Brews and Burgers on the River
by Tony Reffke
Mr. Brews Taphouse
201 Riverheath Way, Appleton, WI
Tucked away under the East College Avenue Bridge on the Fox River is Mr. Brews Taphouse, a small-scale restaurant with flavorful gourmet burgers and a large offering of craft beers.
Mr. Brews Taphouse offers a neighborhood feel allowing for individual attention and enough choices between the beer and food for everyone to find something they enjoy. In the warmer months, you can sit on the outdoor patio and watch geese and eagles fly by. The wall of windows overlooking the river allows patrons to enjoy the scenery throughout the winter as well.
Created for Wisconsin, Mr. Brews Taphouse has a menu sourced from around the state. The most popular selection is the tantalizing Kentucky Bourbon Classic burger; however, all the burgers are available for customization regarding the meat, cheese, and toppings. Some of the more unique choices are the California burger which has homemade guacamole, the Peanut Buster which has special peanut butter, and the Rajun’ Cajun with homemade Cajun Lime sauce. If you don’t want a certified Hereford beef burger you can substitute your patty for a turkey, black bean, or plant-based Impossible burger, or even a chicken breast. My favorite burger is the Jalapeno Popper with sautéed jalapenos, cream cheese, and tangy BBQ sauce.
The rotating burger of the month is selected by their mangers and kitchen staff and allows them to get creative. The burger of the month for November is the Barnyard burger which starts with a beef patty and adds pulled pork, bacon, cheddar cheese, and bourbon sauce. Yum!
On the lighter side, Mr. Brews offers House or Cranberry Walnut salads.
Side options include fresh cut, shoestring, or sweet potato fries. Another possibility is the house made chips which are spirally cut and fried when ordered. You can spice up your fries with choices of seasonings including sea salt and cracked pepper, BBQ, Cajun, ranch, cheddar, or parmesan garlic and dip them in house-made ranch or beer cheese sauce. Wisconsin white cheddar cheese curds and beer-battered onion rings are also available.
If you’re thirsty you will have plenty of options as Mr. Brews has 47 taps and changes about a dozen of them every week. These beers are made by breweries all over the country and world. Some of them are only one-time specials so visit often to try them all. If you cannot choose just one, order a flight and indulge in a few. You can even purchase a growler or bring your own into the building and take your favorite beer home with you.
In the fall of the year, the beers switch to darker and heavier styles like porters and stouts. Mr. Brews also makes a pub chili from October through March which can be enjoyed on its own or as chili cheese fries.
Repeat customers can join their Pub Club allowing them to earn points for every visit and purchase which can be redeemed for free meals, beer, or merchandise.
Mr. Brews is open 7 days a week and offers weekday lunch specials as well as a Happy Hour from 3-6 PM. Kids eat free on Sundays and can choose between a grilled cheese, chicken tenders, or mac n’ cheese.