Badger-rific! New bar offers refuge for Wisconsin ex-pats

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Ex-pat Midwesterners have a home-away-from-home in Burnside, a new Williamsburg bar specializing in food, beers, and cocktails of the fly-over states.

Co-owners Tim Miller, John McWilliams and Amy Anstett founded the cozy bar on Grand Street after realizing their Badger and North Star state friends had woefully few options for fried cheese curds and Leinenkugel Honey Weiss.

“All of our friends are from the Midwest,” said Anstett. “They like to hang out with other Midwesterners. We thought it was weird that there’s no place to find cheese curd.”

It’s the first bar in Brooklyn that caters to a crowd known for its penchant for cheese curds and Cheeseheads.

The bar, which is between Union and Lorimer streets, stocks a variety of specialty cocktails and Midwestern beers, but its list favors micro-brews over Miller and Anheuser-Busch.

“We’re not a big fan of working with the big boys,” said Miller.

One specialty is the Special Lager from Steven’s Point Brewery in Wisconsin, a fairly straightforward beer with a slight hop aroma.

“It’s something that people from Wisconsin really identify with,” said Anstett. “It makes them feel at home.”

But Brooklyn Paper reporter and Chief Midwestern Affairs correspondent Kate Briquelet, an Oshkosh native, was most impressed with the bar’s stockpile of Milwaukee’s Best.

“Put aside all of your preconceived notions about ‘the Beast,’ and have two to four cans,” she said, using the local argot for the beer. “It’s delicious accompanied by the cheese curds. I felt at home. It brought out my Wisconsin accent.”

The aforementioned snack — a Wisconsin staple — is a cheddar cheese by-product dipped in a beer-and-egg batter, fried, and served unpretentiously in a paper boat. It is salty, fatty and, of course, amazing.

The burger — oddly called “The Jucy Lucy” — is also a real winner.

Your heart surgeon won’t appreciate your patronage at Burnside Brooklyn, but your soul will.

Burnside Brooklyn [506 Grand St. between Union and Lorimer streets in Williamsburg, (347) 889-7793].

Reach reporter Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@cnglocal.com or by calling him at (718) 260-4507. You can also follow his Tweets at twitter.com/dsmacleod
Posted 12:00 am, November 2, 2011
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