Perfect for Festive-Cocktail Making or Sipping Fireside, North Wisconsin Chocolate Brandy Debuts Today Just in Time for Holiday Merriment & Gift Giving

North Brandy Chocolate - Flannel Series

There’s something new to crave this holiday season as our newest addition in the Flannel Series arrives today: North Wisconsin Chocolate brandy, a decadent combination of North Wisconsin brandy and dark chocolate.

 

“Our new Chocolate brandy is a ‘must try’ this season as almost a pound of dark chocolate is infused into each bottle,” said distillery Cofounder Evan Hughes. “The result is a rich, flavorful and festive brandy with hints of dry cherry, vanilla and, of course, chocolate. It tastes like the holidays in a bottle.“

 

To help make the season bright, mixologists from the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen created eight all-new cocktail recipes featuring the new North Wisconsin Chocolate Flannel Series brandy. The easy-to-make-at home recipes can be found at thecentralstandard.com/flannel-series .

 

Cocktail recipe highlights include the “Nostalgic Nightcap” (North Wisconsin Chocolate brandy, Irish cream, and half & half on the rocks); Chocolate Snap (North Wisconsin Chocolate brandy, ginger beer and an orange twist in a Collins glass); and The Zoolander (North Wisconsin Chocolate brandy, Triple Sec, simple syrup, and Central Standard Daily Grind Coffee Vodka on the rocks or as a martini).

 

“No matter folks’ level of behind-the-bar experience, our North Wisconsin Chocolate brandy and these new recipes makes whipping up festive cocktails easy,” said Central Standard Cofounder Pat McQuillan. “Our new chocolate brandy is also the perfect bottle to gift the host of your next holiday gathering or place under the tree for that someone special.”

 

The new North Wisconsin Flannel Series Chocolate brandy sells in 750ml bottles and is priced between $29.99 and $34.99. Only a limited number of bottles are being released.

 

“And, when we’re sold out, we’re sold out, no matter if it’s next Tuesday or the week before Christmas,” Hughes added. “This year, we say skip the pie and start a new tradition when you gather with friends and family by enjoying a cocktail with our new Chocolate brandy after your big holiday meal instead.”

Inaugural Brandy Old Fashioned Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

Brandy Old Fashioned

Creator of the World’s Largest Old Fashioned; a Former Wisconsinite Who Treks Home for Her Favorite Cocktail & a 90-Year-Old Grandpa, Who Died Before Today’s Announcement, Among the 2022 Honorees

Today we unveil the inductees into the first-ever Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame. In all, we received 90-plus nominations from all corners of Wisconsin and from as far away as Colorado and Missouri.

Nominating stories included cocktail recipes passed down over multiple generations, fathers famed for home-muddled cherries, and even former residents who now travel back to the Badger state to enjoy a true bourbon-less Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail.

“We were floored by the sheer number of nominations and the quality of their stories,” McQuillan said. “Reviewing the submissions reminded all of us of the passion and love that everyday Wisconsinites and folks from across the country have for our state’s favorite cocktail.”

The 2022 Slate of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees includes:

Anthony Berg
Tony Berg (from Milwaukee) who received 12 nominations. In one, his brother Nick noted “While ice fishing on Round Lake, Tony created possibly the world’s largest Brandy Old Fashioned.”

Charlotte Berndt
Charlotte Berndt (from Raymore, Mo.) was nominated by her daughter Lisa Macy, who said “The bane of her existence is that she can’t get a Brandy Old Fashioned sweet worth anything outside of Wisconsin. She now lives in Missouri and comes back often to Wisconsin to get a decent cocktail.”

Karl Klatt
Karl Klatt (from Madison) was nominated by his wife, who wrote “To say my husband is passionate about Old Fashioneds is an understatement. He muddles his $20 cherries and puts his heart into it. For Karl, the Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned is a lifestyle.”

Tim Vetz
Tim Vertz (from Milwaukee) was nominated by seven including his wife, Joy, who wrote “Tim won as the top amateur for his Brandy Old-Fashioned at the 2016 State Fair and turned this talent into fundraising for Wisconsin nonprofits, raising over $75,000 in the past 10 years.”

David Lardinois
David Lardinois (from Pewaukee, Wisc.) received 11 nominations, including one from his daughter, Linda Reis, who wrote “Since the 1970’s, my dad has been known for his Old Fashioneds. They were a must on ski trips, while boating and during holidays. He even created his own labels for his mix.”

