David Lynch’s Blue Velvet begins pastorally enough. A man waters his lawn, tills the soil. It’s all so green and bright, you can taste the lemonade. As we zoom in on the dirt, Lynch cuts away violently to worms writhing, pulling themselves apart, and then cuts back above the surface. Never judge a book by its cover, some say. I always think that things appear typical for a reason.
Lake Mills is just another town in Wisconsin. Located between Milwaukee and Madison and filled with good, healthy people, many say it can be called “typical Wisconsin.” I would not argue with that. What I would advise, though, would to properly define the word “typical.” Legend has it that a bitter old woman named Cal watched over the men in the town with an evil eye. Nearby Rock Lake has stone teepees buried at the bottom, the Badger State’s Stonehenge, and the headless man burial mound. Even more legends abound, but perhaps the most potent is that of Rocky, the Loch Ness Monster of Lake Mills.
The great thing about legends is that they create a terrific backdrop for great beers. Tyranena (say it without saying “tyranny,” the people of Lake Mills don’t like the comparison) makes some of the hardiest, most tasty beers you can find throughout the much of Wisconsin. Rocky’s Revenge is truly a site to behold, like the bottle demonstrates. Half brown ale, half bourbon barrel-aged Frankenstein, blissfully malty. The flavors expand and contract, like a barrel through the seasons, and don’t try to hide their own unique histories.
Best enjoyed: Now. Like right now. Bock season is coming. Put it in the snow, let it chill and enjoy.
Best paired with: Other hardy beers. Lamb stew.
Find it: North of the Cheddar curtain and select Chicagoland locations.
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