Foxtown Brewing along Highway 167 in Mequon
Foxtown Brewing Company

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
Website

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

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
Website




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 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
Website




 

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 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
Website





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 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
Website




Duesterbeck's Brewing sign at night along County O

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G5 Brewing Company, Beloit
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 Gose called Sounds of Summer and a Kolsch called Hindenburg in a Lightning Storm (yes, the names are getting long and creative) to a Milk Stout named Arctic Kitty, which also offers a version with coconut. G5 also adds several IPAs, right up to the level of a double dry-hopped IPA named Atari Graphics. They also have a Double IPA named Accent Mark and a Hazy IPA named Outdoor Voices. If coffee is more your flavor, their Coffee Porter is called 2nd Favorite Cousin – you can always ask them about the origins of these names.

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 sandwhich 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, right by 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
Website





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Rebellion Brewing Company in Cedarburg
Rebellion Brewing Company

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
Website
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

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
Website



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Cercis Brewing Company flight
Cercis Brewing Company

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
Website




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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Potosi Brewing Company
Potosi Brewing Company & ABA National Brewery Museum

Potosi Brewing Company & ABA National Brewery Museum

Potosi Brewing Company… making Potosi  “Beer’s Hometown”…

Potosi Brewing Company neon above entranceStarted in 1852, shuttered in 1972, and resurrected in parts of the same original building in 2008, Potosi Brewing Company offers rich history and many classic craft beers. Potosi was actually one of Wisconsin’s five largest breweries and distributed across the nation. While they weathered Prohibition, changes in the beer industry caused Potosi to close its doors in 1972. The building began to deteriorate and parts of it had to be removed as time wore on. In town, the sad view of the former brewery and its strong legacy inspired the Potosi Foundation to secure the brewery, invest $7.5 million, and re-open the brewery in 2008. Today, the Potosi Brewing Company’s campus includes the National Brewery Museum™, a brewpub, restaurant, beer garden, gift shop, and Great River Road Interpretive Center.

With the re-opening of Potosi Brewing in 2008, flagship beers like “Good Ol’ Potosi” and their Czech-Style Pilsner returned; other primary beers include their Cave Ale Amber Ale, Snake Hollow IPA, and Potosi Light. Seasonal brews include their Steamboat Lemon Shandy, Riverside Radler, Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale, Oktoberfest, and many more. Special barrel-aged varieties show up at times, too. Stay updated on available beers here!

You can also take Brewery Tours of their original and expanded facilities on weekends. Potosi runs tours Saturdays at 1 and 3pm, and Sundays at 1pm.

The National Brewery Museum at Potosi Brewing

National Brewery Museum entrance at Potosi Brewery

Shortly before re-opening, Potosi scored a huge coup by landing the the National Brewery Museum™. Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cincinnati were all in the running, yet the tiny town of Potosi (population 700) managed to make their case to the American Breweriana Association and land the museum, drawing beer and brewery fans from across the nation – and the world.

Today, the National Brewery Museum is a joint venture between the Potosi Foundation and the American Breweriana Association. This truly impressive, world-class museum shows off eclectic collections of beer bottles and cans, glasses, trays, coasters, advertising materials, neon signs, and various other breweriana collectibles. The museum covers several floors and has different themed rooms throughout where you can browse to your heart’s content.

Its full name is the National Brewery Museum & Research Center, where you can research beer brands and breweries dating back to the earliest records available. They have a library on one of the upper floors. Either way, if you want to learn about the country’s brewing heritage or simply just check out the cool and unique designs on all kinds of items over the years, this is the place to go!

National Brewery Museum in Potosi

An awesome array of signs, cans, bottles, and accoutrement from beer brands and breweries from across the nation can be viewed and admired at the National Brewery Museum in Potosi.

National Brewery Museum at Potosi

The ABA National Brewery Museum is open Monday – Saturday 11am – 9pm; Sundays from 9am – 6pm. Admission is $5, or you can opt for the “all-inclusive” with includes museum admission and a brewery tour, complete with beer samples out of your own Potosi pint glass for $13. Call (608) 763-4002 for more info.



Potosi Brewery Transportation Museum & Great River Road Interpretative Center

Great River Road Interpretative Center at Potosi Brewing Company

Potosi Brewing Company serves as a major stop along the Great River Road. The Interpretative Center is part of a network of 70+ museums and historic sites that offer information, maps and guides for the road. The Great River Road is usually Highway 35 in Wisconsin but in this corner of Wisconsin follows Highway 133 through the heart of Potosi and over to Cassville, where the Great River Road follows county highways until it reunites with Highway 35 closer to Prairie du Chien.

Since we’re talking transportation with both the Great River Road and the State Trunk Tour in general, we definitely want to recommend the Potosi Brewery Transportation Museum, which is on the ground floor of the main building right as you enter. Not to be confused with the National Brewery Museum upstairs, the Potosi Brewery Transportation Museum offers a cool and unique look at not only the brewery’s history, advertisements, and packaging, but how all those beer ingredients were sourced and got to the brewery and how all the completed brewers were transported over the years to thirsty customers. Everything from horse-drawn wagon to steamboat and train to truck is showcased.

Potosi Brewing Company Transportation Museum - car trunk

Traveling sales representatives would sell Potosi beer to a vairety of accounts, and often brought specials and swag with them. Here’s a sample of some from the 1950s – out of the trunk of their cars.

Potosi Brewing Company restaurant

Potosi Brewing MuseumThe restaurant at Potosi Brewing offers lunch and dinner with a great menu, offering pairing suggestions with the different beers they make. On your way in, you step right over a glass bottom showing some of the fresh spring water that comes down from the hills and bluffs that surround the town; this is the beer Potosi brews with.

Potosi Brewing Restaurant & Museum Hours:

Mon- Sat: 11 am – 9 pm
Sun: 9 am -6 pm
Sunday Brunch: 9 am – 12 pm

Potosi Brewing has a campus of buildings along Highway 133, with the original and newer brewery on one side and an event center with gardens on the opposite side. The Whispering Bluffs Winery is across the street, St. John’s Mine is less than a mile down the road, and this all part of what Potosi claims to be the “World’s Longest Main Street.”

Potosi Brewing Company Address:

209 S. Main Street (Highway 133)
Potosi, WI 53820
(608) 763-4002
Website




 

Highway 133 at Potosi Brewing Company

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Sunshine Brewing Company can at the bar
Sunshine Brewing Company

Sunshine Brewing Company

Sunshine Brewing Company, Lake Mills

Sunshine Brewing logoRight along Main Street (Highway 89) in Lake Mills, you’ll find Sunshine Brewing Company. Sunshine opened in 2018 with a particular eye on Belgian-style beers and are adding consistently to their portfolio.

Flagship Sunshine Brewing beers include their Tripel 8 Belgian Tripel, Diablo Sun Belgian Strong Golden Ale, and the Mayor’s Playground Belgian Stout. Seasonals include the Turn It Up Belgian IPA and the Stonefly Imperial Saison. Sunshine also brews a number of small batch beers, which rotate and include a Belgian Wit, a Kölsch, Amber Lager, a Table Beer called Enkel, a Witbier, a Dubbel, and a few IPAs.

Sunshine Brewing Company’s Taproom has two parts, a small bar and seating area in the front and a larger area in the back with tables and room for games, events, and more within sight and scent of the brewing equipment and processes. Along with the beers they brew, Sunshine offers several guest taps from other craft breweries in Wisconsin and, when the mood may strike, a neighboring state or two. They’ll also let you take some beers to go in their 32-oz. crowlers (and growler in a can.)

Buy a friend a beer (in advance) at Sunshine Brewing in Lake Mills

These fine folks on the wall have pre-bought a beer for friends who will be coming in later. Who’s gonna buy us one??

Buy a Friend a Beer in Advance

You can even buy a friend a beer in advance and they’ll not only get their beer when they arrive, their name will be up for all to see on the taproom board!

You’ll find Sunshine along Highway 89, which runs right through the heart of Lake Mills as Main Street. It’s just south of the center of town and County B, which doubles as the original Highway 30 between Madison and Milwaukee. I-94 is about a mile to the north, while the Glacial Drumlin Trail is less than a mile to the south.

Sunshine Brewing Taproom Hours:

Monday – Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – Thursday – 5:00pm -10:00pm
Friday – 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Saturday – Noon – 11:00pm
Sunday – Noon – 7:00pm

Sunshine Brewing Company Address:

121 S. Main Street (Highway 89)
Lake Mills, WI 53551
(920)320-9735
Website




 

Hubbleton Brewing Company sign
Hubbleton Brewing Company

Hubbleton Brewing Company

Hubbleton Brewing Company sign along Hubbleton Road

Hubbleton Brewing Company sign along Hubbleton Road.

Between Waterloo and Watertown in the Town of Portland, at the end of a long driveway, you’ll find Hubbleton Brewing Company. Trust me, few just happen to stumble across it as they wander!

Hubbleton Brewing, like many of Wisconsin’s more recent craft breweries, arose out of successful home brewing. Dan Schey co-founded the brewery with his son, Michael. It’s definitely a family business, but the extended family is drawing in a growing legion of folks who drive the rural roads off Highway 19 to get there. Tucked away in the midst of farmland, trees, and an active hop garden they use for their beers, Hubbleton Brewing Company has a sign out front about Hubbleton Road. That’s the only indication from the street, because the Tap Room and brewery requires a drive of about 400 yards up what at times feels like a long residential driveway. Indeed, the Schey’s house is to the right as you pull in – which makes for a nice commute. But the Tap Room itself is right at the end, and there’s room for parking and often a friendly greeting from their dog Murphy awaits.

Hubbleton Brewing's Tap Room and Brewery, early 2019

Hubbleton Brewing’s brewery and tap room in 2018. They’re working on a new tap room literally within a stone’s throw; construction begins in 2019.

The property, which is the Schey family farm and residence, also includes a three-acre hop farm. The hops are used in their beers and are also sold through a collective called Arrowhead Hops; founder and master brewer Dan Schey was also founder and first president of the Wisconsin Hop Exchange, which manages the hops of more than 65 growers in southern and central Wisconsin.

The brewery itself is behind the tasting area. Hubbleton Brewing uses a 3-barrel system and plans to expand to 10, especially as they break ground on their new, larger space later this year. Tours, which don’t take long, are available on Saturdays and upon request, as Dan will proudly show you their layout. His son Michael handles a lot of sales and marketing and is a big part of the reason you can start finding Hubbleton’s beers in 12-oz. bottles in bars and some liquor stores around Waterloo, Watertown, and more areas around Milwaukee and Madison. They hope for additional expansion as their popularity grows.

Hubbleton Brewing taps

Hubbleton Brewing Company beers include their Crawfish River Porter, names for the river winding around nearby; the “Crooked Judge” IPA, named for one of Wisconsin’s first judges who was – as its name implies – crooked. He was impeached in 1848. They also offer their Cattail Pale Ale, two IPAs including one called Fred the Moose, and an Imperial stout called Huntsman’s Breakfast. And of course there are more, especially as Hubbleton keeps coming up with more.

You’ll find Hubbleton Brewing Company just north of Highway 19 in Dodge County between Waterloo and Watertown; just follow County BB north and then head east on Hubbleton Road. The sign for the brewery will become visible shortly; just head up the driveway past the hop farm. When you reach the end, you’ll see the Schey house to the right, and the brewery and tap room straight ahead. Just park and get ready to enjoy!

Hubbleton Brewing Company bottles and merch

Hubbleton Brewing Company Address:

W10445 Hubbleton Road
Waterloo, WI 53594
(920) 253-7141
Facebook Page




A growler at Hubbleton Brewing Company

Rudolph Grotto
Rudolph Grotto Gardens & Wonder Cave

Rudolph Grotto Gardens & Wonder Cave

Rudolph, Wisconsin is a tiny town known for three big things: racing legend Dick Trickle, the legendary cheese shop Dairy State Cheese, and the rather impressive, bordering on legendary Rudolph Grotto Gardens & Wonder Cave.

The state features a number of grottos, but Rudolph Grotto is a landmark all its own. Covering 7.5 acres, it was designed to serve as a lasting memorial to Father Philip J. Wagner, who arrived in Rudolph in 1917. An Iowa native, Father Wagner had previously served in the Grotto at Lourdes, France and promised in 1912 to build a shrine to Our Lady if his prayers for better health were answered. They were, and true to his word, construction on the shrine began in Rudolph in 1927. The Lourdes Shine, as it was called, was first to be completed in 1928. The most recent project was finished in 1983.

Rudolph Grotto

In between – wow. You can explore everything from plaques containing the Ten Commandments to the Small Stone Church, built in 1940 to resemble the Castle on the Rhine. There’s Wisconsin In Miniature, Station of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, the Pillar Planter, the Last Supper Shrine (featuring hand-carved marble), Fourteen Stations of the Cross, and even a Sunken Garden with a Fish Pond and Waterfall, complete with a water wheel. There are 26 shrines in all, connected by trails, paths, and even a bridge or two. And there’s more.

The Wonder Cave totals nearly one-fifth of a mile through vernacular stone and features marble statues, illuminations and colors. Fashioned after the catacombs, Wonder Cave was constructed in stages from 1935 to 1957. The Wonder Cave does require an admission fee; everything else on the grounds is free and open to the public.

Wonder Cave at Rudolph Grotto Gardens

The Grotto’s gardens and cave are located behind St. Philip’s Parish, and you can visit the church, its reception center, and gift shop while there. The Gift Shop and Wonder Cave is open daily from 10am – 5pm, Memorial Day generally through the 2nd week of September.

Admission to the Grotto Gardens and the picnic area are free; the Wonder Cave is $2.50 for adults, $1.25 for teens, and 25 cents for children.

Rudolph Grotto sign along Highways 13/34.