Eugene Kasprzak
And, finally 90-year-old Eugene Kasprzak (from Sussex, Wisc.). Nicknamed “Old Fashioned,” Eugene was nominated by his granddaughter Jessica Kasprzak. In her nomination, she wrote “My biggest memory of my grandfather will always be his love of Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioneds.” Sadly, Eugene passed away after he was nominated and two weeks before today’s announcement.

Fame, Free Brandy & So Much More
Each inductee will receive a year’s supply of Central Standard’s North Wisconsin brandy; a custom bottle of North Wisconsin brandy with their photo on it; lifetime VIP status at the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen at 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee; and their name displayed in the Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame, which is housed at the Crafthouse & Kitchen.

The Road to the Hall of Fame
Starting September 1 as part of Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month, Hughes and McQuillan began asking folks from across the state and country to nominate individuals deserving of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame status. Anyone could nominate a potential hall of famer by going online and explaining why he or she was worthy in 50 words or less. Nominations were accepted through Sept. 30, and a panel of judges selected the inaugural class of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees based on the strength of their nominations and their Brandy Old Fashioned stories.

“Brandy Old Fashioned month and the new hall of fame were both designed to connect Wisconsinites with the great local distilleries we have here in the state,” said Hughes, who is also a board member of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild. “The spirits industry in Wisconsin supports more than 39,000 jobs from family farmers and truck drivers to glass-bottle makers and those in the hospitality industries. In all, Wisconsin distilleries impact billions of dollars in economic activity every year in our state and beyond.”

Central Standard releases beer brandy collab with Hofbräu München

Hofbrau Munchen

Central Standard Unveils 1st Global Collab in it Brewmasters Brandy Series

Distillery Co-Founders Team with German Brewing Icon Hofbräu München to Release Special Limited-Availability Bottling of North Brandy Combined with Hofbräu Winter Spezial Delicator.

Central Standard Craft Distillery is going global with the unveiling of the next release in the distillery’s Brewmasters Brandy Series: a collaboration with Hofbräu München, the renowned 400+ year-old brewery known for Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival in Munich.

“For our latest Brewmasters-series release, we wanted to make it a truly global collaboration,” Hughes said. “And no better brewery to partner with than Hofbräu München, the top name in German brewing and owner of the most famous beer hall in the world.”

The new beer brandy, which hits retail shelves across the Midwest in a limited supply starting October 1, combines Central Standard’s North Brandy with Hofbräu’s Doppelbock seasonal special Hofbräu Delicator, which is bottled as Hofbräu Winter Spezial and available in six packs in the United States.

The result is a flavorful beer brandy with notes of dark chocolate, cherry and dried fruit. “When I had my very first taste of it, I knew I wanted to bring it to Oktoberfest in Munich and share it with the world,” said Hans Weissgerber, Managing Director of Old German Beer Hall in Milwaukee. “It’s just that good. Combining the heritage of the Hofbräu München Brewery and the hand-crafted spirit of the Central Standard Distillery creates a truly must-try collaboration.”

“The new Hofbräu North Brandy collaboration has something for beer and brandy fans alike,” said Jim Kanter, Chief Commercial Officer of Central Standard Distillery. “Beer lovers will appreciate the roasted caramel malt flavor and subtle beer sweetness,” he said. “Brandy fans will love the bold, rich flavor. It tastes like a cozy Bavarian night.”

The collaboration offered Hughes and Kanter an opportunity to celebrate their hometown and state. “This new beer brandy really embraces the Germanic roots of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Midwest,” said Hughes. “Teaming with Hofbräu München and specifically their Winter Spezial Delicator made the ideal match for our North Brandy.”

The new Beer Brandy sells in 750ml bottles and is priced between $24.99 – $29.99. Only a limited number of bottles are being released. “And, when we’re sold out, we’re sold out,” Kanter added.

 

About Hofbräu München

Hofbräu München began with a culinary challenge more than 400 years ago: Since he found the beer brewed in his court in Munich to be of poor taste and quality, William V, the Duke of Bavaria, founded the Hofbräuhaus in 1589 – the birthplace of the brewery and gastronomy. The brewing demand outgrew the location in the heart of the city in no time but what’s left is a “must-visit” when in Munich: the “Hofbräuhaus am Platzl”.

Around 1.3 million visitors enjoy the “most famous tavern in the world” every year and 17,000 hectoliters of beer are served in the “Schwemme” (beer hall) and “Bräustüberl” (brewpub) annually.

Today, Hofbräu München is the only Bavarian-State-owned traditional Munich brewery and one of the only 6 Munich breweries that are eligible to pour beer at the famous Oktoberfest. HB beers are known and enjoyed all over the world and especially in the United States.

