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A cucumber and dill beer? It’s coming but first this Wauwatosa couple has to grow the ingredients.

There is a small and impressive orchard in the backyard. No big deal until you consider that Ashley and Kiel McGuinness live off a major thoroughfare between Wauwatosa and Milwaukee.

This is not where you expect to find a patch of green embroidered with peach, apple and cherry trees alongside an inventory of other fruits and plants, all of which have one job — to serve as ingredients for beer.

Even the dill and cucumbers.

The couple own Rookery Brewing Co., making beer they hope to have available to the public as early as August. For the last few years Ashley and Kiel have home-brewed farmhouse ales using ingredients grown in their Wauwatosa backyard.

Meet with them on a Saturday morning and it’s hard to tell which they love more — the nine fruit trees and assorted other plants or what beer taste they might create using a combination of them.

The answer is both.

The couple met at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where Ashley, 35, studied interior design and Kiel, 35, studied fine art and mixed media. Art turned into recipe development for Kiel (he also makes the bottle labels). And that turned into an impressive gardening habit.

The garage door is flanked by a dwarf honey crisp apple tree (its cross-pollinating partner, a dwarf candy apple crisp, is across the lawn). The tree guards two rhubarb plants while four hop plants — cashmere, sorachi ace and Great Lakes hops among them — crawl up the trellises in place on the garage wall.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel