May 14. 2012 9:00AM

Lakefront launches Wisconsinite brew

Milwaukee-based Lakefront Brewery Inc. on Thursday introduced Wisconsinite, a new unfiltered Weiss-style beer made entirely of local, Wisconsin-grown ingredients.

The brewer says the new brew is believed to be the first 100 percent "all local" beer made in the United States.
Wisconsinite made its debut at several local release parties tonight, including at Hooligan's on Milwaukee's East Side, Burnheart's in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood and The Village Pub in Shorewood. The product will begin appearing at retail outlets in the coming weeks.
The beer was created around a new native Wisconsin yeast strain envisioned by Lakefront president Russ Klisch and developed by Jeremy King of home brewing supplies distributor Northern Brewer. Their new strain is believed be to the only North American-grown yeast in commercial use today as well as the first native brewing yeast from Wisconsin.
All products used in Wisconsinite hail from the state, including its water (Lake Michigan), malted barley (from Milwaukee's Malteoup), wheat (Chilton) and hops (Mazomanie).
Wisconsinite is intended for summer drinking, with a light, cloudy body.
"The craft beer market is trending towards session beers with full flavors but lower alcohol content," said Klisch. "Wisconsinite fits this category, given its (low) ABV and hints of banana and clove."
Wisconsinite's style and ingredients were chosen to complement the local yeast's natural flavor. Klisch plans to forgo compensation to make it available to other brewers, hoping to create a new category of beer called Wisconsin Weiss.
"Yeast is the final frontier for craft brewers," said Klisch. "It's certainly what gives this beer such a distinct taste."
The Lakefront Strain yeast is available for purchase by commercial brewers through Wyeast, and by homebrewers through Northern Brewer. Lakefront will not receive any compensation for the sale of the yeast.
Lakefront Brewery was started in 1987 and is one of the oldest microbreweries in Wisconsin.