“Hofbräu München stands for the passionate commitment to the city, its people and the Bavarian lifestyle”, says brewery director Dr. Michael Möller. “Forward thinking, but with feet firmly rooted in Bavarian tradition and brewing craftsmanship: With this recipe we succeed to maintain the Hofbräu brand with its fine beers and further develop it carefully.”


Current Retail Locations: (alphabetical by city)

Location Address City
COYOTE ROAD HOUSE 3026 CTY E BAILEYS HARBOR
PIERCE’S EXPRESS MARKET 935 8TH ST. BARABOO
OTTOS BAYSIDE WINE+SPIRITS 8834 N PORT WASHINGTON RD BAYSIDE
COSTCO WAREHOUSE 2355 COSTCO WAY BELLEVUE
SENDIKS CORNERS 20222 LOWER UNION STREET BROOKFIELD
SENDIKS FINE FOODS 18985 W CAPITOL DRIVE BROOKFIELD
TOTAL WINE 17300 W BLUEMOUND RD  STE 200 BROOKFIELD
OTTOS WINE CASK  [63607] 4600 W BROWN DEER RD BROWN DEER
CAMBRIDGE COOLER 109 JEFFERSON STREET CAMBRIDGE
OTTOS BEV CENTER-CEDARBURG W63 N157 WASHINGTON AVENUE CEDARBURG
CLINTON FOODS 603 CHURCH STREET CLINTON
DAYBREAK MOBILE 622 GENESEE STREET DELAFIELD
SENTRY FOODS 3255 W GOLF ROAD DELAFIELD
FIRE2FORK N2484 CTY RD O SOUTH DELAVAN
FESTIVAL FOODS DEPERE 1001 MAIN STREET DEPERE
WINE CELLAR 801 MAIN AVENUE DEPERE
WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY W372 S9727 WI-67 EAGLE
OTTOS ELM GROVE LIQUOR 15380 WATERTOWN PLANK RD ELM GROVE
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 13425 WATERTOWN PLANK ROAD ELM GROVE
FISH CREEK MARKET 4164 HWY 42 FISH CREEK
HILL STREET 4149 MAIN STREET FISH CREEK
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 5200 W RAWSON AVENUE FRANKLIN
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET N112 W15800 MEQUON ROAD GERMANTOWN
TOTAL WINE 5850 NORTH BAYSHORE DRIVE GLENDALE
COSTCO WAREHOUSE 950 PORT WASHINGTON ROAD GRAFTON
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 2195 1ST AVENUE GRAFTON
THE STILLERY 1304 12TH AVENUE GRAFTON
COSTCO WHOLESALE 5401 W INTEGRITY WAY GRAND CHUTE
BADGER 1047 W MASON STREET GREEN BAY
FESTIVAL FOODS 2534 STEFFENS CT GREEN BAY
FESTIVAL FOODS 2430 UNIVERSITY AVENUE GREEN BAY
FESTIVAL FOODS 2250 W MASON ST GREEN BAY
FESTIVAL FOODS 2348 LINEVILLE ROAD GREEN BAY
RIDGEVIEW LIQUOR 2202 S RIDGE ROAD GREEN BAY
WOODMANS FOOD MARKET 2400 DUCK CREEK PKWY GREEN BAY
HINTERLAND BREWERY 1001 LOMBARDI AVENUE GREEN BAY
FESTIVAL FOODS 4777 S 27TH STREET GREENFIELD
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 7901 W LAYTON AVENUE GREENFIELD
TOTAL WINE 8700 WEST SURA LANE GREENFIELD
CONSUMERS OUTLET BEV CNTR 5313 S 108TH ST HALES CORNERS
FESTIVAL FOODS 5600 S 108TH STREET HALES CORNERS
FESTIVAL FOODS 1275 BELL AVENUE HARTFORD
HARTFORD WINE + SPIRITS 714 E SUMNER STREET HARTFORD
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 600 HARTBROOK DRIVE HARTLAND
FESTIVAL FOODS 600 N HOLMEN DRIVE HOLMEN
FESTIVAL FOODS 3207 80TH STREET KENOSHA
FESTIVAL FOODS 6000 31ST STREET KENOSHA
TENUTA’S DELI LIQUOR + WINES 3203 – 52ND ST KENOSHA
