Bridge Up Brewing Company

Bridge Up Brewing Company, Sturgeon Bay

Full glass at Bridge Up Brewing Company, Sturgeon BayBridge Up Brewing started up in 2019 as a microbrewery in the lower level of Sonny’s Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria, a classic location right along the waters of Sturgeon Bay at the historic Steel Bridge, where Business Highway 42/57 cross from the mainland to the “northern Door” peninsula. Started by Trent Snyder, he named the brewery after the fact that the Steel Bridge does, indeed, go up a LOT.

A walk into the lower level Tap Room yields not only the bar and inside seating for enjoying the beers, but cool walls filled with everything from records to sign tacks and other unique decor. The outside patio offers a great view of the waters of the bay, the marina, even the shipbuilding yards across the water. Music and the sounds of the bridge fills the air, especially when it’s opening and closing frequently. Inside, don’t be surprised if the music is coming from the record player – and it could be a wide variety of sounds.

Bridge Up focuses on Door County ingredients and really wants ideas and input from its customers. Our last visit featured brews like the Knee High Cream Ale, the 1851 Zwickelager, Escarpment Citra Pale Ale, U-Pick Cherry Gose, Tan Lines, Brunch Buzz, and the No Wake Zone – but of course many are subject to change.


Bridge Up Brewing Company, Sturgeon Bay

Patio at Sonny's and Bridge Up Brewing Company, Sturgeon Bay


Bridge Up Brewing Company Address:

129 N. Madison Avenue (Business Highways 42/57)
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 743-2300

Bridge Up Brewing Company, Sturgeon Bay

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Foxtown Brewing along Highway 167 in Mequon

Foxtown Brewing Company

Foxtown Brewing Company logoFoxtown Brewing opened in November, 2019 and builds off the tradition of a much older brewery that not only stood on the current site along Mequon Road in Mequon, but also went underground.

The Opitz-Zimmerman Brewery opened on this site in 1857, only nine years after Wisconsin became a state, and at the time – since it was before refrigeration – two large subterranean caves were built. While the original brewery didn’t make it all these years, the caves have – and they’ve been remarkably preserved all this time. Foxtown Brewing prepped and reopened the caves and opened with a new facility on the same plot of land, focusing on European-style lagers.

Flagship beers include:

  • Homestead Helles
  • Flag Day Pale Ale (Flag Day was first observed in nearby Waubeka)
  • Pioneer Pils
  • Stanford’s IPA
  • Brick Oven Amber
  • Hilgen’s Hefeweiss
  • 160 Acre Landbier
  • Hidden Well Hazy IPA
  • Augie’s Dunkelweiss
  • Weston’s Hazy IPA
  • Port Road Pils
  • New Luxembourg Grisette
  • Hamilton’s Party Oatmeal Stout

The beers at Foxtown Brewing can be paired with food items they serve, which range from appetizers and sandwiches to full entrees. They also have salads, meat and cheese boards, and Friday night fish that includes a fish fry and a shrimp cocktail.

Foxtown Brewing taps (Foxtown photo)

Taps at Foxtown Brewing Company in Mequon (photo courtesy of Foxtown Brewing Co.)

The subterranean caves they talk about at Foxtown are indeed originals, having been hand-dug in the 1850s.

Foxtown Brewing caves in Mequon

Foxtown Brewing Company Tap Room Hours:

Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Thursday: 3pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – Midnight
Sunday: 11am – 8pm

Foxtown Brewing Company Address:

6411 W. Mequon Road (Highway 167)
Mequon, WI 53092
(262) 292-5700

You’ll find Foxtown Brewing Company along Highway 167/Mequon Road in Mequon, just east of Highway 181 and just west of Highway 57. It’s only minutes west of I-43/Highway 32 and east of I-41/U.S. 45 in Ozaukee County, about two miles north of the Milwaukee city limits. The Mequon Public Market complex is just across the street.



