots of fun for brewers. We ferment our beers cold and slow with an old-world yeast, and then age them for a minimum of three weeks. Again, this is not the fastest way to make beer, but the smooth flavors of beers made this way can’t be beat. And lastly, we carbonate our beers exclusively by “bunging” or closing up the tank near the end of fermentation. Carbon dioxide produced by the yeast provides the fizz naturally. You have to monitor the beer very carefully, and the timing of the bung is critical to get it right. Two breweries can brew the exact same recipe and produce two completely different beers depending on their equipment and their process. We could go on forever about what we do and why we do it, but we think you’ll get the point when you have the beer in your hand and give it a taste.