It’s a common experience for breweries to go over their price estimations for expansion. I write this because I don’t want you to drop your jaw when you hear that a brewery spent $140,000 on a steam recirculation system or $320,000 on their bottling unit because “it was the best option for growth.”

Potosi Brewery in Potosi, Wisconsin, for example, has spent more than $5.4 million to build a new brewing facility next to its current brewpub, which also houses the National Brewery Museum.

Every brewery is out to make the best decision, choose the best option and throw down money for the best equipment to make the finest beer. Without that mindset, we wouldn’t have the remarkable craft beer that we do.

While a single brewery may hold that mindset strongly, I have yet to see an entire community, an entire town holding that mindset — except for Potosi.

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The Potosi Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Wisconsin, dating back to 1852. Despite making it through Prohibition when so many others breweries did not — an act indicative of a remarkably strong brewery — Potosi Brewery shut down in 1972.

In early 2000, the Potosi Brewery Foundation was founded, consisting of Potosi community members, beer fanatics and history buffs. Their collective pursuit to resurrect the brewery is why I wrote about the brewery in Curb Magazine.

Potosi Brewery is all about balancing the old with the new, expanding their facilities yet retaining their heritage. They are currently working on all new beer labels for this late spring season. At the same time, they are finishing the floorboards and ceilings of the new facility with corrugated steel collected from the roof of the original building.

It’s an incredible time to be part of Potosi’s transition in becoming one of the top five largest breweries in Wisconsin, returning to a title they once held. With insurmountable community support through donations, leases and flat-out hard labor, Potosi is nearly ready to churn out 7,000 bottles per hour and 5,000 cans per hour and begin contract brewing.

But now you’ve got to be wondering about the beer, right?

Potosi makes an excellent Hefewiezen. Potosi also sells a unique Tangerine IPA. They have a shandy that’s the closest thing to lemonade I’ve ever tasted; their notable Gandy Dancer porter is unlike any porter you have had. It is a clear beer drinkers’ delight.

And so for this week’s column I poured a glass of …

Potosi’s Gandy Dancer Porter

Gandy Dancer
Garth Beyer

Style

American Porter, 6 ABV percent

Aroma

Lightly roasted coffee beans, slight vanilla undertone with an even lighter blackberry scent.

Appearance

Pours deep burgundy brown, settling black with a thin off-white head.

Texture

Full-bodied, silky and sweet.

Taste

Smooth dark watery chocolate balanced with a tingle of dark fruit and light (nearly undetectable) roasted coffee. Semi-sweet taste on the tail end.

Room temperature taste

With time the roasted-ness gains strength, but the semi-sweet dark fruit of this porter still stays in control. No worries, the beer keeps smooth and silky even at room temp.

Consensus

If you’re looking to get into darks, the Gandy Dancer porter is a charming entrance to the dark side. It’s slightly tart and has a clean porter while still filling. Cheers!

My Rating: 4.5/5

Updated March 20, 2015