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Driftless Brewing Company in Soldiers Grove

Driftless Brewing Company

Nestled in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin, the Driftless Brewing Company shines – because it’s run partially on solar power in Soldiers Grove, the nation’s first “solar city.” Driftless Brewing started up in 2013 with a 1 BBL system in the town’s “solar village,” an initiative that dates back to the 1970s when Soldiers Grove relocated their whole downtown to avoid the floods that would happen often and, at the same time, tried to become the first truly solar-powered town in the U.S. – see that full story here.

Driftless Brewing does indeed use solar power to the maximum extent it can at this point, and the beers they’ve brewed – with a particular focus on local ingredients – have created demand in nearby cities and states. The need for expansion culminated in a new 15 BBL system and a refurbished Tap Room in 2019, right along U.S. 61 as you enter the town.

Driftless Brewing Company Tap Room

The new (as of 2019) tap room inside Driftless Brewing Company in Soldiers Grove, right along U.S. Highway 61.

Driftless Brewing Company’s beers include six core brews and guest taps from other Wisconsin and nearby craft breweries. Their six core beers include the Local Buzz Blonde Honey Ale, Dirt Brown Ale, Kick-Axe Pale Ale, Cow Cult Milk Stout, Saison de Jardin and Rolling Ground IPA. Seasonal, special, and guest beers rotate across their 10 taps. They don’t have a kitchen, just pretzels for palate-cleansing. There is a popular Italian restaurant and pizza place adjacent and beer lovers are welcome to bring food in from wherever to enjoy.

Driftless Brewing Company samplers, Soldiers Grove

Driftless Brewing’s brewing equipment is always working, but the Tap Room is only open Fridays and Saturdays. Hours vary based on the time of year, but the winter hours are 3pm – 9pm Fridays and 1pm – 7pm on Saturdays.

You’ll find Driftless Brewing along U.S. 61 in Soldiers Grove, just south of Highway 131 in northern Crawford County. Highway 171 is a few miles to the south, and U.S. 14 is a few miles to the north. It’s a beautiful drive no matter which way you arrive!

Driftless Brewing Company Address:

102 Sunbeam Boulevard West (U.S. 61)
Soldiers Grove, WI 54655
(608) 624-5577

Driftless Area map at Driftless Brewing Company

Handy-dandy Driftless Area map at Driftless Brewing Company in Soldiers Grove.

Driftless Brewing Company pint

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Second Salem Brewing Company in Whitewater

Second Salem Brewing Company

Second Salem Brewing not only brews craft beer, but it brings to life the mysterious paranormal and witchcraft history of its hometown of Whitewater. Rumors of witchcraft gatherings, especially near the city’s Starin Park Water Tower, along with mysterious murders and rumors of unearthly creatures in the city’s lakes led to the “Second Salem” nickname over the past century. A werewolf-type creature that supposedly stomps around this area of southern Wisconsin was named “The Beast of Bray Road” and a real man apprehended by authorities in 1929 that was called the Wild Man of La Grange (a nearby settlement just east of Whitewater along U.S. 12) has only added to the area’s reputation.

Perfect for naming beers, right?

Inside Second Salem Brewing

The expansive inside of Second Salem Brewing Company in Whitewater, with large posters describing each beer.

Second Salem Brewing glasses

Well, Second Salem had traded on the city’s history with crafts like The Beast of Bray Road Amber Ale, Wytches Brew Coffee Porter, Black Mass Stout, Old Main Golden Ale, Witchtower Pale Ale, Bone Orchard IPA, Killer Hill Winter Ale, The Reaper Pale Wheat Ale, the Wild Man of La Grange Hefeweizen, and plenty more. Some are signature brews, some are seasonal – selections range throughout the year. The Tap Room is a large area and a separate room can host additional events. There’s also a patio overlooking Cravath Lake.

One of the burgers at Second Salem Brewing in Whitewater

The Wisconsin burger at Second Salem Brewing, featured battered onion rings, cheese curds, and a scoop of their beer cheese soup.

