Dennis Erb describes the Third Street Brew Pub as having as many selections of beer as Jelly Belly jelly beans has flavors.
Another comparison might be to Baskin–Robbins, which has 31 flavors of ice cream. Erb’s Woodman Brewery has 32 beers, many of which will be available at Third Street, on tap or in bottles.
The irony of Erb’s being in the beer business is that, in his words, “I didn’t like beer. I never liked beer. My wife’s father home-brews, and he kind of got me into it. He got me to try a raspberry beer, and I thought it was pretty neat. And that opened up my horizons.”
Erb opened Third Street, at 45 N. Third St., Friday with 13 of his own beers, in addition to the usual beers found in any bar anywhere.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “They’re all unique. My goal in life is to make a beer out of anything.”
“Anything” includes jalapeño, found in his Jalapeño Blonde Ale. “It has a little kick in the end,” said Erb. “As in most of my beer, it has a strong nose, and it kind of ramps up.”
Another unique offering is King’s Bock, which has saffron, which Erb said is “the world’s most expensive spice,” and white grape flavors. Erb said King’s Bock is “also popular with wine drinkers who don’t like beer.”
Erb has two beers, Dutch Apple Ale and Danish Lager, flavored with apple. Raspberry Ale also has honey. The flavorings in Maple Wheat and Lemon Pepper Wheat are obvious by their names. Campfire Porter contains the flavors in S’Mores. Cirque de Saison is flavored with cotton candy.
One current beer, Black Rum Lager, and one future beer, Scotch Ale, contain the liquors in their names. Another future beer, BBQ Rauschbier, will be infused with barbecue flavors.
Erb believes microbrewing has taken off because “of variety — variety and the different methods they’ve discovered in brewing. There’s not one way to brew, and there’s a way to brew for different profiles. They want variety; they want a different lot of flavors.
“You can have a different beer every sip you drink.”
Third Street has so many beers that Erb is installing computers on the bar so that patrons can take their orders instead of delaying their orders by several minutes by asking “What do you have?”
Erb also makes his own sodas, in cola, white soda, Mountain Dew-style and Dr. Pepper-style flavors.
The brewpub is Erb’s second. He and his wife opened the Woodman Brewing Co. five years ago.
“We were looking to get out of Milwaukee, and the real estate lady we were working with hunts turkeys up there,” he said.
Third Street will be open Thursdays through Sundays to begin.
“This is really my baby,” said Erb. “I’m anticipating this being a busier location; that’s why I wanted to be here. I want to be able to serve and answer questions about it.”
Unlike the bars one block to the east, Erb expects Third Street’s clientele to be “usually a more mature crowd, not so partying — that’s what I’m going for.”
Erb wants to sell sandwiches and pizzas, which he does in Woodman. If he gets required approvals, food sales may begin as early as April.
Erb’s future beer list also includes a beer with horchata flavors, as found in Rumchata rum.