You’ll find Rudolph Grotto Gardens & Wonder Cave just east of Highway 13/34 in the Wood County village of Rudolph. Dairy State Cheese is about a mile to the south.

Rudolph Grotto Gardens & Wonder Cave Address:

6975 Grotto Avenue
Rudolph, WI 54475
(715) 435-3120
Website




 

Rudolph Grotto bridge

St. Jude’s Chapel Shrine at Rudolph Grotto features a stone overpass – or underpass, depending on your perspective.

 

Lewis Station Winery along Highway 89 in Lake Mills
Lewis Station Winery

Lewis Station Winery

Lewis Station Winery opened in a former gas station (hence the “station” part of the name) in Lake Mills in 2011.  They offer daily wine tastings and a small bistro menu – with the pizzas being especially good – Wednesday through Saturday. Sundays they offer wine only, but that’s okay – it’s a winery first after all, right?

In 2018, Lewis Station became Wisconsin’s first Certified Craft Winery by the Craft Wine Association. That designation means they make their wines in small lots and the winemaking is entirely overseen by the winemaker, using grapes from an identifiable vineyard. The winery produces around 25 different varieties throughout the year, although they’re best known for big reds, such as their Lodi California Zinfandel (described as having “bold dark-fruit flavors and spiciness”) and its Sangiovese, popular for its red and dark berries. About a third of Lewis Station’s wines are on the sweeter side, featuring a combination of grapes and other fruits. If you’re up for something a little more bold, Lewis Station offers a Cabernet Sauvignon aged in used Jack Daniels oak barrels, creating a more powerful wine with a hint – or perhaps a sizable hit – of bourbon; it’s become one of Lewis Station’s best sellers.

Quite a few wines made here have been Gold and Silver award winners in the World Wine Competition and the Finger Lakes Region Wine competition. Owner and winemaker Rob Lewis will be happy to recount the awards, describe each wine, or give you the background story on everything they create.

Lewis Station Winery from the outside

Lewis Winery is housed in a former gas station on what was once the busiest corner in Lake Mills, at Highway 89 and Historic Highway 30. Pumps out front evoke that heritage.

Most of the wines themselves are made at their production facility in town (580 Enterprise Drive), which can be viewed as part of a scheduled tour or one of their wine classes.

You’ll find Lewis Station Winery right along Highway 89, which is Main Street, in the heart of downtown Lake Mills. The cross street is County Highway B, the actual former Highway 30 – once the main east-west road between Madison and Milwaukee. Across from the winery is the city’s “town square” park – actually a triangle – called Commons Park. In nice weather, you can sit on Lewis Station’s patio, sip, and enjoy the view of the park across the street, the handsome rock-laden design of the nearby library, or just watch the people of Lake Mills stroll by. Downtown Lake Mills is about a mile south of I-94, and the Highway 89 interchange (Exit 259). It’s definitely easy to get to! And, if you want local craft beer, Tyranena Brewing is also nearby.

Lewis Station Winery sampling

A sample of Sangiovese at Lewis Station Winery in Lake Mills.

Lewis Station Winery Hours:

Wednesday – Saturday: Noon – 8 pm
Sunday: 11 am – 3 pm

Lewis Station Winery Address:

217 N. Main Street (Highway 89)
Lake Mills, WI 53551
(920) 648-5481
Website

 

 




 

Mobcraft Brewery from 5th Street in Milwaukee
Mobcraft Brewery

Mobcraft Brewery

Mobcraft Brewery began as the “World’s First Crowdsourced Brewery.” Their model works like this: people submit their recipes or recipe ideas; others would vote on which creative recipes seemed the most appealing and would follow their votes up with commitments to buy a certain amount of beer once it’s brewed; then Mobcraft would brew it. Mobcraft still creates and brews recipes based on this novel idea but now have flagship creations of their own; they also contract brew for others as needed.

Flagship beers include the Oddball Kölsch, their Bat$hit Crazy Coffee Brown Ale, Rhubarb IPA, Low Phunk Sour Ale, Vanilla Wafer Porter (chocolate-y but also vanilla-y), Hoppy Hoppy Pants Pants (a “dank, juicy” double IPA), Sour Support fruited Sour Ale, and the Laughing Clown Imperial Milk Stout.

Creative, crowd-sourced varieties they’ve tried or currently have available? That runs the gamut. Examples include:

Supper Clubbin’ Grasshopper Milk Stout

Peanuttin’ Butter Than This Chocolate Porter (yes, a chocolate porter brewed with peanuts)

Post Treestand Jukebox Juicy IPA

Mahalo Mallow (a Bourbon barrel-aged ris with coconut, Kona blend coffee, and cinnamon)

You can keep up with their latest creations and offerings on their BLOG here. Their most popular varieties can be found all over Wisconsin in bars and liquor stores, as well as various locations in northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and parts of western Michigan and the U.P.

Mobcraft began in Milwaukee in 2013, moved to Madison for a few years as they looked to grow, and in 2016 relocated back to Milwaukee in Walkers Point. You can find their brewery and taproom, which offers sidewalk seating in summer, at 5th Street & Virginia Avenue, just off the roundabout where the 6th Street Viaduct heads for the Harley-Davidson Museum and downtown Milwaukee. Highway 38 ends just a few blocks to the south at Highway 59/National Avenue, while Highway 145 ends at U.S. 18 along 6th Street about half a mile to the north. Highway 32/1st Street is four blocks to the east; I-43/94 both offer quick access to Mobcraft and the Walkers Point area as well, look for the Iron Horse Hotel nearby!

Mobcraft Tap Room Hours:

Mon-Thur 3:00pm-10:00pm
Friday 3:00pm-Midnight
Saturday Noon-Midnight
Sunday Noon-10:00pm

Mobcraft Brewery Address:

505 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 488-2019
Website




Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company
Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company

Thumb Knuckle Brewing signThumb Knuckle Brewing Company opened in Luxemburg (the town in Wisconsin, not the country) in March, 2017. They’re named for their geographic position in Wisconsin: in Kewaunee County, right where the Door Peninsula – the “Thumb” – of Wisconsin begins. But since it’s the “bottom” of the thumb, “Thumb Knuckle” became the inspiration. You can see it in the logo, too; a Wisconsin-shaped hand wrapping around a pint glass of craft beer. It definitely catches your eye as you drive by on Highway 54 just east of the Brown-Kewaunee County line.

Thumb Knuckle brews up a number of beers and sodas. Beers include:

  • Heyder Helles, a Bavarian Helles style lager
  • Belgian Beauty Wit, a Belgian-style Wit beer with plenty of citrus
  • Gunmetal Porter, a rich and smoky, roasty-flavored porter
  • Boat Load IPA, a Cascade aroma hoppy IPA using hops grown in nearby Algoma, just down Highway 54
  • Red Beard Festbier, a traditional Märzen-style beer, great for Oktoberfest beer fans
  • Solea Amber Ale, a lighter crisper beer named after the Walloon-Belgian word for “sun.”

The Tap Room offers pints and samplers of their beers and sodas, as well as a glimpse into their brewing facility on the premises. Samplers are offered in a cool cutout of Wisconsin. You can also imbibe in freshly cooked pizzas and snacks. Thumb Knuckle occasionally hosts small events and live music.

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Tap RoomThumb Knuckle Brewing Taproom Hours:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 4-8 pm
Thursday: 4-8 pm
Friday: 4-10 pm
Saturday: 12-10 pm
Sunday: 12-6 pm

You’ll find the Thumb Knuckle Brewery and its Tap Room right along Highway 54 just into Kewaunee County and just west of the village of Luxemburg. Nearby, you’ll find Luxemburg Speedway and Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese (a State Trunk Tour favorite.) To the east down Highway 54, Algoma offers shopping, Ahnapee Brewery, Von Steihl Winery, and a beautiful lakefront. To the west along Highway 54, Green Bay with all its amenities isn’t a very long drive, either!

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company Address:

E0208 Wisconsin Highway 54
Luxemburg, WI 54217
Website

Thumb Knuckle Brewing sampler

A four-beer sampler at Thumb Knuckle Brewing. This one ranges from reds to ambers, a porter and a weiss bier.




Thumb Knuckle Brewing pint

A good pint at Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company, along Highway 54 just west of Luxemburg.

Inventors Brewpub
Inventors Brewpub

Inventors Brewpub

Inventors Brewpub, Port Washington

Inventors Brewpub brought active brewing back to Port Washington – a beautiful harbor town with a brewing history dating back to 1847 – when they opened in June of 2017. Located inside the American Legion Post 82 right across from Lake Michigan, Inventors strives to be a family-friendly restaurant and watering hole with a nano-brewery located behind the bar and kitchen.

Inventors Brewpub Tap Room

Some of the flagship beers at Inventors Brewpub include their  7 Hills Pale Ale, Edison IPA, Ozaukee Wheat, PW Golden Ale, Archimedes Amber, Witbier von Braun, Tesla’s Coil Double IPA, Reverend Reaper Scottish Ale, SS Porter, Beach Rock Extra Special Bitter, and Flughosen – a Berlinerweiss-style sour ale. They also feature a series of rotating beers to discover on each visit, primarily seasonal selections. Check out their unique Wright Flight sampling tray, too!

Inventors Brewpub flight

The “Wright Flight” sampler at Inventors Brewpub. A pretty cool invention, right?

The location is great, right in downtown Port Washington by their fantastic and historic harbor, just off Highway 32/Franklin Street. The iconic steeple of St. Mary’s Church is a top the hill, and the Port Washington Lighthouse is to the other side. The views of the lake out front are picturesque, and coupled with the activities available (board games, outside bean-bag toss, and events like “wheels,” where anyone can come and hang out bringing their bike, motorcycle, or car.

Inventors Brewpub beer at the barInventors Brewpub Hours:

Monday – Tuesday, 4pm – Close
Wednesday – Thursday, 11am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday, 11am – 11pm
Sunday, 11am – 7pm

Brewery Tours are available Fridays at 5pm and 7pm, or by appointment by calling (262) 284-4690.

Inventors Brewpub Address:

435 N. Lake Street
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-4690
Website




 

You’ll find Inventors Brewpub on Lake Street by Lake Michigan, just east of Highway 32 and less than a mile from the eastern terminus of Highway 33 in downtown Port Washington. I-43 and Highway 57 also come close and access Port via Highway 32. While there, check out a bevy of downtown shops, bars and restaurants, Coal Dock Park, their beautiful harbor, and more!

Visit Port Washington

Lone Girl Brewing, Waunakee,, Wisconsin along Highways 19 and 113
Lone Girl Brewing Company

Lone Girl Brewing Company

In the heart of downtown Waunakee, the Lone Girl Brewing Company opened in a renovated building in 2015 along Highways 19 & 113 at the railroad crossing. The historic railroad depot lies literally across the tracks. They have a good restaurant and bar inside their large Tap Room, and even a rooftop deck so you can enjoy your brew above the fray on nice days. Evenings, too – they sometimes have live music or show movies or games up there.

Lone Girl Brewing sampler

Lone Girl’s craft brews include:

  • SpeaKEEasy Light Light Ale, a pale straw-colored ale with an aroma eliciting a sweetcorn. It’s a good choice for a lighter, crisp- and clean-drinking beer.
  • Summer Lovin’ Wheat/Fruit beer, a mango-infused wheat ale;
  • Oktoberish Ale, a Märzen style Oktoberfest beer;
  • Yes Please! East Coast Ale, a hazy golden beer with citrus flavors. Do they say “please” a lot on the east coast??;
  • Nut Punch Peanut Butter Porter, not as painful as it sounds. And yes, it’s a porter infused with peanut butter;
  • Surprise Threesome Belgian Trippel, a stronger beer (9.5% ABV) brewed as a trippel;
  • Baby Got BAQ, a barrel-aged Quad at 10.5% ABV;
  • Ham the Astrochimp, an Imperial IPA named after the first chimpanzee in space. It even includes Galaxy hops and a Mazomanie, Wisconsin-grown hop named Skyrocket;
  • Sip & Slide, an herb and fruit beer;
  • Double Trubbel, a Belgian Dubbel with pumpkin spice;
  • Towhead, a Belgian Blonde ale with a honey-like presence, going from sweet to a dry finish;
  • Off the Rails IPA, a golden beer with a creamy head, blending citrus hops and a malty sweetness. Hey, you’re right to the rails at Lone Girl!

Other brews rotate in and out, some are seasonal. Check their latest lineup on the Lone Girl Brewing website’s Brewery page.

The food menu is extensive, with numerous appetizers (carbo-load with their “KRĀZĒ Bread”, or try their beer-battered pickle spears, another fave of ours), burgers, sandwiches and soups, and some specialty entree and dessert selections.

Lone Girl Brewing barLone Girl Brewing Hours:
Monday: 5pm – midnight
Tuesday & Wednesday: 11am – midnight
Thursday – Sunday: 11am – 2am
Kitchen hours:
Sunday – Wednesday until 9pm
Thursday – Saturday until 11pm

Lone Girl Brewing Company Address:

114 E. Main Street (Highways 19/113)
Waunakee, WI 53597
(608) 850-7175
Website




Hillsboro Brewing sign
Hillsboro Brewing Company

Hillsboro Brewing Company


A glass at Hillsboro Brewing Pub in Hillsboro, WisconsinHillsboro, Wisconsin had its own brewery in the 1800s. And like many smaller Wisconsin towns, it has its own brewery once again. Hillsboro Brewing traces its roots to the early 2010s, when the Verbsky family began working on the idea. Joe Verbsky was developing recipes with family members and noted on October 15, 2012 for one particular recipe, “well, I think this is it, I think I got it!” Two days later, he tragically died in car accident. Shocked as they were, his family pressed on. Led by Joe’s son, Snapper (it says that on his birth certificate) and his wife Kim, Hillsboro Brewing opened shortly thereafter in a former shoe store at Hillsboro’s prime corner downtown, where it last for six years before outgrowing its space and moving to its current location in August of 2019.

