The 10 Best 12% Shower Beers You Must Try Before You Die!

PaloA friend of Brewsconsin recently posted on Facebook:

“You know it’s a good hockey group when one of the choices for shower beer is Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron.” – Bob P.

Bob got us to thinking about our favorite 12%+ ABV shower beers. Below you will find our favorites and the ideal shower pairings for each brew. Let’s start with Bob’s beer.

Dogfish Head – Palo Santo Marron – 12%

This roasty exotic brew is aged in Paraguayan Palo Santo wood tanks. In our opinion it is one of the best year-round beers ever created. We like it so much so we’d even suggest trying it outside of the shower sometime.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Post-sporting event with as many of your naked teammates as possible.

Avery Brewing Co. – Rumpkin – 16.9%

What happens when you combine tons of malt, pumpkins, and spice with Westmalle Belgian Ale yeast and then age it in rum barrels? One hell of a shower beer if you ask us. This sure as hell ain’t no Pumpkin Spice Mocha-frappa-latte. We say crank the hot water, grab a couple of fresh towels, and have at this bad boy.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Right after you put the turkey in the oven on Thanksgiving morning…way before the family shows up.

Central Waters Brewing Co. – Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine – 14.3%

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This beer is one of Wisconsin’s finest achievements in our opinion. We put it right up there with inventing the blender and founding Earth Day. Yeah…Wisconsin does some cool shit.

Back to the beer – this Barleywine is aged in bourbon barrels for a full year and won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2008. Golden shower anyone?

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: After a week long camping trip before anyone gets a whiff of you.

Evil Twin Brewing – Molotov Cocktail – 13%

This Imperial/Double IPA hides its ABV quite well behind a plethora of piney and citrusy hops. The beer is balanced by a strong malt backbone. Hopefully you have balance climbing out of the shower after one of these bad boys from Evil Twin.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Before bed after striking out on Tinder…again.

Founders Brewing Co. – KBS – 12.2%

This once hard-to-find seasonal beer now seems to be on shelves every day of the year. We at Brewsconsin take showers every day. Coincidence?

This bourbon-barrel Stout is brewed with chocolate and just the right amount of coffee to help keep you awake for the daunting tasks awaiting once you’ve toweled off.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Before going to see your son perform in his High School play. You won’t even notice he didn’t get the lead.

Samuel Adams – Triple Bock – 18%

This delicacy hasn’t been brewed since 1997, so if you can get your hands one, save it for a special shower. Make sure it a relaxing shower where you can really take your time.

This Triple bock is reminiscent of drinking fine Cognac with little pieces of buttery-soft cork floating in the bottle. You really need to be more careful opening these old beers.


DoubleDogFlying Dog – Double Dog – 12%

Double Dog is one of the smoothest 12% beers out there. It pours a beautiful copper-red color and is full-bodied without any overwhelming bitterness. When it comes to shower Double IPA’s, Double Dog is head and shoulders above the rest.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Co-ed baby shower your wife dragged you to. Why do these always take place during Packer’s games? Might need a few Double Dog’s to get through this snoozefest.


3 Sheeps Brewing – Veneration – 13.2%

This Belgian Quad brewed with figs and molasses is aged in rye whiskey barrels. We at Brewsconsin think this sweet little number is the perfect compliment to a nice hot shower. Brewed right here in Wisconsin, this brew is sure to keep you you warm during the long winter. If the first one doesn’t get the job done, just lather rinse repeat.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Right after you finished clearing 10 inches of snow from the driveway and sidewalk – a classic Wisconsin shower.

North Coast Brewing – Old Stock Ale – 12%

This Old Ale is brewed entirely with ingredients from England and gets better with age. Keep aging in mind, as Old Stock Ale changes from year-to-year, and not all vintages of this brew reach 12%. We recommend a 2016 for your next shower.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: Early Christmas morning before the kids wake up.

Lakefront Brewery – Beerline Organic Barleywine – 12.5%

The brewery claims Beerline is the first USDA-Certified Organic Barleywine in the United States. Cool story bro. We started drinking this brew in the shower years ago when this robust brew was released. If you can get your hands on this limited release, we highly recommend cracking one in the shower.

SUGGESTED SHOWER PAIRING: After falling in the Milwaukee River post-Lakefront Brewery Tour.


Racking Our Wine

wine1Today we racked our wine that we picked grapes for on September 27th. We got what was left at the vineyard which turned out to be a mix of Prairie Star and Delaware grapes.

The specific gravity has dropped to a .996 but the wine still has a bit of tartness. We added 2.5 campden tablets and 4 ounces of lightly toasted oak chips. In a month we will have to see how it tastes and then decide if it needs any sweetening. wine2

Who is Wisconsin Brewing Company?