Second Salem Brewing has its brewery, restaurant, and tap room right in downtown Whitewater, a block off Business U.S. 12 and just southeast of the UW-Whitewater campus. The restaurant offers a wide variety from salads to burgers to comfort foods like a lobster mac and cheese. The burgers get very creative – and hefty with different topping options from onion rings and cheese curds to red peppers. Their flatbreads are also popular along with their Friday fish fry, pastas, and a variety of sandwiches. And yes, some of them are healthy.

You can reach Second Salem by heading into Whitewater via Highways 59 or 89, or getting off the U.S. 12 mainline by following Business U.S. 12 (the original route) through the heart of downtown.

Second Salem Brewing Company Address:

111 W. Whitewater Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 473-2920


Second Salem Brewing Company art and barrels

Plenty of art that illustrates the Second Salem nickname for Whitewater flanks the walls of Second Salem Brewing Company.

Lobster mac and cheese at Second Salem Brewing Company

Lobster Mac & Cheese at Second Salem Brewing Company, paired with one of their craft beers. It’s Carb-A-Licious!

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PetSkull Brewing in Manitowoc

PetSkull Brewing Company

PetSkull Brewing logo, ManitowocManitowoc was known for its large malting plant with Budweiser slogans on it, now craft brewing with a tap room is back in town. PetSkull Brewery (weird name, we know) is located in the downtown area of the city between northbound and southbound U.S. 10, just blocks north of where U.S. 151 ends. Business Highway 42 also flanks PetSkull, running north on 8th Street and south on 10th Street just like U.S. 10. Following the main roads brings you within a stone’s throw of the skull, no matter what.

PetSkull is fairly small, making for a cozy bar and tap room area, complete with board games and other things to encourage group conversing. Their craft beers, brewed just feet away in the back of the building, are only served via tap inside their building, in samples, pints, or growlers to go. You can bring outside food in (in fact, it’s encouraged) but there is pretzel and popcorn sustenance for palate-cleansing available there. While brewing takes place most of the week at PetSkull, the Tap Room itself is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at this time.

PetSkull Brewing bar and taps

Beers rotate, but our last visit found a Northside Chocolate Oatmeal Porter, the 220 Double IPA, a German Hefewiezen called the Schnitzky, the Saturday @ 7 Saison, the Soulless Scotsman Scottish Ale, Udderly Peachy Milkshake IPA, and Sticky Fingers Honey Blonde. There were also two themed beers seemingly trading on the city’s Windigo Fest: the Living Dead India Pale Ale and Windigo Red IPA. As they grow, might they brew some beers saluting Sputnikfest? We’re preparing for that day.

PetSkill Brewing sampler

PetSkull samplers come in 4-oz glasses. The glasses themselves are labeled with the number of the beer, rather than the indication being on the sampler board or written on somewhere. That’s a lot of glasses to keep track of!

PetSkill Tap Room Hours:

Thursday 4pm – 9pm
Friday 4pm – 9pm
Saturday 3pm – 9pm

PetSkull Brewing Company Address:

220 N. 9th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 717-0237

PetSkull is just blocks away from Manitowoc’s 8th Street main street, within blocks of the classic Beerntsen’s Confections, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the U.S.S. Cobia, the Capitol Theatre, the Rahr-West Art Museum, and more.

PetSkull Brewing entrance, Manitowoc

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Duesterbeck's Brewing Company farm house

Duesterbeck’s Brewing Company

Duesterbeck's taps and wall menu

Duesterbeck’s Brewing opened on October 26, 2019 on the Duesterbeck family farm along County O, north of Delavan. Calling it itself a “Premier Farmhouse Microbrewery,” it’s in the area bounded by Highways 11, 89, and U.S. 12 in Walworth County with an Elkhorn mailing address. But rest assured it’s several miles out of any actual city. Located in one of the barns on the family property that was impressively remodeled into a state-of-the-art craft brewery with a large Tap Room, Duesterbeck’s began with several signature beers and will work on more as they expand.