Joe Beer, the brew recipe that Joe loved so much shortly before his passing, is one of their flagship brews – a classic porter. Another flagship is their Leaping Lemur Cream Ale, which is brewed with Madagascar vanilla and is a State Trunk Tour favorite. Leaping Lemur Cream Ale is quickly becoming available in locales around the state – but only within the state. Hillsboro Brewing has the same license and distribution restrictions as New Glarus Brewing does with Spotted Cow: it can’t be sold in bars or liquor stores outside Wisconsin. Their other flagship beer is the Snappy IPA, named for brewery owner (and Joe’s son) Snappy. These beers are also available in cans. Get their current beer menu here.

Other staple brews, on tap only, include their Hillsboro Pale Ale, a lighter session ale; Big Jim Bourbon Brown, which (as its name implies) offers hints of bourbon, as well as heavier malts and vanilla; Irish As Feck, a traditional Irish Red; Bohemian Club, their Czech pilsner in salute of the local ethnic history; and Kickapoo Oil, a dark, malty black lager.

Highways 33, 80, and 82 all come together by the Hillsboro Brewing Company, now in its new space at 206 E. Madison Street in Hillsboro. In the new space, you can enjoy fresh beers, take a tour, enjoy specialty sandwiches, lunches, and pizzas, and more. Check out their menu here.

Hillsboro Brewing Company Tap Room, for now

Hillsboro Brewing Pub and Tap Room

Hillsboro Brewing Company Hours of Operation:

Summer Hours: April to November / Open Tuesday to Sunday
Winter Hours: December to March / Open Tuesday to Saturday
Bar Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday open from 11am-2am
Sunday open from 11am-8pm
Kitchen Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday open from 11am-10pm
Sunday open from 11am-10pm

Hillsboro Brewing Company Pub Address:

206 E. Madison Street
Hillsboro, WI 54634
(608) 489-7486
Website




Hillsboro Brewing at the corner of Highways 33, 80, and 82

Hillsboro Brewing’s original Tap Room at the corner of Highways 33, 80, and 82.

HIllsboro Brewing tap handles

Some tap handles at Hillsboro Brewing, including a likeness of Joe, the brewery patriarch for whom “Joe’s Beer” is named in memoriam.

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Kohler Design Center back wall
Kohler Design Center at the American Club

Kohler Design Center at the American Club


Entrance to the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin

The Kohler Design Center is a remarkable showcase of design, offering innovative technology and a look back at history.

The remarkable history and highly-touted designs of The Kohler Company meet and come alive at the Kohler Design Center. Located along Upper Road at Highland Avenue between the Shops at Woodlake and The American Club in Kohler itself, the Kohler Design Center is “a three-level showcase of innovative product design and technology, creative achievement, and American history.” The building, located in a former recreation center for the residents of Kohler, opened as the design center in 1985 and draws over 150,000 consumers, builders, architects and designers each year, finding inspiration across its 36,000 square feet of displays.

It’s free to go in, and you can’t even buy anything! The Kohler Design Center is strictly a showcase and museum space. They won’t even take money for the coffee they offer. You can, however, meet with one of the Kohler designer on staff, or bring your own. They can connect you with plenty of dealers and distributors if you wish to purchase any of the Kohler products. Here’s how the Design Center is laid out:

Main Level: Product Pavilion and Water Deck

The main level offers the latest Kohler designs and products. You’ll find a sea of sink and faucet designswide variety of sinks and faucets, toilets, tubs and showers, power generators, and more, including tubs and showers just a few steps up from the main level, which also brings you to the mezzanine level. It’s a

Faucets at the Kohler Design Center

The showcased products are for display purposes only, but that doesn’t mean a few of them aren’t operational. Some of the sinks are hooked up; none of the toilets are.

Mezzanine Level: the Designer Room Gallery

The upper/mezzanine level offers 20+ model kitchens and bathrooms incorporating these products, immersing you in interior design ideas from ultra-modern to classic and retro. Designers created themes with names. Bathroom galleries include Del Mar, A Daily Splash, Barococo Futurism, Minimal Modern, Urban Elegance, and Woodland Sanctuary. Kitchen themes include Crystal Clear, Zen Loft, Mediterino, A Cook’s Garden, and more.

Tub and toilet in a model bathroom at the Kohler Design Center

Tub and toilet (yes, the square one) in a model bathroom at the Kohler Design Center.

Farm door and shower in one of the model bathrooms at the Kohler Design Center.

Farm door style and multiple fixtures in this model bathroom at the Kohler Design Center.




Lower Level: Museum and Art/Industry Gallery

The lower level is a fascinating museum, showcasing the colorful history of the Kohler family, the Kohler Company, and the town itself – one of the first planned communities in the United States. Exhibits are arranged in a timeline progress so you can follow the gradual evolution of Kohler products through the years. Everything from early machinery and power generation products to faucet and bathroom fixture designs can be viewed, as well as exhibits showcasing art and the championship golf courses flanking the area, Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. Of particular note are the scores of early advertisements used for Kohler products, which reflect consumers’ changing tastes throughout the years. The Arts & Industry Gallery is an ever-growing collection from Kohler’s own Arts/Industry program, which collaborates with artists from around the world. It was originally developed in 1974 by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan just down the road. It continues as an ongoing artist-in-residence program, which helps the company stay creative and gives it access to tools and materials to keep its design minds at the cutting edge of new ideas.

Colorful mid-century sinks on the museum level at the Kohler Design Center

Kohler pioneered plumbing fixtures in a variety of colors, with early examples in the museum on the lower level.

Faucet ad in the men's bathroom at the Kohler Design Center

Even the bathrooms have cool designs and features, including this Kohler ad on your way into the men’s restroom. I’d have checked out the women’s restroom design, but apparently that would be “frowned upon.”

You can also see how it’s all made, right there in Kohler, by taking an “Industry in Action” Walking Tour. You’ll learn about and see the cast-iron tubs, kitchen sinks, faucets, and other Kohler products as they are created. Tours are offered Monday through Friday; there’s one a day, leaving from the Kohler Design Center at 8:30am. Tours are led by Kohler retireees, so they know their stuff! Tours require you to be at least 14 years of age, wear closed-toed shoes, and agree not to take photos (photos are welcomed and encouraged within the Design Center.) Reservations for Industry in Action Walking Tour are required, and you can reserve your spot at (920) 457-3699.

Kohler Design Center Hours:

Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 4pm

You can reach the Kohler Design Center via County Y/Highland Avenue from Highway 23, just west of I-43. Highways 28 and 32 also offer close proximity from the south and west. Highways 42 and 57 also come within a few miles of Kohler.

Kohler Design Center Address:

101 Upper Road (at Highland)
Kohler, WI 53044
(920) 457-3699
Website


Wall of toilets at the Kohler Design Center.

Visit Sheboygan - Malibu of the Midwest

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Racine Brewing logo
Racine Brewing Company

Racine Brewing Company

Racine Brewing Company started up in late 2017, brewing beer and craft sodas right along Main Street. Husband and wife team Andy & Angie Molina, Racine residents all their lives, always loved craft beer and traveled around to tour many across Wisconsin and nearby states. Inspired by what they saw and the benefits for the community that develop with it, they decided to brew their own craft beer in Racine.

The tap room offers their regular and seasonal brews along with occasional guests from other brewers in Wisconsin and Illinois. At various times, Racine Brewing’s Tap Room features live music, a comedy show, karaoke, or game nights. Their Facebook page has more event details.

Hours:
Monday Closed
Tues – Thurs 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

You’ll find Racine Brewing Company in a storefront on Main along the strip in Racine’s downtown, right along Highway 32. Highway 20 is just to the south by a few blocks; Highway 38 is just a few blocks to the north. Highway 11 also brings you into Racine a mile or two to the south.

Address:
303 Main Street (Highway 32)
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 631-0670
Website




Sample Beers Available at Racine Brewing Company

  • Pete’s Fury, a cherrywood-smoked pineapple Cascadian dark ale
  • Pontoon Down! Hazy white IPA with Habanero
  • Lakehouse Cream Ale
  • Dragon Boat Warrior Amber Ale
  • Hola Racine! Mexican style ale with agave

Sodas include Sarsparilla, Ginger, Vanilla Cream, and Cherry

Real Racine Events Guide 2019

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Entrance to Norskedalen off County PI in La Crosse County
Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center

Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center


Norskedalen means “Norwegian Valley,” and it serves as a nature and heritage center dedicated to preserving, interpreting and sharing the area’s natural environment and cultural heritage. Opened in 1977, Norsedalen features a secluded blend of hills and valleys traversed by trails, historic structures, and artifacts from all over the area. The focus is on Coon Valley in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area and Norwegian settlers who came to La Crosse and Vernon Counties.

Norksedalen Thrune Visitor Center mural

Norwegians loved their home country, but many considered opportunity in America irresistible. Wisconsin’s Driftless Area gave them a reminder of the beauty of home with better farmland and opportunity.

The Thrune Visitor Center is an excellent place to start. You’ll find several rooms which offer a look at how Norwegian settlers fared in Norway, made their way to America and Wisconsin, and adapted over time. One room traces the process of the early immigrants in a timeline fashion. It begins with displays of the actual trunks they packed their lives in for the ocean voyage, complete with labels and more. It then progresses to tools they brought for making clothing, tilling the land, and building their homes, and moves on to items they used around the house and in the community as they established themselves in Wisconsin. This immerses you in their experience.

Norskedalen Thrune Visitor Center Museum tools from early settlers

Norksedalen's Benrud Little White ChapelPlenty of historic buildings dot the grounds of Norskedalen. Numerous structures from the original Bekkum Homestead, including the main house, sit in close proximity along a creek. The Benrud Little White Chapel is a reconstructed church that originally stood in Sparta before being moved to Norskedalen in 2009. Today the chapel hosts weddings and other events and houses plenty of artifacts from its church days. Check out the still-playable organ that dates back to 1915!

Between its ability to grow in Wisconsin soil and fetch higher prices, tobacco farming became quite popular with early Norwegian settlers. Along the Ophus Trail, a good 1.1-mile walking path, you’ll find an original tobacco barn from the Coon Valley area.

Tobacco barn at Norskedalen

Early original tobacco barn at Norskedalen.

The Bekkum Homestead at Norskedalen.

Part of the Bekkum Homestead at Norskedalen.

Start of the Ophus Trail at NorksedalenYou can also get a little exercise traversing trails that run through the grounds. Some offer steep climbs up the high hills surrounding the valley. Others stay low and let you explore the vegetation, flowers, streams and ponds, and other features that make this place serene and beautiful.  Trail lengths range from just under a mile to over four miles.

The Paulsen Cabin (no relation to State Trunk Tour founder Eric Paulsen, as far as we know) on the Norskedalen grounds offers overnight accommodations. It’s a 130 year-old log cabin on the outside and a mix of history and today’s comforts on the inside. It sleeps six with an authentic log interior and loft; but it also features a full kitchen with modern amenities.

Norskedalen offers events throughout the year, including nature walks and family-friendly options. Midsummer Fest welcomes the warmth after Syttende Mai.  Ghoulees in the Coulees is popular during Halloween. You can take a Candlelight Snowshow Hike in winter. Other events immerse you in nature and history.  Get more events here.

Reaching Norskedalen means a beautiful drive through the Driftless Area. Norskedalen is located along County PI between Highway 162 and U.S. 14/61 just north of Coon Valley. County PI itself is a narrow, twisty road that features hairpin turns as it navigates Poplar Coulee, winds past farms, and hugs hillsides on its way to the grounds. This is very much a pay-close-attention stretch of road! But it is gorgeous and very much a hint of the beauty to come when you arrive.

County PI on the way to Norskedalen

County PI on the way to Norskedalen.

Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center Address:

N455 O Ophus Road
Coon Valley, WI 54623
(608) 452-3424
Website





Pecatonica Beer Company logo
Pecatonica Beer Company

Pecatonica Beer Company


Pecatonica Beer Company has its headquarters in Gratiot, Wisconsin, by Highways 11 and 78 in Lafayette County. Its Tap Room offers up these beers several miles south via 78 in Warren just over the Illinois border, making it something of a bi-state brewery. The Pecatonica Tap Room is on Warren’s Main Street, which is part of an historic stagecoach trail.

Pecatonica Beer Tap Room entrance

The front of Pecatonica’s Tap Room, complete with a canoe hovering above along Highway 78 in Warren, just south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

Pecatonica features a UW rowing crew boat - but it won't get in your way.

Pecatonica features a UW rowing crew boat – but it won’t get in your way – it’s suspended from the ceiling.

Named after the beautiful river that winds through the area, Pecatonica Beer launched in 2014 and brews small batches with an eye on full-bodied beer varieties. Their Tap Room is located in a historic building on Warren’s Main Street – also part of Highway 78 – with plenty of character. This includes an original Blatz Beer neon from the 1940s era and an original University of Wisconsin canoe the rowing crew used from the 1950s into the 1970s suspended from the ceiling, with crew shoes still affixed in the boat. Although the Tap Room is technically in Illinois, the brewery, beers, accoutrements, and owners scream “Wisconsin.”

As of this writing, they offer four annual beers: the Muskelager Lager, Alphorn Ale, Quinn’s Amber Lager, and their Pecatonica IPA. Seasonals at this time include Oktoberfest, the Belgian Beauty, the Irish Red, and the Nightfall Lager. A relationship with Potosi Brewing Company means they also offer some Potosi beers, as well as other guest brews based on the time of year and demand.

Pecatonica Beer sample sampler

Quite quaffable samplers at Pecatonica Beer Company’s Tap Room.