HOUSE OF GERHARD 3927 75TH STREET KENOSHA
MARS CHEESE CASTLE 2800 120TH AVE I-94 + 142 KENOSHA
SWEDE’S 510 56TH ST KENOSHA
UNION PARK TAVERN 4520 8TH AVENUE KENOSHA
WOODLAKE MARKET-LIQUOR 795 WOODLAKE RD KOHLER
BWP LIQUOR EXPO 21 WISCONSIN DELLS PKWY LAKE DELTON
MAXWELL MANSION 421 BAKER STREET LAKE GENEVA
MAIN ST. LIQUOR 216 MAIN ST LODI
HY-VEE 675 S. WHITNEY WAY MADISON
PROST! 401 E. WASHINGTON AVE. MADISON
HY-VEE WALL TO WALL 7475 MINERAL POINT RD MADISON
COSTCO WHOLESALE W162 N9325 PERSHING AVENUE MENOMONEE FALLS
OTTOS BEVERAGE CENTER N88 W15413 MAIN ST MENOMONEE FALLS
WOODMANS FOOD MKT W124 N8145 HWY 145 MENOMONEE FALLS
DEVINE LIQUORS / MENOMONIE 116 11TH AVENUE W MENOMONIE
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 10930 N PORT WASHINGTON RD MEQUON
AVENUE WINE + LIQUOR 4075 S HOWELL AVE MILWAUKEE
DISCOUNT LIQUOR 5031 W OKLAHOMA AVE MILWAUKEE
OTTOS BEVERAGE CENTER 4163 N 76TH STREET MILWAUKEE
OTTOS BEVERAGE CENTER 3476 N OAKLAND AVENUE MILWAUKEE
SENDIK’S 500 E SILVER SPRING DR MILWAUKEE
THE WATERFORD WINE COMPANY 2120 N FARWELL AVENUE MILWAUKEE
OLD GERMAN BEER HALL 1009 N OLD WORLD THIRD STREET MILWAUKEE
VON TRIER 2235 N FARWELL AVE MILWAUKEE
FESTIVAL FOODS 5740 WASHINGTON AVENUE MT PLEASANT
MUSKEGO WAREHOUSE BEER + LIQUOR S75 W17308 JANESVILLE RD MUSKEGO
CELLARS WINE + SPIRITS 113 N GREEN BAY RD NEENAH
COSTCO WHOLESALE 15300 W GRANGE AVENUE NEW BERLIN
SENDIKS] 3600 S MOORLAND NEW BERLIN
SENDIKS FOOD 1450 OLYMPIA FIELDS DRIVE OCONOMOWOC
THE OCONOMOWOC LAKE CLUB 4668 LAKE CLUB CIRCLE OCONOMOWOC
FESTIVAL FOODS 1260 CROSSING MEADOW RD ONALASKA
COSTCO WAREHOUSE 443 PEWAUKEE ROAD PEWAUKEE
COSTCO WHOLESALE 7704 94TH AVENUE PLEASANT PRAIRIE
FESTIVAL FOODS 2915 NEW PINERY ROAD PORTAGE
TIMERS #2 BEVERAGE CENTER 3800 NORTHWESTERN AVENUE RACINE
THE STILLERY W204 N14025 FOND DU LAC AVE RICHFIELD
DEVINE LIQUORS / RIVER FALLS 703 B N MAIN STREET RIVER FALLS
HOMETOWN LIQUOR 1141 S. MAIN RIVER FALLS
JAKES 75TH STREET 26229 75TH ST SALEM
TITO’S BAR + GRILL 28836 SILVER LAKE ROAD SALEM
PIGGLY WIGGLY 88 SAUKVILLE 810 E GREEN BAY ROAD SAUKVILLE
CHARLIES COUNTY MARKET 521 S MAIN STREET SHAWANO
LONGHOUSE AXE BAR 1133 INDIANA AVE SHEBOYGAN
ZEKE’S VILLAGE MARKET 2361 MILL ROAD SISTER BAY
FESTIVAL FOODS 1600 ACADEMY AVENUE STEVENS POINT
THE KITCHEN N64 W23316 MAIN STREET SUSSEX
DISCOUNT LIQUOR 919 N BARSTOW ST WAUKESHA
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 701 N MEADOWBROOK DRIVE WAUKESHA
NEIL’S VILLAGE LIQ/WAUN 204B S. CENTURY AVE. WAUNAKEE
FESTIVAL FOODS 110 S 17TH AVENUE WAUSAU
METCALFE MARKETS 6700 W STATE STREET WAUWATOSA
RAY’S WINE + SPIRITS 8930 NORTH AVE WAUWATOSA
SENDIK’S FOOD MARKET 8616 W NORTH AVENUE WAUWATOSA
FESTIVAL FOODS 11111 W GREENFIELD AVE WEST ALLIS
RATAS WHOLESALE 2068 S 55TH STREET WEST ALLIS
THE DRUNK UNCLE 1902 S 68TH STREET WEST ALLIS
SENDIKS FOOD MARKET 280 NORTH 18TH AVENUE WEST BEND
MOUSEHOUSE CHEESEHAUS 4494 LAKE CIRCLE WINDSOR

Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen Launches New Guest Bartending-For-Charity Efforts

Cocktails For A Cause

Famed Wisc. Comedian Charlie Berens to Serve as 1st “Cocktails for a Cause” Guest Mixologist to Benefit the Near West Side Partners at the Crafthouse & Kitchen from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 13

Central Standard Co-Founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan are unveiling an all-new monthly guest bartending-for-charity happy hour and the inaugural guest mixologist will be comedian Charlie Berens.

Berens, a New York Times best selling author and the creator of the Manitowoc Minute, will mix up cocktails to benefit one of his favorite nonprofits from 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen, 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee.

To celebrate September as Brandy Old Fashion Month, Berens is teaming with Central Standard mixologists to create his personal twist on Wisconsin’s famed cocktail. All tips during the happy hour and $5 from every one of Charlie’s signature Brandy Old Fashioneds will support the Near West Side Partners (NWSP), a non-profit working with public and private partners to revitalize and sustain thriving business and residential corridors on Milwaukee’s near west side. For non-cocktail drinkers, Charlie will also be pouring his favorite beer, Leinenkugel’s, during the charity happy hour Sept. 13.

“Charlie is Wisconsin through and through and giving back to the community is in his, as well as our DNA,” Hughes said. “We couldn’t think of a better guest bartender or charity to kick off this new community-build initiative. For us, it’s all about ‘Local Helping Local.’ That and ‘Crafted Together’ are the guiding principles that we founded Central Standard on.”

Curling Gold Medalist Matt Hamilton has also agreed to make an appearance behind the Crafthouse & Kitchen bar as a “Cocktail-for-a-Cause” guest bartender in the coming weeks.

“We are honored to have Charlie and Matt among our first guest bartenders for charity,” McQuillan said. “We’re also looking for others to get behind the bar to spotlight and support their favorite nonprofits.”

To inquire about serving as a future guest bartender to benefit a local charitable cause, please email your contact information and favorite charity to info@thecentralstandard.com.

Charlie Berens
Charlie Berens

Brandy Old Fashioned Month kicks off Tuesday at Central Standard

Old Fashioned Month

Returning to work after a long weekend can be rough. But Central Standard co-founders Even Hughes and Pat McQuillan are helping folks to take the edge off with a very special happy hour that celebrates Wisconsin’s favorite cocktail: the brandy old fashioned.

Having worked with the Wisconsin governor’s office to proclaim September Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Month and the first day of fall (Sept. 22 in 2022) as Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day, the partners are kicking off the month-long festivities by inviting Wisconsinites to join them at the Crafthouse & Kitchen on Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. for a complementary old fashioned.

“There’s no better way to commemorate Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Month than raising a free glass of our famed Old Fashioned featuring our North Wisconsin brandy,” notes McQuillan.

But that’s not all.

“For us, there is so much to celebrate this September,” says Hughes. “There’s Brandy Old Fashioned Month, the return of football session, the unveiling of our new fall menu and so much more,” Hughes said.

Along with the new fall menu, which is expected to drop soon, Central Standard is also rolling out a number of September specials which help to celebrate Brandy Old Fashioned Month.

Guests who visit the Downtown bar and restaurant will find a new specialty old fashioned cocktail menu, commemorative t-shirts and posters and the opportunity to revisit Freese’s Candy Shoppe’s Wisconsin State Fair-famous old fashioned s’mores on a stick.

The dessert, which received high praise at this year’s Fair, will be available on the menu at Central Standard throughout the month of September.

“If you haven’t tried an Old-Fashioned S’Mores on a Stick yet, you’re truly missing out on one of the highlights from this year’s state fair,” McQuillan said. “We’re excited to bring a limited-run of them to the Crafthouse for Brandy Old Fashioned Month and support another local, family-run Milwaukee company.”

Central Standard Creates The Brandy Old Fashioned Hall Of Fame & Kicks Off Brand Old Fashioned Month

Brandy Old Fashioned Month

Soliciting Nominations for Inaugural Hall of Fame Class, Billboards Statewide & Surprise Rounds of Free Craft Cocktails – All Part of Distillery’s Plans to Celebrate Wisc. Brandy Old Fashioned Month

Starting Thursday, Central Standard Craft Distillery Co-Founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan are launching a month-long campaign encouraging Wisconsinites to request hand-crafted brandy from local, family-owned distilleries in their Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned cocktails.

