Wednesday, April 3, 2024

175 Years of Beer in Oshkosh

The Oshkosh 175 celebration begins Thursday, April 4th at Fifth Ward Brewing with the release of 175 Bock.

All three Oshkosh breweries will release a bock beer this year to commemorate the 175th anniversary of brewing here. Each of the collectible cans for these beers will carry the “Oshkosh 175” emblem. This is the first time brewers in Oshkosh have collaborated on a series of beers that celebrate our city’s brewing heritage.

Each of the three beers in the series will be a different style of Bock. The Fifth Ward’s Bock is a traditional German Bock, dark and rich with a lush caramel note and just enough hop contribution to keep it from being too sweet. It's a surprisingly drinkable beer considering that it brings a solid 6.2% ABV. This is an excellent example of the style.

Now, here’s something I’ve been saving for the right occasion, and I think this is it... Back in 2017, Ian Wenger and Zach Clark were working to get their brewery launched. Fifth Ward would open later that year, in November. In the meantime, Zach and Ian continued to homebrew. In April of 2017, the three of us got together to drink some of their homemade Bock beer. For reasons I no longer recall, I shot some video while we quaffed Bock.

Here are the three of us from April 2017, six months before the opening of Fifth Ward, getting a taste of what was to come. Prost, guys!

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