Pecatonica Beer Company Tap Room Address:

136 E. Main Street (Highway 78)
Warren, IL 61087
Tap Room Website

Pecatonica Beer Company Main Address:

5875 Main Street, Suite 1A (Highways 11 & 78)
Gratiot, WI 53541
(608) 558-5257
Website
Pecatonica Facebook Page




Brewfinity Brewing Co., Oconomowoc
Brewfinity Brewing Company

Brewfinity Brewing Company


Brewfinity tapBrewfinity opened as Sweet Mullets Brewing Company in 2012 and re-named itself in 2018. Brewfinity is Oconomowoc’s own craft brewery; it can be found tucked away in a small light industrial park off Highway 16 on the west side of town. The brewery started up in 2012 and came under new ownership in 2016, when the original owners sold to Chad Ostram, who introduced a whole new set of brews and eventually changed the name.

A State Trunk Tour favorite is their Jorge, a jalapeno-infused beer that features the zesty spicy flavor of jalapenos without the heat. Their Day Drinker is a good light lager if you’re stopping in along a road trip.

Other brews include Da Udder Stout (a milk stout); Flying Monkey, a German-style Weissbier; their traditional Oktoberfest; Runtime Red and EZ Irishman, two American style red ales; and Maxwell’s Mullet, a nut brown ale brewed with coffee tones.

The Tap Room at Brewfinity is a pretty big place, and they host events fairly often. They have a kitchen with pizzas and sandwiches, and for appetizers hot pretzels, nachos, and even edamame (the vitamins in edamame help your liver process alcohol) for you to pair your beers with. With its location tucked inside a light industrial park, nobody will just happen across Brewfinity – but if you follow the signs just off historic Highway 16 as you enter Oconomowoc from the west, you’ll get there. It’s worth the trip!

Brewfinity Brewing's Jorge jalapeno beer in a can

Jorge Jalapeno Lager, a State Trunk Tour favorite from Brewfinity in Oconomowoc.

Brewfinity Tap Room Hours:

Monday CLOSED
Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday 4pm-10pm
Thursday 4pm – 10pm
Friday 4pm – 11pm
Saturday Noon – 11pm
Sunday Noon – 7pm

Brewfinity Brewing Company Address:

N58W39800 Industrial Road (just south of Highway 16)
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
(262) 456-2843
Website




Brewfinity electronic menu

Brewfinity’s beers, like many craft breweries, can change. Here’s a shot of the choices at one point – trying hard not to let the lights reflect in the screen, but you know how hard that can be.

Log Cabin Heritage Park
Log Cabin Heritage Park

Log Cabin Heritage Park

Log Cabin Heritage Park along Highway 131Gays Mills holds its heritage well with Log Cabin Heritage Park. While the town is also home to the Crawford County Fair, several charming and historic downtown buildings, and the state’s largest apple festival, the real history is in this park.

Log Cabin Heritage Park is basically an open-air architectural museum of log houses which was established to preserve the folk architecture of the Kickapoo Valley. Explore six log structures and other buildings along a spring fed creek and learn about building techniques and life in this area in the 19th century. The entire park is located on the site of a former sawmill.

Structures you can learn about include the Altenburg-Zweifel Corn Crib (unique in that it was a house built without nails), the Barker Log Cabin, the Matti Hen House, the McCann House, the Nederlo Granary, the Tucker-O’Brien Log Cabin, and the Wauzeka Ridge School House. Many were built around 1870-1880 and were shipped to the park when it was organized in 1996.

The park also offers two shelters, grills, restrooms, a volleyball court, horseshoe facilities, a swimming pool and a children’s playground.

You’ll find Log Cabin Heritage Park along Highway 131 in Gays Mills, next to the Crawford County Fairgrounds. Highway 171 intersects nearby. While in Gays Mills, you can also check out the Kickapoo River Museum and quite a few antique stores.

Log Cabin Heritage Park Address:

212 State Highway 131
Gays Mills, WI 54631
(608) 735-4341
Website




Starboard Brewing logo
Starboard Brewing Company

Starboard Brewing Company

Sturgeon Bay’s Starboard Brewing Company opened in October 2014 and in its short history has already created over 300 different brews. Their brewery is on-site downtown and they have a Tap Room open five days a week for sampling, hanging out, and whatnot.

Primary beers at Starboard include:

  • Admiral Klutz, an English-style IPA;
  • Bradford Brown, a Northern English Brown Ale;
  • Autumn Dusk, a Berliner Weisse fermented on tart cherries in a wine barrel;
  • Winter Layup, a Dunkel Weizen with extra wheat;
  • Spindrift, an Imperial Red IPA with High Alpha Hops
  • Many, many others are available throughout the year, check here for the latest.

Guest brews from other (primarily) Wisconsin craft brewers also make the tap list, including a gluten-free option and Sprecher soda. Their Tap Room is open from 3 – 9 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon – 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon – 6 pm on Sundays. As you might guess from this, they’re closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

You can pair the available beers with a variety of select Wisconsin cheeses, smoked salmon, and other tasty foods.

You’ll find Starboard Brewing right along 3rd Avenue, Historic Highways 42 & 57 through downtown, in Sturgeon Bay. The traditional Steel Bridge (Michigan) or newer bridge (Oregon) both provide easy access across the actual bay.

Starboard Brewing Company Address:

151 N. 3rd Avenue (Business Highways 42/57)
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 818-1062
Website
Facebook page




Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery capital sign
Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery buildingEllsworth Cooperative Creamery cranks out 170,000 pounds of cheese curds daily; it’s no wonder its namesake town takes the title “Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin.”

Located along U.S. 10 & 63 just east of downtown, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery dates back to 1910; they didn’t start making cheese until 1966, with their now world-famous curds first hitting store shelves and restaurants two years later. They produce all those curds in Ellsworth, with an additional 80+ varieties of cheese being produced at their sister facility up U.S. 63 a ways in Comstock, near Cumberland in Barron County. Those Comstock-produced cheeses join nearly 200 other Wisconsin-produced cheese varieties to make Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery’s market hard to beat for selection.

The Creamery store offers fresh curds made that morning at 11am, seven days a week. Don’t be shocked if people are lined up waiting to get their hands on the freshest, squeakiest ones.

There are plenty of cheese curd samples to go with the multitude of flavor options you can buy. And since Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery knows you can’t live on cheese along, their store also offers a nice selection of wines, craft beers, even ice cream, fudge, and a variety of souvenirs from the area. And people do come from all over the country to visit!

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery samples

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery is open 9am-6pm seven days a week. They’re closed on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. You’ll find the Creamery along U.S. 10/63 on the east side of Ellsworth. Highway 65 begins just to the west downtown, and Highway 72 begins just to the east. Feel free to explore the area and check out Common Man Brewing just down the street, too!

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery Address:

232 N. Wallace (along U.S. 10 & 63)
Ellsworth, WI 54011
(715) 273-4311
Website




Southport Lighthouse, Kenosha
Southport Lighthouse Station Museum

Southport Lighthouse Station Museum

The Southport Lighthouse, reflecting Kenosha’s original city name, was built in 1866. It stands 55 feet high and is the third lighthouse to stand in that location. In 2010, it opened as a maritime museum on Simmons Island at 50th Street and Lighthouse Drive/4th Avenue. Inside the original Keeper’s House you’ll find artifacts, maps, old pictures, and more information about Kenosha’s harbor, a long-important point for industrial shipping, commercial fishing, and recreation.

The first floor was restored to reflect the era around 1907, including a period kitchen and historic colors. Check out the chart desk, which offers nautical charts and historic harbor maps that go all way back to 1839, when Southport was the name of the town.

Lighthouse fans will love the authentic Fresnel lens on loan from the U.S. Coast Guard; it matches the size lens that once topped the Southport Lighthouse. On the second floor, you’ll find more exhibits about the restoration project, local shipwrecks, the U.S. Coast Guard, and a re-creation of a lighthouse keeper’s bedroom/office.

Parking and museun tours are free; there is a fee to climb the 72 steps to the top of the Southport Lighthouse, $10 for 13 and over and $5 for children 8-12 years old. Children under 8 are now allowed to climb the lighthouse.

Check out a “then and now” video of the Southport Lighthouse and Museum here, produced by the Kenosha Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Southport Light and water tower at Kenosha

The 1866 Southport Ligthouse from the end of Highway 158, overlooking Kenosha Harbor.

The Southport Lighthouse Station Museum and the Kenosha History Center are located on the same grounds on Simmons Island and are operated by the Kenosha County Historical Society.

You can reach Simmons Island just a few blocks east of Highway 32/Sheridan Road via 45th Street or 50th Street. Highway 158/52nd Street brings you within blocks, and Highway 50 comes in about a mile south.

Southport Lighthouse Station Museum Hours:

Open for the season through October 29, 2017. It should re-open for 2018 on or around May 3.
Thursday-Saturday 10am – 4pm
Sunday Noon – 4pm
Note that the operating schedule is weather dependent.

Southport Lighthouse Station Museum Address:

5117 4th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 654-5770
Website




Broken Bat Brewing, Milwaukee
Broken Bat Brewery

Broken Bat Brewery

Broken Bat windowBroken Bat Brewery includes – as you might guess – a lot of baseball themes with its hand crafted beers. Originally opened in April 2017 in Milwaukee’s bustling Third Ward, it moved into a larger space a few blocks south, over the Milwaukee River, in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward/Walker’s Point neighborhood in April 2020. Founded by friends Tim Pauly and Dan McElwee, they describe the name as “In baseball, when a bat breaks, it’s something unexpected. And that’s essentially what our beer is going to be like, what the brewery is: something different, unexpected.”

Broken Bat’s beers include our favorite, their Straight Chedd Apricot Pale Ale, with the Harry Cherry Tart Cherry Hefeweizen a close second. There’s also the Golden Sombrero Pilsner, the Ugly Finder IPA, Climb the Wall Farmhouse Ale, the Corre Corre Mexican Lager, the 755 (in salute of Hank Aaron) “King” Imperial Stout, and limited editions like the occasional Light Tower Power, a Chardonnay barrel-aged Imperial Farmhouse Ale. Pictures depicting the origins of their beer names line the walls, and if you’re a baseball card fan you’ll want to make multiple trips to the restroom.

Our favorite is their Straight Chedd Apricot Pale Ale, which is unique in a number of ways. How often do you see apricot in beer in the first place? This became the first beer Broken Bat Brewery began to offer in cans, which you can purchase to-go from the Tap Room or at an increasing variety of retailers in the Milwaukee area. They’re available in multiples of up to four cans. Watch for other varieties of their beer to become available in cans soon as they continue to grow.

Broken Bat Brewery’s Tap Room is open Monday-Saturday Noon – 10pm and Sundays Noon – 6pm, with additional hours based on select Brewers – and sometimes other – games. Broken Bat is also dog-friendly and welcomes your pooch with dog treats and Brewers-themed water bowls.

Broken Bat Brewing bat mug

Broken Bat Brewing’s “Mug Club” is basically a bat – not a broken one – that you drink out of. The bat, weighted down for minimal spilling potential, holds 12 ounces. Mug Club members pay the 10-ounce price and every 5th beer is free.

You’ll find Broken Bat Brewery in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward/Walkers Point district, right along Highway 32., which is Pittsburgh Street along that stretch. It’s reached via Highway 32 southbound/Milwaukee Street or nearby Water Street from downtown and the Historic Third Ward, or via northbound 1st Street (also Highway 32) from Walkers Point and the city’s south side. I-43/94 and I-794 are close by for easy access, as are Highways 38, 59, and 145.

Broken Bat Brewery menu and taps

Broken Bat Brewery Address:

135 E. Pittsburgh Avenue (Highway 32)
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 316-9197
Website

 




 

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Copper State Brewing
Copper State Brewing Company

Copper State Brewing Company

Copper State Brewing logoCopper State Brewing opened in the former Hinterland space in 2017. Located in downtown Green Bay by the Fox River, Copper Staters rise early, as their coffee shop opens at 6am. And you’ll find coffee elements in several of their beers, too!

Copper State Brewing tapCopper State beers include the One Cent Wheat, Kupfer Kolsch, Northwestern Alt, the Bare Brick IPA, Silent Canary Double IPA, the Platinum Coffee Blonde, and the Wake Up Call, a Black Coffee IPA.

They also have guest taps, often featuring other Green Bay-brewed beers. If you’re more of a wine or spirits person, they have you taken care of there too – along with a full food menu throughout the day.

The outdoor patio offers a nice spot to quaff your beverages right by the Fox River.

You’ll find Copper State Brewing across from The Cannery and Titletown Brewing along U.S. 141/Dousman Street in downtown Green Bay. The Neville Public Museum is adjacent, and a walk along the Fox is but paces away. I-41 and Highways 29, 32, 54, 57, and 172 also bring you close.

Copper State Brewing on US 141Tap Room Hours:
Monday – Saturday 11am – Close
Sunday 11am – 5pm

Dining Room Hours:
Monday – Saturday 4pm – 10pm
Closed Sunday

Copper State Brewing Company Address:

313 Dousman Street (U.S. 141)
Green Bay, WI 54303
(920) 489-8575
Website

Copper State Brewing patio




Villa Louis mansion
Villa Louis National Historic Landmark

Villa Louis National Historic Landmark

Villa Louis is a historic mansion on historic grounds along the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien. The mansion was built by H. Louis Dousman in 1871, replacing an earlier one built by his father, fur trader and investor Hercules Dousman, in 1843. Located on St. Feriole Island, the mansion was also known as the “House on the Mound,” owing to its construction atop a former Native American mound. The mound has come in handy, as the flooding on the island can be legendary.