“We’d love for everyone to ask for our North Wisconsin brandy when ordering their Old-Fashioned cocktails,” McQuillan said. “But more importantly, we want to encourage people to drink locally, support hard-working Wisconsin families and taste brandy from local distillers.”

To build awareness for their drink-local crusade, Hughes and McQuillan worked with the Wisconsin governor’s office to proclaim September Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month and the first day of fall (Sept. 22 in 2022) as Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day.“

Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month is all about showcasing and connecting Wisconsinites with great local distilleries,“ said Hughes, who is also a board member of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild. “Here in Wisconsin, the spirits industry supports more than 39,000 jobs from family farmers and truck drivers to glass-bottle makers and those in the hospitality industries. In all, Wisconsin distilleries impact billions of dollars in economic activity each and every year in our state.”

An All-New Hall of Fame Worthy of Wisconsin
Starting Thursday, Hughes and McQuillan will ask folks from across the state and country to nominate individuals deserving of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame status. Anyone can nominate a potential hall of famer by going online to thecentralstandard.com/brandy-old-fashioned-hall-of-fame and explaining why he or she is worthy in 50 words or less.

“We continually hear almost unbelievable Brandy Old Fashioned stories — 88-year-old grandmothers who enjoy one every week; bartenders who’ve perfected their recipe over decades; and folks who’ve moved away but return home every month as they just can’t find a quality Old Fashioned outside Wisconsin,” Hughes said. “This new hall of fame will commemorate those stories and honor everyday folks who love and celebrate the Brandy Old Fashioned.”

Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 30, the last day of Brandy Old Fashioned month. A panel of judges will select the inaugural class of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees based on the strength of their nomination and their Brandy Old Fashioned story. The honorees will be announced in mid-October.

Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees will receive a year’s supply of North Wisconsin brandy; a custom bottle of North Wisconsin brandy with their photo on it; lifetime VIP status at the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen, the Midwest’s first urban distillery and restaurant, which opened last August at 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee; and their photo displayed in the Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame in the Founders’ Room at the Crafthouse & Kitchen.

A Wisconsin-Wide Grassroot Effort
Starting Thursday, Hughes and McQuillan will also begin advertising their drink-local campaign on billboards statewide. In addition, Central Standard will offer a specialty Old Fashioned cocktail menu and sell commemorative t-shirts, as well as posters at their Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen.

“When we ask, people share that they often order the same old brandy because that’s just what they’ve always done,” McQuillan added. “When they taste ours and others made here in Wisconsin, they’re floored by the flavor. That’s our ask: Next time you order an Old Fashioned, and especially during Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month, give one from a local Wisconsin distillery a try as we’ll put the taste of our North Wisconsin brandy up against any competitors across the country or around the world.”

Along with the billboards and hall of fame, Hughes and McQuillan are:

  • Offering a free Brandy Old Fashioned toast at a special Crafthouse & Kitchen happy hour on Sept. 6.
  • Surprising Wisconsinites by buying folks Old Fashioned cocktails made with North Wisconsin brandy at establishments around the state on Sept. 22, which is Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Day.
  • Unveiling Central Standard’s next Brewmasters Series collaboration and a few additional surprises.

Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen Officially Kicks Off Milwaukee Rooftop Season With May 12 Sunset Accoustic Set From Local Favorite Joe Wray

rooftop at Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen

Wray to Welcome Summer by Playing On the Crafthouse & Kitchen’s Rooftop from 6-9 p.m. May 12

Central Standard Distillery Co-Founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan contend if you have a rooftop, open it. To officially launch rooftop season here in Milwaukee, Hughes and McQuillan will host local musician Joe Wray for a special sunset acoustic set on the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen rooftop, 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee, May 12 from 6-9 p.m.

“While Pat and I love tailgating, lake house and hunting seasons, our No. 1 favorite time of year in Milwaukee is summer rooftop season,” Hughes said. “There is nothing better than gathering good friends, drinking craft cocktails and enjoying live music outdoors on a great rooftop in our city.”

Local legend Joe Wray, a Milwaukee-based acoustic guitarist, will play from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, May 12 as the sun sets over the Crafthouse view of the Milwaukee skyline and Lake Michigan. Attendees can enjoy a wide variety of cocktails from the rooftop bar, such as Central Standard’s Door County Cherry Vodka Mule and North Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned.

“On May 12, we’re launching our first full season of having the rooftop at the Crafthouse & Kitchen,” McQuillan said. “We can’t wait to get folks — cocktails in hand — up on our roof to enjoy the 360-degree views of the city and the lake. It’s truly a unique spot, especially in summer, here in Milwaukee.”

Pour Ready Release Party This Thursday!

Crafthouse & Kitchen

On this year’s 414 Day, we will honor Milwaukee and bring to life the distillery’s “Crafted to Gather” mantra when co-founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan host a release party for their new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails, the first-ever line of craft, Midwest-made ready-to-pour cocktails.

“There’s no better way to honor and celebrate all that Milwaukee is than by raising a glass of a new locally-made product,” McQuillan said. “On 414, every Milwaukeean is a VIP and we can’t wait to unveil our first two Pour Ready Premium Cocktails to the world right here in our hometown.”

The release party will be at Central Standard’s Crafthouse & Kitchen, 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee, on April 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. At the event, there will be a free toast of the first two cocktails in the new product line, the Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Lemonade and the Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Mule.

“For us, there is so much to celebrate this April 14 – Warmer weather, the return of baseball to Milwaukee, locally-crafted cocktails, and of course, finally being able to offer everyone in Milwaukee a taste of our new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails,” Hughes said.

With the launch of the Pour Ready Premium Cocktail line, Hughes and McQuillan are out to elevate the booming ready-to-drink category by adding a handmade, locally craft twist.

“Our new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails are true game-changing products,” McQuillan said. “We aren’t just unveiling a great tasting new beverage, we are introducing a whole new category to the industry: Ready to Pour Craft Cocktail. Think of our new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails as the convergence of ready-to-drink convenience with the handcrafted quality and elevated ingredients you’d receive from a veteran bartender at our Crafthouse here in Milwaukee.”

The Pour Ready products honor Central Standard’s commitment to support local Midwest organizations. Each bottle is handcrafted in Milwaukee with our famous Door County Cherry Vodka, sourced from cherries right in Door County, Wisconsin. The Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Lemonade is made from 100% organic lemon juice and botanicals, and the Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Mule combines Central Standard’s Door County Cherry Vodka with organic ginger juice and lime juice. It’s a perfect blend of ginger spiciness with the cool refreshment of cherries and lime.

Pour Ready Premium Cocktails from Central Standard Distillery are 15% ABV, 30 proof and will hit retail shelves starting in April. Each 750-ml bottle makes about four cocktails. We have also created 1.75L unbreakable bottles to ensure you don’t run out of Pour Ready at your tailgate, beach, or backyard party.

“They’re smooth, balanced and refreshing, no matter the weather or time of year,” Hughes added. “We can’t wait for folks to come out to the Crafthouse on Milwaukee Day for a free first taste.”

Photo credit – John Magnoski Photography

April Fool’s For A Good Cause: Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen Issuing Faux Parking Tickets In Downtown April 1

April Fool's Day

April Fool’s Day Tickets Are Actually Redeemable for Free Craft Cocktails at a Special April 1 Happy Hour; Support Nonprofit Feeding Women & Children Refugees Fleeing the War in Ukraine

Be warned: There will be some April Fool’s Day shenanigans in downtown Milwaukee April 1 as Central Standard Co-Founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan will be issuing faux tickets under windshield wipers of cars parked on streets around the distillery’s new Crafthouse & Kitchen, 320 E. Clybourn St.

“Envision returning to your parked car on a spring Friday afternoon and being greeted by a bright orange ticket on your windshield,” McQuillan explained. “We’ve all been there, but this April 1, what appears to be a violation will actually – surprise – be a ticket for a free craft cocktail on us.”

The gag culminates with a special April 1 happy hour from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Crafthouse & Kitchen where tickets can be redeemed for free craft cocktails made with Central Standard’s Red Cabin Bourbon, Door County Cherry Vodka or North Wisconsin Brandy*.

While a fun gotcha, Hughes’ and McQuillan’s April Fool’s Day gag is really all about supporting an important and timely charitable cause.

“Chef Jose Andres and his entire World Central Kitchen team are mobilizing volunteers and have already fed more than one million women and children as they flee from the war in Ukraine,” Hughes said. “We wanted to come up with a fun and immediate way to support their efforts and this idea was born.”

For every ticket redeemed at the April 1 Crafthouse & Kitchen happy hour, a $2 donation will be made to World Central Kitchen. Additional donations to World Central Kitchen can be made by clicking here.

The Midwest’s First Urban Distillery & Restaurant
In August, Hughes and McQuillan opened their new Crafthouse & Kitchen, the Midwest’s first new urban distillery and restaurant.

Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen Celebrates 414 Day With A VIP Release Party Unveiling The Distillery’s All-New Line Of Pour Ready Premium Cocktails

Pour Ready Cocktails

Enjoy a Free First Taste of Central Standard’s Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Lemonade and Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Mule at a Special Milwaukee Day Happy Hour Thursday, April 14

On this year’s 414 Day, Central Standard will honor Milwaukee and bring to life the distillery’s “Crafted to Gather” mantra when co-founders Evan Hughes and Pat McQuillan host a release party for their new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails, the first-ever line of craft, Midwest-made ready-to-pour cocktails.

“There’s no better way to honor and celebrate all that Milwaukee is than by raising a glass of a new locally-made product,” McQuillan said. “On 414, every Milwaukeean is a VIP and we can’t wait to unveil our first two Pour Ready Premium Cocktails to the world right here in our hometown.”

The release party will be at Central Standard’s Crafthouse & Kitchen, 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee, on April 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. At the event, there will be a free toast of the first two cocktails in the new product line, the Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Lemonade and the Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Mule.

“For us, there is so much to celebrate this April 14 – Warmer weather, the return of baseball to Milwaukee, locally-crafted cocktails, and of course, finally being able to offer everyone in Milwaukee a taste of our new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails,” Hughes said.

Pour Ready: Craft, Convenient & Cooler-Ready
With the launch of the Pour Ready Premium Cocktail line, Hughes and McQuillan are out to elevate the booming ready-to-drink category by adding a handmade, locally craft twist.

“Our new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails are true game-changing products,” McQuillan said. “We aren’t just unveiling a great tasting new beverage, we are introducing a whole new category to the industry: Ready to Pour Craft Cocktail. Think of our new Pour Ready Premium Cocktails as the convergence of ready-to-drink convenience with the handcrafted quality and elevated ingredients you’d receive from a veteran bartender at our Crafthouse here in Milwaukee.”

The Pour Ready products honor Central Standard’s commitment to support local Midwest organizations. Each bottle is handcrafted in Milwaukee with our famous Door County Cherry Vodka, sourced from cherries right in Door County, Wisconsin. The Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Lemonade is made from 100% organic lemon juice and botanicals, and the Pour Ready Door County Cherry Vodka Mule combines Central Standard’s Door County Cherry Vodka with organic ginger juice and lime juice. It’s a perfect blend of ginger spiciness with the cool refreshment of cherries and lime.

Pour Ready Premium Cocktails from Central Standard Distillery are 15% ABV, 30 proof and will hit retail shelves starting in April. Each 750-ml bottle makes about four cocktails. We have also created 1.75L unbreakable bottles to ensure you don’t run out of Pour Ready at your tailgate, beach, or backyard party.

“They’re smooth, balanced and refreshing, no matter the weather or time of year,” Hughes added. “We can’t wait for folks to come out to the Crafthouse on Milwaukee Day for a free first taste.”

The Midwest’s First Urban Distillery & Restaurant
Back in August, Hughes and McQuillan opened their Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen, the Midwest’s first new urban distillery and restaurant.

The distillery’s new home, complete with a tasting room, tour operation, restaurant, private-events space and rooftop patio, replaced the formerly vacant Wisconsin Leather Building, which was built in 1874 and remains one of the oldest structures in downtown Milwaukee. In addition, the 11,700-square-foot, three-story Crafthouse & Kitchen houses a 100-gallon pot still that will produce all spirits served and sold on site.

Central Standard: Your Local Midwest Craft Distillery
Central Standard Craft Distillery, a small batch, craft distillery in Milwaukee and the fastest growing top-10 Wisconsin-based distiller, handcrafts award-winning, bourbon, whiskey, vodka and gin from locally sourced ingredients. Founded in 2014, Central Standard spirits have won 37 medals across multiple categories for their craft distilling.

Central Standard’s portfolio of premium spirits includes Red Cabin Bourbon, Door County Cherry Vodka and North Wisconsin Brandy*. Door County Cherry Vodka is a blend of Central Standard’s award-winning 100% handcrafted vodka infused with Door County cherries, which are mellowed with a touch of local-harvested, fresh honey. North Brandy, which is handmade in small batches and aged for a minimum of two years, is finished in Central Standard bourbon barrels. Red Cabin Bourbon is aged to perfection and then finished in California Cabernet wine barrels. Thanks to the red-wine-barrel-finishing, Red Cabin Bourbon – which won a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits competition in 2019, delivers a complex-yet-approachable taste.
“When you think of our entire lineup – Door County Cherry Vodka, North Brandy and Red Cabin: They’re all perfectly handcrafted for enjoying here in the Midwest or wherever your travels take you,” McQuillan concluded.