Signature beers at Duesterbeck’s include their Crop Duester Cream Ale; the Roosterbeck Amber Lager; Muddy Duroc Brown Ale; Oatmeal Snout Oatmeal Stout; two IPAs (Bine Bomb Traditional IPA and Bentist Candy Juicy IPA); and two weiss beers, the Bees Be Crazy Honey Weizen and Bees Be Cherry, a Cherry Weizen. You can pick flights of 4 or 6 beers in five-ounce sample glasses, do a pint (served mason jar-style), or take home a growler. Then again, you can probably drink the growler there too – but it’d be best to share.

You can get snacks at Duesterbeck’s, but they’re focusing on beer so there’s no kitchen. Food can be brought in, especially if you’re willing to share. Otherwise, there you can get good sized bags of chips – including salsas and other selections – that can pair well with their variety of beers. Seating is available at the bar and tables range from high-tops to picnic tables, including the seating outside during proper weather. This is open farmland, so it’s often windy around here!

Duesterbeck's beer sampler

Duesterbeck's Brewing pintDuesterbeck’s Brewing Tap Room Hours:

Monday-Thursday 11am – 9pm
Friday-Saturday 11am – 10pm
Sunday 11am – 6pm

To reach Duesterbeck’s from Delavan, follow County O north from Highways 11 or 50 on Delavan’s east side. From Elkhorn, follow County H (Historic U.S. 12) to Sugar Creek Road and then head south briefly on County O right after the nearby Apple Barn Orchard & Winery. From Whitewater, follow County P to Sugar Creek Road and then head south on County O. Trust us, nobody just happens to stumble across this place – yet it was pretty busy on the random Sunday evening we stopped in!

Duesterbeck’s Brewing Company Address:

N5543 County Road O
Elkhorn, WI 53121
(262) 729-9771

Duesterbeck's Brewing sign at night along County O

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G5 Brewing Company, Beloit

G5 Brewing Company, Beloit

G5 Brewing Company entrance

It doesn’t look like your typical brewery entrance, but this is where you get into G5 Brewing, above Beloit.

Perched on a hilltop with a nice sunset view over Beloit, G5 Brewing opened in May, 2019. It’s located along Gateway Blvd. on Beloit’s east side in a building with a modern design and lots of windows. At G5, the “G” stands for “Gunderson,” the founding family. It’s a family of five, so that tells you how the number came about.

Pint at G5 Brewing, BeloitThe beers at G5 (or “G Five”) range from a lighter Helles lager called Hot Day In Helles and a Kolsch called Hindenburg in a Lightning Storm (yes, the names are getting long and creative) to an Imperial Chocolate Chip Cookie Stout called Hand in the Jar (12% – it’s strong!) G5 also adds several IPAs, like their Pineapple Under the Lazy Sea Hazy IPA right up to the level of a hazy double IPA named Combo Up; there’s also a Milkshake IPA named More Than an Arms Length. Others we’ve seen but not on our last trip include a Coffee Porter called 2nd Favorite Cousin. Beers available tend to cycle in and out depending on the month and season, so of course this list may vary.

Samplers are available in 5-ounce pours, just name five beers (see the theme with the “5” in G5?) or of course you can get pints and more. As they continue to grow, more seasonal and temporary selections will be available. Just don’t ask for a “macro” brew here; they serve up their beers only. However, if you or some of your cohorts are in the mood for wine, mixed drink, or cocktail, the fully-stocked bar awaits.

G5 offers a pretty extensive food menu too, and the early returns are highly-rated for their burgers and pizzas, as well as their unique-for-a-craft-brewery bowls, which offer up several styles of flavors from Asian to Mexican. Their signature G5 sandwich is grilled ham and melted Gruyere on a pretzel bun – and there are plenty of other choices.

Taps at G5 Brewing, Beloit

View west from G5 Brewing, Beloit

Sunsets come standard at G5 Brewing in Beloit.