Villa Louis Historic Marker

The Villa Louis mansion is a Victorian Italianate style home, constructed of Cream City brick. It boasted modern indoor plumbing and central heating, quite a luxury for the early 1870s (Wi-fi wouldn’t come along for many years.) It was remodeled and restored in 1885 and again in the 1930s when family members used the mansion as a boarding house school.

Reconstructed Fort Crawford on the Villa Louis grounds

A reconstruction of Fort Crawford in its original location.

Prior to construction of the mansion, the Villa Louis grounds were the scene for the only battle in Wisconsin during the War of 1812, called the Siege of Prairie du Chien. The first Fort Crawford (a second was built on higher ground later) occupied part of the site from 1816-1843, replacing earlier forts named Shelby and McKay – which we learned during a War of 1812 reenactment was pronounced “Mc-Kai”, rhyming with “McHigh.”

Villa Louis was acquired by the Wisconsin Historical Society in 1952 and it became Wisconsin’s first State Historic Site. By 1960, it had become a National Historic Landmark along with two other structures on the grounds, the Astor Fur Warehouse and the Brisbois House.

Inside Villa Louis

A room inside Villa Louis. (Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society.)

You can get all the information and begin a tour at the Visitor Center, which is open daily from 9:30am-4:30pm. You’ll notice it’s on stilts; that’s because the area does still flood sometimes! There are restroom facilities and a cool Museum Store inside the Visitor Center, plus the opportunity to get informational materials on everything in the area. Tours of Villa Louis depart at the top of each hour, generally from 10am to 4pm; you can get specifics by season here.

Villa Louis side

Villa Louis Admission:

Adults (18-64) $12.50
Children (5-17) (children 4 and under are free) $6
Students/Seniors (65 & older) $10.50
Group Tour – Child (5-17) $5
Group Tour – Adult $10.50
Wisconsin Historical Society Members are admitted FREE

You can get to Villa Louis via Blackhawk Avenue west from downtown, which was the original U.S. 18 route before the road was relocated to the location of the current bridge over the Mississippi. Today’s U.S. 18 and Highways 27, 35, and 60 bring you within blocks.

Villa Louis Address:

521 Villa Louis Road
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
(608) 326-2721
Website

 




Wildwood Zoo sign, Marshfield
Wildwood Zoo

Wildwood Zoo

Marshfield is a city of about 20,000, and the Wildwood Zoo would be impressive for a city much larger. This lovely 60-acre zoo and park features a variety of animals and exhibits, gardens, walking paths, and more. Located right along Central Avenue (former Highway – now Business – 13), the Wildwood Zoo is free and open to the public all year ’round.

Wildwood Zoo, Marshfield

Part of the Wildwood Zoo. The bridge is for the Kodiak bears, not the visitors.

Key exhibits include the Kodiak bears, cougars, fox, wolves, and lynx. Black-tailed prairie dogs spring out of the holes in their exhibit to peek at spectators while the great horned owls and bald eagles cautiously observe all of the activity. There are also non-zoo animals such as geese, ducks, swans, muskrats, rabbits & squirrels who make themselves at home on the zoo grounds. The large animal exhibits include bison, elk, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys. These animals can be observed from the large animal drive, as well as by foot.

Prairie dogs at Wildwood Zoo, Marshfield

The prairie dogs at Wildwood Zoo do plenty of crawling and running around.

One nice break from your road trip at Wildwood Zoo is the Sensory Gardens, featuring a wide variety of flowering and non-flowering plants designed to enhance your senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch amidst a tranquil setting.

You’ll find the Wildwood Zoo just south of downtown Marshfield, off Central Avenue (Business Highway 13). U.S. 10 and Highway 80 approach from the south, Highway 97 approaches from the north. Highway 13 (the “through-pass”) brings you within one mile via Central.

Wildwood Zoo Hours:

April 1 – Memorial Day: Daily, 7:30am-6:00pm
Memorial Day – Labor Day: Daily, 7:30am-7:30pm
Labor Day – October 31: Daily, 7:30am-6pm
November 1 – March 31: Daily, 7:30am-2:30pm
The zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & News Year’s Day.

Wildwood Zoo Address:

608 W. 17th Street
Marshfield, WI 54449
(715) 384-4642
Website

 




Forgotten Fire Winery
Forgotten Fire Winery & Brewery

Forgotten Fire Winery & Brewery

Forgotten Fire Winery & Brewery is named for the infamous Peshtigo Fire, which wiped out the area on October 8, 1871. Although it was the deadliest fire in American history, the Great Chicago Fire happened the same day and achieved more notoriety. Forgotten Fire’s Winery uses grapes grown partially on the Michigan side of the lake and partially in this area. They offer over 25 wines today, from red and white to fruit wines and hard ciders.

Forgotten Fire Winery sampling

While owners Lindsay and Joe Callow first started working on the winery in 2011, today’s Tasting Room opened in 2013 and is open year ’round, seven days a week. Samples of their wines, beers from the brewery, ciders, and more are available for tasting, and if you ask nice, they’ll sell you whole bottles.

Forgotten Fire's map of the fire

Learn about the actual Peshtigo (or here, “Forgotten”) Fire with items like this cool map, which shows the extent of the burned area from the U.P. to Door County. Peshtigo was essentially the inferno’s epicenter.

Forgetten Fire Tasting Room Hours:
May 1 to Dec 31
Mon – Fri: 10am – 6 pm
Sat – Sun: 10am – 5pm

Jan 1 to Apr 30
Sun – Mon: 10am – 3pm
Tue – Fri: 10am – 6pm
Sat: 10am – 5pm

Tours of the production area are available Saturdays at the top of each hour.

You’ll find Forgotten Fire’s Winery, Brewery, and Tasting Room just off the U.S. 41 Bypass via Exit 216, where you follow Business U.S. 41 and Old Peshtigo Road to Schacht Road. Although the mailing address says Marinette, the facility is just outside of Peshtigo. Highway 64 comes within five miles on its way between Pound and Marinette; Highway 22 is about eight miles south on its way into Oconto.

Forgotten Fire Winery & Brewery Address:

N2393 Schacht Road
Marinette, WI 54143
(715) 582-3473
Website




Forgotten Fire Wine Rack

Nice rack, Forgotten Fire!

Wyalusing State Park's Point Lookout
Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park Welcome SignWyalusing State Park

Wyalusing State Park occupies the southern and eastern banks of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers near Prairie du Chien, where the Wisconsin flows into the Mississippi. It was established in 1917, making it one of the oldest state parks in Wisconsin. Originally named after Governor Nelson Dewey, the park was renamed Wyalusing in 1937. (Dewey now has a park named after him near Cassville at Stonefield, by the way, so don’t feel bad.)

The park lies in the midst of the “Driftless Region,” named so because the glaciers that flattened much of the state thousands of years ago went around this area. The resulting bluffs, valleys, coulees, and hollows make for some of the most beautiful landscapes and views you’ll find in the Midwest.

Point Lookout at Wyalusing State Park

The breathtaking Point Lookout at Wyalusing State Park

The park offers expansive views from nearly 600 feet above the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, sometimes to points 20-30 miles distant. The city of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin is visible to the north just a few miles away, as is McGregor, Iowa across the Mississippi. Pikes Peak State Park on the Iowa side essentially serves as Wyalusing’s cross-state counterpart, and yes it was named after the same guy who Pike’s Peak in Colorado is named after: a guy named Zebulon Pike, an early explorer who clearly knew how to leave his name on things. A key piece of Wisconsin history lies in the fact that Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to paddle down the Wisconsin River (via the Fox River and Lake Michigan, no less), past the site of Wyalusing and into the Mississippi River back in 1673… which helped to eventually give rise to the early settlement that became today’s Prairie du Chien.

Wyalusing State Park narrow pointWyalusing State Park not only offers beautiful overlooks, but 2,700 acres of recreation, relaxation, and history. Ancient Native American burial mounds are located throughout the park, as is a memorial to the passenger pigeon – a once-plentiful bird that became extinct by 1912. Explorers and fun-seekers can check out 14 miles of hiking trails which run on high and low ground throughout the park; they also have access to a few caves and several very scenic overlooks. There are also two mountain biking trails, a boat launch on the Mississippi, picnic areas and playgrounds, and areas for fishing, hunting, and cross-country skiing. Campgrounds are plentiful and the Bluff Top Concession Stand offers refreshments, supplies, ice, firewood, even kayak and canoe rentals during the summer and early fall seasons. For star gazers, you can enjoy the natural view outdoors or get even closer at the Huser Astronomy Center, which opened in 2003 and offers free programs for the public.

Today’s Visitor Center greets you at the park’s entrance, where you pay your entry fee and can get information. The original park office lies further in and today offers some park history, including early work by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to further develop the park during its second decade in operation.
Any tour of Wyalusing is bound to delight your senses, teach you some history, wrap you in nature, and serve as a wonderful getaway road trip.

You’ll find Wyalusing State Park in the northwest corner of Grant County, a few miles south of Prairie du Chien off U.S. 18/Highway 35 via County Roads C and X, which also serve as the Great River Road in this area. Highway 60 is also just to the north, across the Wisconsin River.

Our head State Trunk Tourer Eric Paulsen filmed a video short about Wyalusing in conjunction with Soerens Ford in Brookfield, Wisconsin; they gave him a Ford Focus RS-7 to test out for the trip. Here’s the video:

Find out more about Wyalusing State Park from the Wisconsin DNR here.




Wisconsin State Capitol from West Washington
Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol at dusk

The Capitol at dusk.

Our Wisconsin State Capitol is without question one of the most beautiful in the country. Perched atop Madison’s beautiful isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona, it’s the third Capitol building on this site and was completed in 1917.

Four wings holding offices stretch out from a central Rotunda capped with the only granite dome in the United States. The statue atop the dome, officially named Wisconsin, reaches 284 feet, 5 inches high and faces direction of Washington, DC. It was intentionally designed to be a few inches shorter than the United States Capitol. Inside, Edwin Blashfield’s mural covers the Rotunda’s interior and depicts Wisconsin’s many resources.

Wisconsin State Capitol dome view from the Rotunda

Looking up into the dome from the Rotunda.

On a visit, you can explore the passageways, the Rotunda, and lay your fingers on 43 varieties of stone and a series of mosaics and fossils including coral, starfish, gastropods, and more. Weather permitting, you can head up to the fourth floor and go outside to the observation deck where you can gaze upon the city from the base of the dome and browse the fascinating artifacts and photos inside. This year, the center of the Rotunda features “A Century of Stories”, displays and exhibits taking you through the State Capitol’s 100-year history. They include previous Capitol buildings on this block (there were several), major events that happened in and around the Capitol, and people who have shaped the state’s past, present, and future.

For better or worse, they also make laws in this building; a Capitol Tour brings you to offices, chambers, and other areas where elected representatives do their work. Plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and museums surround the Capitol on the Square too; you can occupy a whole day just exploring this block! Free guided Capitol tours are available seven days a week. Check out a virtual reality Capitol tour here.

Wisconsin State Capitol view of Lake Monona from the observation deck

From the Capitol observation deck, the flags fly with part of downtown and Lake Monona in the background.

Wisconsin State Capitol Address:

2 E Main Street
Madison, WI 53702
Information: 608-266-0382

Tours Monday-Saturday at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm; Sundays at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, a 4pm tour is also available Monday-Friday.





Milwaukee Art Museum from US Bank Tower, Milwaukee
Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) features over 35,000 works of art in its collection, making it one of the largest such museums in the country. Originally established in 1882, it moved into part of its current building in 1957 and expanded in 1975. By 2001, the museum opened its distinctive, world-renowned expansion designed by Santiago Calatrava – his first commissioned project in North America.

Milwaukee Art Museum front from walkway

Officially called the Quadracci Pavilion, the soaring, movable brise solelil “wings” span 217 feet when open. The wings are designed to fold down over the windows of the pavilion, shielding it from sunlight or inclement weather. This part of the museum has become iconic, serving as a symbol of the cit; many residents to refer to the building as “the Calatrava.” Another expansion in 2015 added 30,000 square feet to the facility.


State Trunk Tour Tidbit:

The Milwaukee Art Museum was named “Sexiest Building in the World” by Virtual Tourist in 2010. It’s a popular filming locale for commercials from Porsche to Victoria’s Secret; it also made a cameo in the opening of the movie Bridesmaids.

The MAM’s 35,000 works of art are housed on four floors, ranging from 15th century antiques to present-day works. Included are paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, decorative arts, photographs, and folk and self-taught art. Furthermore, their collection of American decorative arts, German Expressionism, folk and Haitian art, and American art after 1960 rank among the nation’s highest.

Along with these works of art in their permanent collection, the Milwaukee Art Museum features top-ranked national exhibits, lectures, presentations, and events under the Wings. Also, the Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio inside the Museum lets everyone from kids to grown-ups generate art of their own on weekends and the first Thursday of each month.

Georgia O’Keeffe is a Wisconsin native, born in Sun Prairie; consequently, the Milwaukee Art Museum features one of her largest collections. Another Wisconsin native, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, also has a number of works featured. Other especially relevant artists include Gustave Caillebotte, Nardo di Cione, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Winslow Homer, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, Robert Gober, and Andy Warhol.

While exploring the museum be sure to check out the very life-like Janitor, designed by Duane Hanson in 1973. Maybe marvel at the Lake Michigan view various locales within the facility, or have a bite or beverage in their lower level cafe while you take a break. You can even explore the parking garage that has inspired luxury car commercials. Enjoy a nice walk or bike ride (rentals are available) around the museum and along the lakefront or downtown. Lakefront trails, Veterans Park, and adjacent sights like Discovery World, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, the U.S. Bank Tower, Henry Maier Festival Park (home of Summerfest), Lakefront State Park, and the Historic Third Ward all beckon.

You’ll find the Milwaukee Art Museum where U.S. 18 ends at Lake Michigan. I-794 and Highway 32 are within blocks. Also, I-43/94 and Highways 38, 59, and 145 all bring you within a mile.

Milwaukee Art Museum Hours:

Tuesday-Wednesday, 10am – 5pm
Thursday, 10am – 8pm
Friday-Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Closed Monday

Address:

700 N. Art Museum Drive (where U.S. 18 ends)
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 224-3200
Website




R'Noggin Brewing logo
R’Noggin Brewing Company

R’Noggin Brewing Company

R'Noggin Brewing, Tap RoomAlong I-41/94 in Kenosha between Highways 50 and 158, you’ll find a small, unassuming building that for years served D.O.T. trucks maintaining the roads. Today, this building maintains a brewery called R’Noggin, which opened in 2016.

R'Noggin Brewing sampler

Sampler from R’Noggin. Their beers change frequently, based on the season and local ingredient availability.

R’Noggin Brewing is the brainchild of two brothers, Jeff and Kevin Bridleman. They craft brewed for a number of years in southeastern Wisconsin before launching R’Noggin, focusing on going as local as possible with ingredients and creatively crafting seasonal releases. They make multiple uses of the word “noggin,” since the founding brothers “put their noggins together” and a noggin is also both a small glass and a measurement unit of a quarter of a pint. That’s 4 ounces, a good sampler amount. Similar to their use of “noggin,” the beer names get creative. They range from R’Biter (a IPA) to Kachem F. Ucan (an Imperial Ginger Bread beer) and from Chasing Tire (an English Porter) to a favorite during a visit, the Carpet Creature Cream Ale.

Available beers vary at any given time, so check their website or Facebook page for the latest lineup. While they don’t have a kitchen, they have partnered with the nearby Rivals Sports Pub & Grille to offer fish on Friday nights.

R'Noggin Brewing's building along I-41/94

Once a service building for trucks, this building now services R’Noggin beer drinkers.

R’Noggin’s Brewery and Tap Room sits right next to a State Trunk Tour favorite bar and restaurant, Uncle Mike’s on I-41/94. The Brat Stop and Mars Cheese Castle are close by, too! Their indoor room is open year ’round and during nice weather their picnic tables hit the lot and the yard for outdoor enjoyment.

R’Noggin Tap Room Hours

​Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 5:30pm-9pm
Thursday: 3:30pm-9pm
Friday: 3:30pm-10pm
Saturday: 12pm-9pm
Sunday: 12pm-6pm

Address:
6521 120th Avenue (Frontage Road of I-41/94)
Kenosha, WI 53142
(262) 960-1298
Website

 

Racine Art Museum on Main Street
Racine Art Museum/Wustum Museum of Fine Arts

Racine Art Museum/Wustum Museum of Fine Arts

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) grew out of the Charles A. Wustum Museum, which was founded in 1941 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (fewer than 5% of the nation’s museums receive this), the Racine Art Museum opened in 2003 and offers 46,000 square feet of galleries, sculptures,

The building’s white acrylic facade is flooded by colored lights each evening and serves as a modernist architectural focal point for Racine’s Main Street (Highway 32, right by the ends of Highways 20 and 38.)

The Wustum Museum section of the RAM features regional and local artists while carrying on the tradition of hosting the museum’s arts education and community outreach programs, which are the largest of their kind in Wisconsin.

The Racine Art Museum offers one of the largest collections of contemporary crafts of any North American museum, including large collections of contemporary teapots, baskets and artist-made jewelry. The permanent collection features more than 4,000 artworks from internationally recognized artists. The museum’s Ceramics collection numbers over 600 objects that include internationally known ceramic sculptors; their largely sculptural Glass collection contains works from artists Harvey Littleton, Dale Chihuly, Joel Philip Meyers, Dan Dailey, Steven Hodder and Judy Jensen.  The museum’s collection of Metals includes one of the largest groupings of contemporary jewelry of any museum. The RAM’s wood collection consists of vessels and furniture, with one of the highlights being a Wendell Castle desk that was in Objects USA.

Handmade Books: The museum owns a large number of handmade books, both hand-printed letterpress examples and larger editioned offset lithography works; it is one of the largest collections of its kind in a Midwestern art museum.

Racine Art Museum

Contemplating an interesting work on the second floor of the Racine Art Museum.

You’ll find the Racine Art Museum right along Main Street in downtown Racine, right near other State Trunk Tour points of interest and attractions like Monument Square, the Kewpee, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Johnson Wax Research Tower and Golden Rondelle, the Racine Zoo, Wind Point Lighthouse, and more. It’s right along Highway 32; Highway 20‘s eastern end is one block south, Highway 38‘s southern end is two blocks north, and Highway 11 is about two miles south.

Racine Art Museum (RAM) Hours:

Closed Monday
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, Noon – 5:00 pm

RAM’s Wustum Hours
Closed Sunday and Monday
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Address:
441 Main Street (Highway 32)
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 638-8300
Website

Chippewa River Distillery and Brewster Brothers Brewing sign
Brewster Bros. Brewing, Chippewa River Distillery

Brewster Bros. Brewing, Chippewa River Distillery

Chippewa River Distillery & Brewster Bros. Brewing buildingChippewa Falls’ spirits rose even further in 2016 with the addition of Brewster Brothers Brewing and the Chippewa River Distillery. Located on the western edge of downtown along Business 29, the building is right across from the Chippewa River – the namesake of its distillery. Founded by two former supercomputer engineers, you can bet they worked on the most scientific and efficient ways to create their craft beers and spirits

Brewster Brothers Brewing Company features numerous beers on tap. Their main beers include the Rumble Bridge Cream Ale (named after a bridge in nearby Irvine Park), Ginger Red Ale, Wood Tick Pale Ale, Portersville Porter, Dark Timber Stout, Four Horse IPA, and more. They offer their Tilden Hefeweizen and Portersville Porter as seasonal brews and rotate a variety of beers on Nitro.

Chippewa River Distillery and Brewster sampling

The Chippewa River Distillery varieties include Trumie’s Vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum – they specialize in signature cocktails with special flavors incorporating fruits and bitters. They’re young and experimenting, so don’t be surprised if you have an opportunity to try brand new concoctions when visiting.

In the Tasting Room, you can enjoy a sample of everything they make. They offer snack combinations for sale, as well as a variety of games to play and more if you plan on spending quite a while there. Food trucks often show up during events like Oktoberfest.

The Tasting Room is closed Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week, their hours are:
Wednesday – Thursday, 2pm – 10pm
Friday, 2pm – midnight
Saturday, noon – midnight
Sunday, noon – 6pm

You’ll find this historic, renovated building right along River Street/Business Highway 29/Business U.S. 53 on the west side of downtown Chippewa Falls. Highway 124 crosses just a few blocks to the east. The mainline Highway 29 freeway is two miles to the south, and the U.S. 53 freeway is two miles to the west.

Address:
402 W. River Street (Business Hwy 29)
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
(715) 861-1500
Website

River Bend Winery, front sign
River Bend Vineyard & Winery

River Bend Vineyard & Winery

River Bend Tasting Room

Tucked literally into – although not directly along – a bend along the Chippewa, River Bend Winery started in 2009 by a husband-and-wife team. Donna and Al (the team in question) developed a variety of reds and whites using their own vineyard grapes and some combinations from other regions. They do everything on-site, from the grape-growing to pressing, tank storage, barrel aging, bottling, and more.

River Bend Tasting Room

River Bend Tasting Room barThe River Bend Tasting Room offers sampling, shopping for wines and associated items, and tables for relaxing and enjoying their wines. The outdoor patio and lawn often hosts live music and other events during the warmer months, and people are welcome to bring their own food to complement River Bend’s wines.

chippewafalls-riverbend-concert

Outdoor live music shows and more offer the opportunity for a relaxing afternoon amidst the vineyards at River Bend Winery.

Quite a few River Bend wines have won Gold, Double Gold, and even “Best in Class” designations in wine competitions across the country. Their wines are also distributed to stores all across Wisconsin, but there’s nothing like sipping it at the source, right?

White and Blush wines include their Riesling, Cranberry Blush, LaCrescent, Summer White, and Moonlight, a sweet white. Red & Rosé wines include their River Bend Blend, aged in American Oak and featuring the Marquette breed of grape along Zinfandel and Merlot; the Marquette Red and Marquette Rosé, Summer Red, Magenta, and Sunset. Two dessert wines and two sparkling wines are also available in-season. Most of their wines run in the $11-15 range for bottles; the sparkling ones run closer to $25.

River Bend tastingThe Tasting Room is closed Monday and Tuesday. Hours otherwise are:
Wednesday-Friday 11am-7pm
Saturday-Sunday 11am-5pm

River Bend also started up a distillery, featuring vodka, whiskey, and more. As they develop and age, inquire during your visit!

You’ll find River Bend Vineyard & Winery just west of Chippewa Falls and minutes north of Eau Claire. It’s accessible off Business Highway 29/County X via 103rd Street and a left on 33rd Avenue (signs point you there, and it’s really your only road choices there.) During that ride, you pass under the newer Highway 29, now a freeway in this area. U.S. 53 just a few miles to the east, as is Highway 124.

River Bend Vineyard & Winery Address:

10439 33rd Ave
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
Phone: (715) 720-9463
Website
E-mail




Big Manitou Falls and some of the spectacular rock formations near it.
Pattison State Park

Pattison State Park

Established in 1920, Pattison State Park is one of the oldest in Wisconsin. It covers over 1,400 acres along the Black in Douglas County about 16 miles south of Superior. Pattison State Park is notable for Big Manitou Falls, Wisconsin’s highest waterfall at 165 feet – which also makes it the fourth highest waterfall east of the Rockies! Nearby, Little Manitou Falls drops 30 feet and offers more great photo ops.

Pattison State Park is named after Martin Pattison, an early lumber man and miner who made his fortune in iron mining. Today’s 42-room Fairlawn Mansion & Museum in Superior was originally Pattison’s house. In 1917 he secretly helped thwart plans to build a “power dam” on the Black River, which would have destroyed Big Manitou Falls. Pattison took the initiative to save the falls by buying 660 acres of land from different owners along the river and donated the land to the state. After initial development in 1920, Pattison State Park got upgrades in 1935 via the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program, which had workers quarrying rock and chiseling them into blocks to create today’s park shelter building, nature center, bathhouse, and more. They also rerouted the river channel, hauled sand in from Lake Superior’s shore to make the beach, installed sewer and water systems, removed old roadbeds, planted trees, and landscaped and built three miles of foot trails.

While at Pattison State Park, you can also enjoy the Gitche Gumee Nature Center, which features exhibits about the park’s cultural and natural history, including its wildlife and geology. Guided nature walks are offered, and children’s nature exploration backpacks are also available. Interfalls Lake, right along the river, includes a 300-foot sand beach with that aforementioned sand brought in from Lake Superior’s beaches. Nine miles of hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing trails wind through the park. Of particular interest is the Logging Camp Trail, which runs 4.7 miles and includes some of the remains of Pattison’s old logging camp by the Black River. For campers, 59 family campsites are available; 18 of them have electric hookups. Backpackers also have a few sites available.

Pattison State Park's Interfalls Lake

Interfalls Lake in Pattison State Park features a 300-foot beach with sand brought in from Lake Superior’s beaches.

The park is open year ’round from 6am to 11pm. A State Park vehicle admission sticker is required but you can also buy a day or hourly pass.

You’ll find Pattison State Park right along Highway 35 (which cuts right through it) at the juctions with County B in Douglas County. Access from U.S. 53 – about 15 miles to the east – can be had via County B also. Superior is 16 miles to the north, but from the crest of a hill right at the park, you can see Superior and the hills of Duluth, Minnesota right from the road!




Peshtigo Fire Museum
Peshtigo Fire Museum

Peshtigo Fire Museum

On October 8, 1871, a massive firestorm broke out in the woods near Peshtigo. Dubbed the “Peshtigo Fire”, the inferno consumed about 1,875 square miles of land – 1.2 million acres – along a wide strip from north of Menomonee, Michigan through Peshtigo down towards Green Bay. It is still the largest loss of life due to fire in U.S. history; estimates range from 1,200 to 2,500 lives lost.

It’s sometimes called the “Forgotten Fire” since the Great Chicago Fire happened the very same day and grabbed more attention. Other fires broke out on that dry, hot, very windy day in the Door Peninsula and a few areas in Michigan, but the Peshtigo Fire was the largest in terms of area and deaths.

The Peshtigo Fire Museum opened in 1963 to showcase some of the few items that survived. One featured item in the museum’s collection is a Church tabernacle, saved by submerging in the Peshtigo River by a local priest. Other items include a small burned Bible and a melted glass dish discovered by a construction worker in 1995. You can read several letters written by survivors with accounts of the fire and cleanup, including one that describes the burial of up to one thousand people. Also included are several maps of Peshtigo, including before the fire and one showing the extent of the fire. Murals depict the area before, during, and after the fire. Other items that the museum features include a collection of antique items showing the history of the area since the fire.

The Peshtigo Fire Museum is open from May through October. You can call 715-582-3244 to arrange a visit during other times of the year. Admission to the Museum is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

U.S. 41 runs on a bypass around Peshtigo; following either of the exits into town brings you to the original U.S. 41 through town. You’ll find the Peshtigo Fire Museum just off the main street, on Oconto Avenue. Signs will point you there, and the sculpture out front looking like flames (or french fries, depending on how hungry you are) indicates the Museum, located in a former church. The Peshtigo Fire Cemetery is right next door.

Photo above is © 2001 by Deana C. Hipke of peshtigofire.info. We’re looking for the photos we took!