There is a lot of speculation in the craft beer community about Wisconsin Brewing Company (WBC) and what they will be bringing to the increasingly crowded craft beer marketplace.

During my hardhat tour a few weeks ago, Marketing Coordinator Jessica Schulter didn’t give away much information about branding strategies saying, “We don’t want to be pigeon-holed…it is basically whatever Kirby feels like brewing really.”

While longtime Capital Brewery Brewmaster Kirby Nelson is known for his world class Dopplebocks and strong German-style brewing background, Schulter thinks that Nelson will embrace the freedom in his new role and produce some really great beers.

Nelson recently brewed a 10-barrel test batch at the Great Dane nof what will eventually be WBC’s American IPA. While WBC had expectations that the beer would sell out in a few weeks, it in fact shocked them selling out in just a few days. The American IPA along with a Golden Amber Lager released earlier are the first two sneak-peeks the public has gotten an opportunity to try.

Currently, there is a tasting set for their third trial beer which will be released at the Great Dane and the Vintage Brewing Company on Tuesday July 16th, but WBC isn’t saying what style of beer it is yet, but they are certainly building intrigue amongst craft beer seekers which is clearly part of their marketing strategy.

Wisconsin Brewing CompanyI asked Schulter what the risks were in opening a multimillion dollar brewery capable of producing 100,000 barrels of beer annually right out of the gate and she seemed more than confident that WBC will be successful.

“We’ve got guys who have been in the brewing industry since they legally could be,” said Schulter referring to Nelson and former Capital Brewery President Carl Nolen. “Think about it…Wisconsin…Beer…Perfect! How could it go wrong?”

Schulter also says that with the new brewery being a little more automated, Nelson will have more time to be the face of the brewery.

“I wish we could have Kirby give every tour,” said Schulter. “He is so knowledgeable and passionate about beer and the beer business.”

The brewery plans to give tours of their Verona complex which features a Wisconsin-made brewhouse ideally on November 1st (which also happens to be Nelson’s birthday). Until then, the beer-curious can stay tuned for information at

Former Brewmaster Returns to Capital for Brewing of Second Annual Wisconsin Common Thread Collaboration Brew

DSC_0010Former Capital Brewery Brewmaster Kirby Nelson returned to the Capital brewhouse on Saturday representing Wisconsin Brewing Company for the brewing of the second annual Common Thread beer, which this year is a collaboration between ten Wisconsin breweries.


Nelson didn’t miss a beat as he casually got behind the controls at the brewery, where he was brewmaster for 25 years. His return to Capital for the collaboration efforts shows the immense sense of community and brotherhood craft brewers have with one another and exemplifies what Common Thread is all about.


“It is meant to be a big rally for Madison and Wisconsin brewers,” said Vintage Brewmaster Scott Manning. “We got a crazy notion last year, that a group of ‘competing’ craft brewers could get together, invent a tasty new beer, have a blast brewing it, and release it in celebration of both Madison Craft Beer Week & American Craft Beer Week. The idea was to toast our town and it’s beer culture, to support local agriculture and industry, and to brew as a tribute to our common bond as scientists and artists in the cause of Great Beer.”


While Common Thread’s 2012 inaugural brew was California Common (steam-beer) beer was a collaboration between six local breweries, 2013’s will be a Biere De Garde and feature ten breweries including:

  • Capital Brewery
  • Vintage Brewing Company
  • Great Dane Brewing
  • The Grumpy Troll Brewery
  • Lake Louie Brewing Company
  • House of Brews
  • Karben4 Brewing Company
  • One Barrel Brewing Company
  • Potosi Brewing Company
  • Wisconsin Brewing Company


“We’ve bolstered our ranks and we’re aiming even higher this year- more local pro brewers, bigger batch size, bigger soapbox…same feel-good, local, crafty mission,” said Manning. “Let’s work together to make a beer to make Madison (and Wisconsin) proud. And let’s lead the charge for Wisconsin’s craft brewers to work together, buy and support local, and to elevate our state’s brewing culture beyond its gilded history, into a future of relevance leadership, and prestige.”


While the logistics of the brew are being handled by Capital Brewery, all money made above and beyond the costs of producing the beer will be donated to the Wisconsin Brewer’s Guild. 2012’s Common Thread raised more than $4,000 for the organization, which benefits small brewers across the state.


Each brewery has allocated a certain number of barrels to be sold on their premises, and the rest of the brew will be available through General Beverage for restaurants and bars during Madison Craft Beer Week which takes place May 3rd through May 12th.