A Trip to Pirate’s Cove

“Was this Pirate’s Cove?” is a question we get a lot in the taproom. Sadly, no. The once famous bar in downtown Appleton “Pirate’s Cove” had a footprint in our current Beer Garden and shared a fire escape with our building. But our building, which was built in 1916 for the Valley Dairy Co, was just the friendly neighbor to the local hot spot of the 1980s and 90s. Unfortunately, (according to legend) Pirate’s Cove burned down and left many of its patrons without a local watering hole. The former owner of Pirate’s Cove has come into our taproom a few times and shared stories. What a place it must have been! Many Appletonians also shared their stories, which mostly involve imbibing a delicious concoction called the Vulcan Mind Probe. (check out a Pirate’s Cove Menu framed in our taproom to recall the ingredients)

Pirate’s Cove Logo made by local artist Leif Larson – and a perfect depiction of our Helles Lager! look for our cans of Pirate’s cove around town (and in the taproom!)

But to us at McFleshman’s, Pirate’s Cove has more meaning than just a place that used to be. Years ago, Bobby and I were thinking long and hard about what would be our ‘flagship’ beer – you know, the one that everyone identifies with your brand? (Think spotted Cow from New Glarus) After months of going through hundreds of beer varieties we settled on a Munich Style Helles Lager. This style of beer has a flavor profile that will satisfy all varieties of beer drinker. Its light taste and a grainy-sweet aroma (a quite delicate aroma I might add) will wow your tongue as it dances between a crisp summer lager and a hint of toasty malt that you have to think about before it fades. That subtle nuance will challenge the “craft beer connoisseur” just like it makes the “new-to-craft “drinker pause for a brief moment and think – “hmmm, I like that” and then go on with their conversation.

We named this beer Pirate’s Cove to pay hommage to the great icon of Appleton, or course, but more than that we liked the idea of naming this beer after something that was a part of so many stories. Great beers take great brewers, yes, but I argue that even greater beer requires great friends with which to share it! And the more we heard about Pirate’s Cove the more we realized it was the backdrop to so many fun memories on our little spot off the Ave. So here’s to you, Pirate’s Cove! We hope that 20 years from now there will be thousands of stories that start with “This one time at McFleshmans, I was drinking a Pirate’s Cove and then…”


p.s. the music of my soul. RIP my friend.

115 South State Street - Appleton, Wisconsin
Tap Room Hours:
Tuesday - Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Saturday: 12pm to 10pm
Sunday: 1pm to 6pm