Hike #3: Kettle Moraine State Forest Lapham Peak Unit & Sweet Mullets Brewery

Hey all!

Because I planned last week’s hike, Bekki got to plan this week’s! She chose the Lapham Peak Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest. This section of the park is located in Delafield, WI…also known as lake country!

The Lapham Peak Unit is super easy to find; I-94 had signs for the park and the entrance off of County Road C was well marked. There was no chance of us accidentally passing the park like our last hike.

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We hiked the purple one…

There’s a Ranger Station located at the entrance where maps of the trail systems are available. I recommend picking one up because you can easily connect between trails if you wanted a variety of terrain.

Before our “official” hike, Bekki and I visited the Observation Tower. It is a spectacular wooden structure inside the park that allows you to take in the surrounding landscape from more of a bird’s-eye-view.

And as cold and windy as it was walking up to the tower, it was tenfold at the top. It was so windy I lost feeling in my face only seconds after we made it to the top! Then again, I’m not entirely used to WI winters yet so that probably didn’t help.

Bekki at the top of the tower. Nose like Rudolph!

After the tower, Bekki and I picked one of the two 2-mile hikes. It had to be short because we were working (Bekki)/volunteering (myself) at an adaptive sports night in Kenosha for her work.

We hiked the Kame Terrace trail. It was wide and well marked the entire way, and crossed several other trails allowing for a longer hike if desired. The hike was labeled as “easy,” and that’s an apt description.

Since Delafield is close to Oconomowoc, our mom’s hometown, we payed homage by choosing one of its breweries: Sweet Mullets Brewing.

It was in an industrial park, but close to Oconomowoc’s “downtown” area, Lac LaBelle and Oconomowoc Lake, so there’s several things to do.
We ordered a flight, because we were in a bit of a time crunch..and ouch was it pricey. We got 6 tasters for $14. Here’s a rundown of mine and Bekki’s flight:

(from left to right) Jorge, Tailwind, Red Mullet, Barley Juice, No O’s, November Rain

Jorge – jalapeño ale – tastes like a jalapeño, but there’s no bite. Interesting overall taste and experience and good as a flight size.  Smells like jalapeño, too.

Tailwind – English brown ale – It was very smooth and soft/weaker brown ale. Sweet after taste that comes off as almost a honey flavor.

Red Mullet – red ale – It was a very solid red ale with no bitter aftertaste. Not too malty.

Barley Juice – altbier – Very malty. Smooth. Overall, not bad but most people who aren’t used to malt flavor will consider it too overwhelming.

No O’s – American double IPA – It is very hoppy and a tad bitter…not sour…different hops than normal were used and you can definitely taste that difference. Chinook, nugget, Mt hood, Willamette, and cascade hops (Oconomowoc – cnmwc)

November Rain – sour Oud Bruin style – This was a very strange style of sour…it’s literally just a brown ale they soured. I probably wouldn’t drink a whole pint, but I’m not partial to sours so that’s heavily biased.  The bartender says it’s their most popular sour.

Next week will hopefully be a more challenging hike and a more relaxing drink. As always, here’s to the next one!

THE HIKE

Pros

  • Several hiking options
  • Trails are well marked

Cons

  • Not too much range in distances (either over 5 miles or it’s <2 miles)
  • No “wow” factor

Comments: The wide paths were easy to navigate and the contrast of the snow against the evergreens was cool.  We both kept thinking about how cool of a cross country course this would be.  However, due to the lack of difficulty and no particularly challenging portions or spectacular sites we gave it a lower rating.

Buffy: Unimpressive. Good starter hike. 2 miles. Good for variety of hikes or to get one in that’s close. Great for running. Rolling and fairly wide path mostly dirt…careful of rolling your ankle when it’s snowy – can’t see the rocks.

Bekki: I liked this park a lot. Like Buffy said there were a lot of trail options, which I’ll have to go back and explore. Based on how high up the Observation Tower was from the entrance, at least some of the trails has to have an upward climb.

Rating: 3/5

SWEET MULLETS

Pros

  • Cool bartender/story
  • Neat space and atmosphere

Cons

  • A lot of hit-or-miss beers
  • Industrial park offered little parking

Comments: Sweet Mullets seemed to have a very faithful fanbase.  This was apparent by us being there 10 minutes after they opened and we weren’t the first people there.  The bartender had a lot of good stories about the history of the bar and its various ownerships. he was very knowledgable about the beers and was more than happy to educate us on the process or the techniques that made the beers unique.  No beer stood out above the rest, although there were some interesting concoctions.  Neither of us would have bought a growler’s worth to take home.

Buffy: Interesting beers. It would be cool to drink this downtown and be able to enjoy the view of Lac LaBelle.

Bekki: The bar/brewery had a cool setup and furniture. They have good potential and do space to open up and include bar games or yard games outside in the summer months.

Rating: 2/5

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