1. Check Out the Density Variants at Good City Brewing

Photo by Chris Drosner


Winter is imperial stout season, and many of which breweries release to great fanfare at their taprooms. Good City Brewing’s Density Day was Saturday, but really any day over the next few weeks can be Density Day. The brewery’s phenomenal bourbon barrel imperial stout – thick and boozy, robustly bitter despite the barrel character and loaded with fruity-roasty complexity like a great dark chocolate – is still on draft and is expected to remain so well into January, with the variants tapping out first. The coconut cream and maple cinnamon versions are both solid – not at all as sweet as they might sound – but my favorite twist was the version aged in rye barrels, that spicy spirit note carrying exceptionally well on the finish. (Flight of four 6-ounce pours, $24; 2108 N. Farwell Ave.; 333 W. Juneau Ave.; 11200 W. Burleigh St., Wauwatosa)     

2. Get cozy at Bryant’s


Embrace the dark days of winter in the even darker ambiance of Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. The glowing red of the bar oozes a romantic holiday vibe, making it the perfect place to cozy around a table and cheers the season. I love describing the kind of drink I like and then letting the bartender surprise me. Though I hear the room upstairs is serving a special Tom and Jerry only made around the holidays that you don’t want to miss.

Photo courtesy of Bryant’s

3. A Christmas Story, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life …


Chances are you’ve seen one or more of them at least one time, probably more. It’s that time of year. Watching them on the small screen is typically the only choice we’ve got. It’s fine, but seeing them on the big screen, well, that’s golden. This month, the historic Rivoli Theatre in downtown Cedarburg (W62 N567 Washington Ave.) is doing special screenings of some of these holiday gems. The theater charges $4 to get in, cash only, and you have a couple of hours to soak up some holiday magic. What am I seeing? Hmm, I’ve got my eye on Dec. 17’s showing of Elf.


4. Work on a Puzzle


As I was decorating for the holidays, I realized my coffee table was looking a little empty, so I ordered a 1,000-piece winter puzzle and had it shipped to my house. It arrived on Tuesday. It’s been years since I attempted a puzzle of this size, so I figured I should get a winter scene not a Christmas one,  that way I would have time to work on it throughout the cold season. It didn’t last a week. Puzzling sucked me in! Before I knew it, I had finished the whole picture (apart from one pesky piece that’s still missing). Now, I’m ordering more, and I recommend you get started too.

Photo by Evan Watters

5. Grab a Coffee and Get Your Art On at the New MARN Art + Culture Hub


Just this Monday morning, my colleagues forcibly roused me from my cavern for an in-person meeting. I emerged from the stinking darkness reluctantly. With my social skills long-atrophied, I am increasingly unwilling to face person-to-person interaction, but as I enjoy this job, I had no choice but to join them at the newly opened MARN Art + Culture Hub. In a twist worthy of Agatha Christie, it turns out I had a great time. The new space combines art gallery, shop, and coffeehouse in the Third Ward, and I gotta say it’s pretty cool. We used their conference room, with its eye-catching wall-wide mural, and after our meeting concluded, we took a little tour of the rest of the space, and looked over the art on display. Although I still loath to leave my cavern, I’ll admit that I’ll likely be returning to this scenic spot soon to support local artists, enjoy some coffee, and work on my latest novel, The Violent Proliferation of Sub-Western Eco-politics in the Life of One Timmy A. Muffins: a Sublimated Psychodrama.

Read the article written by Milwaukee Magazine staff here.