With windows all around and high ceilings, G5 feels very expansive; the views of the sunset can be particularly enjoyable from the long bar or the seating areas, which wrap around the south and west sides of the building. G5 sits atop a hill on Gateway Boulevard, in area otherwise filled with light industrial buildings and some newer apartments in this fast-growing section in eastern Beloit. Kerry Ingredients, one of the Wisconsin’s Fortune 500 companies, is headquartered just blocks away. And G5 certainly has done a great job so far with their ingredients, as we can tell.

You can access G5 Brewing via Gateway Boulevard from I-43’s Exit 2, just east of where Highway 81 ends and I-43 starts up at the interchange with I-39/90, which will be under construction seemingly until the mid-22nd century – but we’ll see. Highway 67 also provides access from the south via Gateway Boulevard, literally feet north of the Illinois state line.

And with this place being in Beloit so close to the Wisconsin-Illinois line – about two miles north, we believe – it’s quite possible that G5 is the southernmost craft brewery in Wisconsin.

G5 Brewery sampler

G5 Brewing Company Address:

1895 Gateway Blvd.
Beloit, WI 53511
(608) 368-7492

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Rebellion Brewing Company in Cedarburg

Rebellion Brewing Company

You don’t have to cross over a waterfall to get inside many craft breweries, but in Cedarburg, you do. Rebellion Brewing opened in June, 2018, occupying the former location of Silver Creek Brewing in the city’s historic downtown area. The brewery’s theme is “Beer For the People.” Dale Georgeff, Peter Olds, and Rod Otto got the Rebellion going and continue to expand their selections.

Rebellion Brewing Company bar, Cedarburg

Rebellion Brewing offers up featured crafts like the Otto Von Weiss, Raspberry Ale, and Texas Tea – a dark, mild malty beer that has a unique flavor profile. They offer up limited editions and seasonals too, and you may stumble on their Vanilla Porter or a beer brewed with licorice or some other uncommon ingredient. Rebellion also offers up other Wisconsin and regional craft beers, ciders, and has a fully stocked bar and a series of creative shots and combos you can try. Pizzas and appetizers help you fuel up for more beers.

Sampler at Rebellion Brewing in Cedarburg

A sampler at Rebellion Brewing.

The building is one of the town’s most historic: the Cedarburg Mill, constructed in 1855 along Cedar Creek. At five stories high, it’s one of the tallest structures in Cedarburg and one milled out 120 barrels of flour per day. Today, the Rebellion’s portion of the building cranks out barrels and barrels of craft beer. The water comes from Cedar Creek, which has a waterfall inside the building that helped power the mill back in the day. You get a great view of it as you enter the brewery. Weather permitting, Rebellion Brewing has their Beer Garden, tucked on the backside of the building where the front door is; in this beautiful setting, the waters of Cedar Creek rush by and all you hear is the water and people enjoying their drinks; unless there’s a band playing, which happens a lot during the summer.

Rebellion Brewing entrance at night

Entrance to Rebellion Brewing – at night. It’s on the creek side of the building.

Rebellion Brewing as you enter the tap room


Rebellion Tap Room Hours:

Monday-Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 4pm – Midnight
Thursday: 4pm – Midnight
Friday: 4pm – Midnight
Saturday: 11am – Midnight
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Rebellion Brewing Address:

N57W6172 Portland Road
Cedarburg, WI 53012
(262) 421-8678
Facebook page

Rebellion Brewing is along Historic Highway 57 in Cedarburg, one block east of Washington, the main drag through downtown. Follow the local roads into Cedarburg from Highways 57, 60, or 181 to get there!


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Melms Brewing Company, Hartland

Melms Brewing Company

With its origins dating back to some of Milwaukee’s earliest brewing history, Melms Brewing Company launched in Hartland – about 25 minutes west of the big city along Highway 16 – and is working to grow its portfolio in Wisconsin’s beautiful Lake Country.