Address:
400 Oconto Avenue
Peshtigo, WI 54157
(715) 582-3244
Website

Thirsty Pagan Brewing front view
Thirsty Pagan Brewing Company

Thirsty Pagan Brewing Company

Thirsty Pagan Brewing logoThe Thirsty Pagan Brewing Company opened in Superior in 2006, in the former Twin Ports Brewing space. In June 2019, it moved to a new space in another classic old building. We’ll get to all that – but first, the beers!

Thirsty Pagan makes a variety of craft beers, including bourbon barrel-aged varieties and a growing line of sours. When we visited, we really loved the Reinhold Berlin(er) Weisse with rhubarb, a summer sour seasonal. They have several sours named after women’s names from way back. They include the Tilly and the Evelyn, both mixed fermentation sour ambers. Another is Mosie, a blend from a few barrels pitched with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, which creates earthy and mango characteristics with a dry finish. House specialties include the North Coast Amber, Derailed Ale (lots of railroads lead to Superior), an India Pagan Ale, Burntwood Black, the Trouble Maker Triple, Velo Saison, a light lager called Lawn Chair, and more. Some ciders and additional brews are available at times, including a Cracked Pepper Pilsner, American Stout NITRO, and a curious Peanut Butter Oatmeal Stout, which is piquing our curiosity for the return trip.

Thirsty Pagan main bar, Superior

The main bar at the original location of the Thirsty Pagan Brewing Company.

The Thirsty Pagan brews everything in-house and sells everything on the premises. They offer tours every Saturday at 2pm, which takes about an hour and covers the whole building. It’s best to reserve your spot, as they go in groups of 12 and get filled up quickly. The place originally opened in 2006 in the former Twin Ports Brewing Company. which is where all our pictures are from.

Thirsty Pagan, band sign

Certain songs are off-limits when bands play The Thirsty Pagan.

As of June 8, 2019, you’ll find the Thirsty Pagan on Winter Street, one block east of Highway 35/Tower Avenue along of U.S. 2/Belknap Street. I-535, U.S. 53, and Highway 13 are also close by. This building is the Soo Line Freight Depot, which was built in 1908 and served the railroad until 1989. It made an appearance in the 1993 Disney movie Iron Will. We’re ready to visit the Thirsty Pagan again in its new location!

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday, 11am – 10pm
Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 11pm

Thirsty Pagan Address:

1615 Winter Street
Superior, WI 54880
(715) 394-2500
Website




Aztalan State Park Mounds
Aztalan State Park & Museum

Aztalan State Park & Museum

Aztalan State Park Sign“Aztalan” is the name for an original Native American settlement that thrived along the Crawfish River banks in Jefferson County from around 1000-1300 AD. Now a National Historic Landmark, Aztalan State Park sits just east of Lake Mills near I-94 between Highways 26 and 89 just south of County B, which was formerly Historic Highway 30.

The original settlement included ceremonial grounds, farmland, pyramidal mounds, even a stockade – portions of which have been reconstructed. Aztalan is an excellent showcase of Wisconsin’s rich history predating the European settlers. Archeologists have a field day unearthing remnants, which were discovered by European settlers in the 1830s.

The original village grounds today make up the park, which covers 172 acres along the river. The Crawfish River is terrific for fishing and canoeing; the grounds also feature prairie, oak woods, a picnic shelter, walking trails, and bathroom facilities.

Aztalan State Park Mounds

Plenty of mounds and re-creations of wood forts and more illustrate Aztalan’s history.

Aztalan markers and viewYou need a State Park admission sticker to use the park, which is open daily from 6am-11pm. One block north on County Q the Aztalan Museum traces the history of the village, its people, and eventual European settlement. The reconstructed historic Mamre Moravian Church sits on the museum grounds. It was a one-room log church constructed in 1861. The church has been moved twice and given a few alternations during its history, although no move was more than a few miles. It’s been sitting peacefully on its present site since 1996. The church, museum, and several outbuildings welcome explorers and visitors alike.

You’ll find Aztalan State Park along County Q just south of County B, which was once Historic Highway 30. Today, I-94 serves as the main Milwaukee-Madison route, though you can access the park between the Lake Mills/Highway 89 exit and the Johnson Creek/Highway 26 exit.

Aztalan Museum

Aztalan Museum

Address:
County Road Q
Jefferson, WI
(920) 648-8774
Website




Highway 95 - Seven Hawks Winery, Fountain City
Seven Hawks Vineyards

Seven Hawks Vineyards

Seven Hawks grows grapes on the hills outside Fountain City, with vineyard vines overlooking the Mississippi River – nearly 18,000 of them. They are actually one of the largest vineyards in the Midwest. They are also in one of the more picturesque towns along the Mississippi, nestled between towering bluffs and the great river in a little town of less than 900 residents.

Seven Hawks Vineyards signSeven Hawks Vineyards’ Tasting Room and Wine Bar is located along Highway 95 in Fountain City, a block up (literally, given the landscape) from Highway 35 and the Great River Road. The classic old building dates back to the 1870s and includes two suites above the bar available for lodging as part of their Hawks View Cottages and Lodges, which include additional cottages on a bluff on the edge of town.

All of the wines in Seven Hawks’ lineup come from their locally-grown grapes. Some of their major wines include reds like their Hunters Blend, Marquette Reserve, Frontenac Reserve, Frontier Red, Ardella’s Rose. White wines include their Smiling Moon, which garnered a gold medal; Prairie Star, La Crescent Reserve, Ridgetop Apple, and some dessert wines round out their main offerings. They even have an ice wine called Sleeping River, made with winter harvest grapes. Many of the grapes are hybrid varieties and some were developed with help from the University of Minnesota.

Seven Hawks is part of the Great River Road Wine Trail. Their Tasting Room & Wine Bar is within a block of the Monarch Public House and historic Fountain City Brewing Company, and also close to the Rock in the House and Elmer’s Auto Museum.

Wine samples are free; of course, you’re welcome to buy some bottles before you leave! Hours are 11am-6pm Monday through Thursday, 11am-7pm Friday and Saturday, and Noon-6pm on Sunday.

Address:
17 North Street (Highway 95)
Fountain City, WI
(608) 687-9463
Website

3rd Sign Brewery pint glass
Octopi Brewing and 3rd Sign Brewery

Octopi Brewing and 3rd Sign Brewery

Octopi Brewing first “grew its tentacles” in 2015, setting up as a contract brewer for many other brands but also launching its own brand of beers called 3rd Sign. The slogan for 3rd Sign is “Dually // Brewed,” with the name being taken from Gemini, the third sign of the Zodiac. It hints at the “dual personalities” – and really the complexity – of their beers.

octopi-brewing-outsideThe Octopi Tap Room opened in early 2016 in a light industrial park just off Highways 19 & 133 on the east side of Waunakee. They feature a wide variety of 3rd Sign Brewery beers and several other selections from craft brewers across the state. You can sample five or six per order, offered up in 4-oz glasses and served on a holder resembling an octopus, custom crafted by a nearby woodworker. They’ll also can tap beer to go right on the spot, sealing a 32-oz  “crawler” right behind the bar for you. They also offer pizzas, craft nuts, and large soft pretzels. Live entertainment, an outdoor patio, and other activities and amenities are being added.

Octopi Brewing's 3rd Sign Brewery sampler

Our favorites when we tried included the Madagascar Vanilla Mild Ale, the Sumatra Coffee Mild Ale, the Chocolate Cherry Porter, the Grapefruit Jungle IPA, and their Pollux – a witbier infused with soursop. Other varieties include three IPAs, an American, West Coast, and Belgian; a Peach Pollux witbier; and the Mild Chaild Madagascar with Chai Spices.

The Octopi Brewing Tap Room is on Uniek Drive, which is just south of where Highway 113 meets Highway 19 on Waunakee’s eastern edge, about four miles west of I-39/90/94 and six miles north of the end of Highway 30 near Madison’s airport (MSN). Quite close by via Highway 113 and U.S. 51 you can also find Ale Asylum and Karben4; the concentration of breweries in this region of Dane County is really on the rise!

Address:
1131 Uniek Drive
Waunakee, WI 53597
(608) 620-4705
Website

 

Gobbler Theater sign, 2016
Gobbler Theater

Gobbler Theater

Gobbler exterior, May 2016The Gobbler is an unusual building: a circular, Jetsons-esque design made to appear in the shape of a turkey from above – even the roof over the entrance was designed to represent a turkey’s neck. This place opened in 1967 as a restaurant, lounge, and hotel. Its location along I-94 at Highway 26 quickly helped make it a meeting spot for those coming from Milwaukee and Madison – and many legends surround some of those meet-ups. You can read a hilarious critique and review of the old Gobbler here. A bigger, extensive salute to the Gobbler can be found on this blog, featuring tons of links and pictures.

Gobbler exterior eyes

The hotel is long gone and the restaurant had closed for over a decade before the original space was transformed – with many of the better original elements preserved – into a new entertainment venue now called The Gobbler Theater. Opened in December 2015, it’s open for concerts and at various other times to see the building, have a drink, and discover the history. Call them at (920) 699-0003 or visit their website here for updates and details.

Address:
350 N. Watertown Street (just off I-94 at Highway 26)
Johnson Creek, WI 53038
(920) 699-0003
Website

Miller Park

Miller Park

Miller Park is home to the Milwaukee Brewers and the only stadium in North America with a fan-shaped convertible roof. The roof can open or close in about 10 minutes and – along with the panels in the outfield capable of blocking the lake breeze – allows the ballpark to be heated up to 30 degrees warmer than the conditions outside. After all, Wisconsin weather conditions can be suspect in April, May, and September – and hopefully it’ll be an issue for the Brewers more often in October, too.

Completed in 2001, Miller Park officially has a capacity of 41,900 for baseball although on numerous occasions, standing room-only crowds have allowed attendance to peak over 45,000. Concerts and other sporting events ranging from bowling tournaments to international soccer/futbol matches have also brought huge crowds. The stadium weighs half a million tons, 12,000 tons of which are from the roof, which spans 600 feet and covers nearly 11 acres. Inside, the roof reaches as high as 200 feet over the playing field; outside, the highest arch over the roof reaches as high as a 30-story building.

Miller Park, father and sonNatural grass flourishes under the retractable roof; large glass panels on the sides let plenty of light in and occasionally create some shadow challenges during games. One of many traditions brought over from Milwaukee County Stadium – the previous home of the Brewers – is the Klements Sausage Race, where five “sausages” compete in a foot race during the middle of the 6th inning and Brewers fans place bets on who wins: the Polish, the Brat, the Italian, the Hot Dog, or the Chorizo. It’s not uncommon for national sports reporters to note the winner of the Sausage Race when recapping Brewers games.

Plenty of kids’ activities can keep them occupied beyond the game, while a “loop” around the ballpark is a must. You can walk all the way around Miller Park on the lower level, taking in views of the field and the game from every angle.

State Trunk Tour Tidbit:
The first “no-hitter” in Miller Park history was thrown on September 14, 2008 by the Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano… against the Houston Astros. The two teams were using Miller Park due to Hurricane Ike’s arrival in Houston. Miller Park also hosted a Cleveland Indians-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim series in April, 2007 when snowstorms in Cleveland forced a relocation of their series – one of many reasons why having the roof paid off!

Miller Park offers tours of the facility on most days during baseball season when there isn’t already a home game taking place. Check here for dates and pricing.

Miller Park from the Highway 175 bridge over I-94 in Milwaukee.Miller Park is easy to spot, of course, and sits at the junction of I-94 and Highway 175 in the city of Milwaukee, about three miles west of downtown. Highway 59/National Avenue is just to the south and U.S. 18/Bluemound road is just to the north.

Address:
One Brewers Way
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-4000
Website




Johnson Wax Tower, just south of where Highway 38 begins
Johnson Wax Research Tower

Johnson Wax Research Tower

Standing tall – 153 feet tall, to be exact – above the S.C. Johnson & Son World Headquarters campus in Racine is the Johnson Wax Research Tower. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was completed in 1950. The walls are a mix of glass and brick, and at night the glow from inside the tower provides a unique illumination; basically, the building is translucent.

Every other floor of the 15 floors total is a mezzanine, set back from exterior walls. The building essentially alternates between smaller circular floors and square floors with filleted edges, since the corners of the structure are curved. The windows are made of Pyrex tubes – 17.5 miles of them.

S.C. Johnson used the building as its research headquarters until 1982. A number of products you’ve probably used were developed and tested in this building, including everything from Glade air fresheners to Pledge furniture polish to Off! insect repellent. While most research is conducted in more recently constructed lab space today, the Johnson Wax Research Building continues to be used for office space on several of its floors.

The building is open for public tours, generally from March through December.

You’ll find the Johnson Wax Research Tower along Highway 32, between the junctions of Highways 11 and 20. Highway 38 begins about one mile to the north on the other side of downtown.

Address:
1525 Howe Street
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 260-2154
Website

Urban Harvest Brewing Company

Urban Harvest Brewing Company

Urban Harvest Brewing Company opened in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood in April 2016. They brew several small batches of lagers and ales per week and offer a taproom Thursday through Saturday for sampling.

Beers they craft on a fairly regular basis include their 414 Golden Ale, Black Puppy Pale Ale, their Falls Pilsner, Who the HELLES Alice? (a straw-blond light Czech lager), H.C. IPA, Nookie Nookie (Chinook Citra Pale Ale), PriBock, Olde Towne Amber, Corkscrew IPA, an Espresso Amber, and the interestingly-locally-named Ach Ya Der Hey-Fe Weizen.

Seasonals and specials include brews like their Wicket Summer Wheat, Blood Orange Wheat, Festive Gourds Pumpkin Ale, a Maple Brown, Weizenbock, their Chocolate Whiskey Stout, some bourbon barrel-aged varieties, and more.