The origins of Melms indeed date back to 1854, when Franz Neukirch and Charles T. (“C.T.”) Melms opened a brewery on Virginia Street in the Walkers Point area of Milwaukee. Their original name of Menomonee Brewery changed to Melms, and by 1860 they were the largest brewers in Milwaukee. After C.T.’s passing in 1869, the Best Brewing Company came in and bought their operation. Best Brewing lives on with the name they flipped to in 1889 – Pabst. Today’s Melms grew out of a crowdfunding campaign that began in 2014. Their appearances at beer festivals and word-of-mouth helped create buzz, and they opened their Hartland Tap Room in 2018.

Melms Brewing Company bar in Hartland

A Rhapsody Bohemian Pilsner at Melms Brewing Company in Hartland, mere feet from Highway 16.

Melms offers 7-8 of their own craft beers in their Tap Room, which is in the basement level of a fairly non-descript shopping strip right at the corner of Highway 16 and Merton Road, at the northeast corner of the interchange. Their most popular is their Rhapsody Bohemian Pilsner, with other featured beers including their Blarney Stone Stout, Hootenanny Farmhouse Ale, Heifer Vice, Lake Country IPA, Reflection Imperial Porter, the Woodshed Imperial Amber Ale, and an upcoming (as of May, 2019) Disco Lemon-Aide IPA.

You can get any of the beers as a pint or as part of a 5 Beer Flight, which features 4-oz. samples. They also offer growler fills in large and small, plus sodas for non-drinkers.

You’ll find Melms in that aforementioned strip mall in Hartland, right at the interchange where Highway 16 meets Merton Road. Westbound Highway 16 travelers can use Exit 183 and just turn right immediately to find it; it’s right across from the Walgreens. Eastbound Highway 16 travelers can use Exit 182 (County E) and jog left and then right along the Frontage Road eastbound to Merton Avenue, where it’s right where the frontage road ends.

Melms Brewing Company Address:

418 Merton Avenue
Hartland, WI 53029
(262) 361-4946

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Cercis Brewing Company flight

Cercis Brewing Company

Cercis Brewery in Columbus


Cercis Brewing Company building in Columus

Columbus, Wisconsin is known as “Redbud City” for the lovely trees that bud during a certain time of the year. When a craft brewery wanted to start up here and use the redbuds as inspiration for their name, it turned out a certain big brewer didn’t like a startup brewery using “bud.” So, Cercis Brewing opened in May 2018, it used the name from the genus term for the redbud tree that populates this lovely town of 5,000 where the Rock River meets the Dodge-Columbia County border.

Located in a classic 1920 building that served numerous purposes throughout its lifetime, Cercis Brewing creates a number of locally-sourced craft beers. Primary brews include their Ten Pin Pale Ale, Cercis ESB, the Clocktower Cream Ale, Riverbend Red, and the Rye-O Ale, which is pronounced the same way as the little town of Rio just northwest of Columbus along Highway 16. There’s “Hello My Name is Amber” along with a Red Pale Ale, and seasonal brews. They also offer a number of guest beers from other nearby craft breweries.

Cercis Brewing sampler

Cercis Brewing also has an active kitchen, serving and sending out pizzas, sandwiches, Milwaukee soft pretzels, cheese boards, salads, soups, quesadillas, and more. The building is cool, too; it’s served as a bowling alley, a wagon station (yes, when horse-drawn wagons were a primary source of transportation), and a bunch of other stuff.

You’ll find Cercis in the downtown area of Columbus on Dickason Boulevard, one block off City Hall from Highways 16 & 60, and one block off Highway 73/Business U.S. 151 (Ludington Street). Highway 89 approaches town about one mile to the southwest, and today’s U.S. 151 freeway bypass is just to the northwest, via Highways 16/60. Heck, if you want to road trip by train, the Amtrak station is only two blocks away!

Cercis Brewing Company Address:

140 Dickason Blvd.
Columbus, WI 53925
(920) 350-0500

Cercis Brewing barback

Cercis Brewing sandwich

Cercis makes great pizzas and offers up a variety of sandwiches, including some creative and gooey use of cheeses – which makes sense in Wisconsin.

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