Urban Harvest Brewing Company's tap roomYou’ll find Urban Harvest Brewing’s taproom along 5th Street (Highway 38), just south of Highway 59/National Avenue. I-43/94 soars by within a block, and Highway 32/1st Street is just four blocks to the east. Another fairly new craft brewery, Brenner Brewing, is just a few blocks to the north. Near Urban Harvest Brewing are sights like the Harley-Davidson Museum, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, St. Josephat’s Basilica, and more. Downtown Milwaukee is about one mile north.

Hours:
Thursday 4-9pm
Friday 2-10pm
Saturday 2-10pm

Address:
1024 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Website



Motorama Auto Museum

Motorama Auto Museum

Tucked in the Marathon County woods just off Highway 52, the Motorama Auto Museum preserves rare and classic cars for past, present, and future generations to enjoy. With over 400 vehicles on display, it’s the largest auto museum in Wisconsin.

Motorama calls itself “Alfa Heaven” for its collection of over 50 Alfa Romeos, the largest such collection on the continent. Covering over five acres in all, the museum’s inside features some meticulously preserved models while a Boardwalk guides you through the “Boneyard” outside, a pathway filled with often rusted – yet beautiful – relics in the woods. Vehicles in the Boneyard tend to be mid-20th century models.

The vehicles featured by the Motorama Auto Museum focus on not only rarity of models, but also unique engineering design and aesthetics. Models include a 1960 Berkely T60 three wheeler (a quite rare sight indeed), a 1960 Daf 600 electric model they call “Daffy,” a 1955 Buick Wildcat, a one-off prototype Alfa Romeo 165, and many, many more. Among their unique models is the a 1960 SSZ Stradale P2, an exotic ride designed and built right in Marathon County. Along with classic cars, you’ll find old army vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and more.

Motorama’s new additions for 2016 include a 1953 Kaiser traveler and a 1959 Studebaker Lark coupe old drag race car, which will be put into their driving fleet soon.

Motorama is open from early May through late October, Tuesdays through Saturdays 9am-5pm. Guided tours are offered at 10am, 1pm, and 3pm. Admission is $10 for adults; kids 15 and under are free. You’ll find the Motorama Auto Museum along Highway 52 just one mile west of its junction with U.S. 45 near Aniwa. This is about 10 miles south of Antigo, right around where Marathon, Shawano, and Langlade Counties meet; Highway 47 is also close by.

Check out their Facebook page for the latest updates.

Address:
4381 Stradale Lane
Aniwa, WI 54408
(715) 449-2141
Website




Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain State Park

Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain State Park

Granite Peak is one of the oldest ski areas in the country. It opened in 1937 when Wausau residents cleared six runs by hand, installed the country’s longest ski lift, and built the stone chalet from granite quarried nearby. More recently, a “$12 million facelift” in upgrades, including installation of high-speed quad chairlifts. With a vertical drop of 700 feet, it’s the third tallest ski area in the Midwest and the tallest in Wisconsin. Granite Peak features 74 runs and lots of night skiing; lights from the runs on Rib Mountain can be seen for miles on clear, cold winter nights (and there are plenty of them in Wausau.)

wausau-granitepeak-topliftGranite Peak’s Base Village features not only the original Historic Stone Chalet but shops, a bar and grill, rental places, and demo shops. Numerous hotels, B&Bs, rental condos, and more dot the area around Granite Peak and plenty more to see and do throughout Wausau.

They also offer Family Festival packages that include horse drawn wagon rides, free children’s activities, free Saturday night skiing and Saturday night bonfire and fireworks.

You can see Rib Mountain from far and wide; I-39, U.S. 51, and Highways 29 and 52 all bring you to Granite Peak so you can enjoy some of the best skiing in the Midwest.

Address:
3605 N. Mountain Road
Wausau, WI 54402
(715) 845-2846
Website

Minocqua Brewing Company

Minocqua Brewing Company

Nestled in a corner of the peninsula containing downtown Minocqua, Minocqua Brewing Company started up in 1997 inside a former Masonic Temple, church, school, and library along Minocqua Lake. They expanded into a pub and restaurant in 2006 and during summer nights and weekends plenty of vacationers pack the place. Live music, lake views, and plenty of craft beer consumption takes place at Minocqua Brewing Company, which is just off U.S. 51 on the north end of Minocqua’s main street district. Highways 47 and 70 intersect just to the north in Woodruff.

Beers include the Road Kill Red Ale, Pudgy Possum Porter, Wild Rice Lager, and an M.P.A. – Minocqua Pale Ale.

Address:
238 Lakeshore Drive (off U.S. 51)
Minocqua, WI 54548
(715) 356-2600
Website

Rowland’s Calumet Brewing Company

Rowland’s Calumet Brewing Company

Rowland’s Calumet Brewing lies in the heart of Calumet County, in the county seat of Chilton. It debuted in 1990 after a 48-year absence of breweries in Chilton, using what was known as the Roll Inn Tavern for its home base. Still, it was one of the first craft breweries in Wisconsin after the repeal of Prohibition.

Rowland’s regular brews include Calumet Amber, Calumet Dark, Oktoberfest, Pale Ale, Rye, Calumet Wild Rice, and Fat Man’s Nut Brown Ale. They also brew up a variety of seasonals including a Kolsch, several lagers and pilsners, a Schwarz Bier named Mittnacht Pilsner, a Scotch Ale, and more. Brewmaster Patrick Rowland goes local with many ingredients; he’s been known to grow hops in the back.

Rowland’s Calumet Brewery also makes a variety of sodas – so you can bring the kids. They’ll be just as amused by some of the wall signs and decorations as you will.

You’ll find Rowland’s Calumet Brewing along Highways 32/57 in downtown Chilton, within a block of where U.S. 151 joins for a quick zigzag.

Address:
25 N. Madison Street
Chilton, WI 53014
(920) 849-2534
Website

Kenosha Public Museum

Kenosha Public Museum

kenosha-public-museum-outside01The Kenosha Public Museum is a natural sciences and fine and decorative arts museum with over 80,000 collections, including 1,200 works in fine arts. Exhibit programming includes mammoths, world cultures, Native Americans, zoology, geology, fossils, and fine and decorative arts.

Permanent exhibits include:

  • The Wisconsin Story, a multi-disciplinary adventure in ecosystem development, evolution of plants and animals, the lives of Native Americans, and even changes in climate as they’ve happened over southeastern Wisconsin over thousands of years. The Schaefer mammoth, actually excavated by the Museum documents the earliest interaction of mammoth and man east of the Mississippi River. The replica is set in a special floor display exactly as found on the Schaefer farm in Paris, Wisconsin, a township along U.S. 45 in Kenosha County. This site is one of the oldest sites of human habitation in all of the Americas. The Hebior mammoth was also excavated in Kenosha County; it’s the largest, most complete mammoth excavated in North America.
  • The Decorative and Fine Arts Gallery includes works by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Salvador Dali as well as regional artists who have achieved significant recognition such as Lorado Taft, Ruth Miles, and William Bloom. The decorative arts are well represented with Chinese ivory carvings, an ancient Chinese bronze goddess, and Wisconsin salt glazed pottery. Works change frequently.

There are many other rotating and virtual exhibits; you could easily spend the majority of a day here!

The Kenosha Public Museum is located on the east end of downtown Kenosha in the city’s HarborPark District within blocks of Lake Michigan. Highways 32, 50, and 158 all bring you to downtown Kenosha, which is about seven miles east of I-41/94.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday Noon – 5pm

Address:
5500 First Avenue
Kenosha, WI
(262) 653-4140
Website

Paul & Babe at the Vilas County Historical Society Museum
Vilas County Historical Society Museum

Vilas County Historical Society Museum

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Billing itself as “The Northwoods the Way It Was,” the Vilas County Historical Society Museum on the south end of Sayner along Highway 155 chronicles the history of Vilas County and its communities. It’s pretty easy to find, with a large statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox out front.

The Vilas County Museum holds over 7,500 square feet of exhibits, displays, and artifacts. You’ll find a “Pioneer Room,” with antique housewares, stoves, clothes, and other sundry items that were part of early settlers’ days. There are also doll collections, native wildlife mounts, lures, boats, outboard motors, and Jim Froelich’s African Safari mounts.

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Carl Eliason’s original snowmobile, which started it all.




Sayner is where the snowmobile was invented. Along with an impressive collection of the sleds you can check out the original machine built by Carl Eliason in 1924 that secured the first official patent for the snowmobile.

The Vilas County Museum is open seasonally, generally Memorial Day through the end of September. From late May to mid-June, the hours are 10am – 2pm, seven days a week. From mid-June 16 through the end of September, the hours are 10am-4pm – also seven days a week.

Admission to the museum is $3 for persons aged 10 and up. Kids 9 and under are free.

The Vilas County Historical Society Museum is right along Highway 155, about six miles north of Highway 70 in St. Germain. The Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Museum is in nearby St. Germain along 70 if you want to make it a “two-fer” day.

Vilas County Historical Society Museum Address:

2889 Highway 155
Sayner, WI 54560
(715) 542-3388
Website




Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Museum

Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Museum

stgermain_snowhofsignThe Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum on St. Germain’s west side along Wisconsin Highway 70 preserves and showcases the rich and exciting history of snowmobiling at both the recreational and competitive levels through the operation of a museum, hall of fame and library for the sport. You’ll find it on the west side of St. Germain along Highway 70 in Vilas County – which itself offers hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails and lays claim to “Birthplace of the Snowmobile.” In this beautiful North Woods venue, a record number of championship sleds are on display.

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The Warning Gallery recently 5,000 feet of exhibit space, part of the beautiful 20-acre Snowmobile Hall of Fame campus nestled in the tall pines on St. Germain’s west side. When traveling down Highway 70 from east or west, you will know you have arrived when you get to the “s” curves (“s” as in sleds!)

Stop in and see historic race sleds, trophies, clothing and the Ramstad Photo Collection. View racing videos in the theater and check out the gift shop, with great gifts and ideas for the race and recreational snowmobile enthusiast.

Championship sleds on display include oval, enduro, hill-climb, cross country, water-cross, snow-cross & drag sleds raced by championship drivers such as Karpik, Wicht, Musselman, Coltom, Hayes, Elsner, Solem, Bernat, Frandsen, Nelson, Bender, Maki, Hibbert, Morgan and Vincent.

The Snowmobile Hall of Fame is along Highway 70 about one mile west of the Highway 155 junction in St. Germain and seven miles east of U.S. 51 near Arbor Vitae.

Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Museum Address:

8481 West Highway 70 (at Sled World Blvd.)
St. Germain, WI 54558
715-542-4463
Website




Sprecher Brewery

Sprecher Brewery


Sprecher started back in 1985 as the first microbrewery in Wisconsin since the repeal of Prohibition. Brewing in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood for the first ten years (very close to where the Great Lakes Distillery is now), they moved to a former elevator car factory in Glendale in 1994 along Lexington Avenue, just west of I-43 and east of Highway 57/Green Bay Road. They’re also just north of Highway 190/Capitol Drive.

Sprecher is well-known for both craft beers and a line of popular sodas. They feature six year-round brews and 14 seasonal and limited release beers, including a market-leading line of gluten-free selections. They also make seven varieties of popular sodas, including a terrific root beer and a cream soda. Best of all, they offer tours! Times vary and tours cost anywhere from $1 to $3, depending on your age – which also determines which free samples you get.

Address:
701 W. Glendale Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53207
(414) 964-7837
Website

Eagle Cave

Eagle Cave


Wisconsin’s largest onyx cave – and one of the first to be discovered (1849) and opened to the public (1938), Eagle Cave offers over 3,000 feet of passages for exploring across eight levels, four of which are underground. Guided cave tours are available Memorial Day-Labor Day Thursdays through Sundays.

Eagle Cave has hosted a cave exploratory program since 1954, making it popular not only for tours, but also overnight camping, with seasonal and primitive campsites available.

Eagle Cave also offers cabin rentals, canoe rentals, spelunking, hiking trails and geocaching, fishing, ice skating and ice fishing in winter, mini golf, and a souvenir shop with a game room and hot and cold refreshments.

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You’ll find Eagle Cave accessible along Highway 60, about five miles west of Muscoda and Highways 80 and 193, or about nine miles east of U.S. 61 at Boscobel. Highway 133 comes close on the south side of the Wisconsin River and can access Eagle Cave via the County T bridge between Blue River and Port Andrew, and then a brief drive east of 60.

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Address:
16320 Cavern Lane
Blue River, WI 53518
(608) 537-2988
Website

blueriver_eaglecaveaccess

Part of the access road to Eagle Cave off Highway 60. It’s just a few minutes off the main highway.

East Troy Electric Railroad

East Troy Electric Railroad


The East Troy Electric Railroad operates on the last 7.5 miles of original, operational interurban railroad track in Wisconsin. Many of the former tracks and now bike trail rights-of-way, or simply obliterated with time. Not East Troy RR: they provide rides, dinners, and more on the original interurban route between East Troy and Mukwonago – a route that used to go all the way into Milwaukee.

easttroy_rr01This historic train ran from 1907 until the 1940s. Abandoned for a few decades, the Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society started running weekend trolley rides on the tracks in the 1970s. By 1985, the East Troy Railroad Museum opened in the original Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Company and today they offer not only train rides but dinners, pizzas, special parties, and more along for the ride. The western end is the original East Troy power station, home to the Museum; the eastern end is the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago.

From April through November, daily trains are run; they’re more frequent during June, July, and August for obvious reasons. Check their full schedule here.

Fares:
Adults, aged 15-64: $12.50
Seniors (65+): $10.50
Children, aged 3-14: $8.00
Kids 2 and under are free

** Tickets are good all day for as many rides and cars as you want! **

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Address:
2002 Church Street
East Troy, WI 53120
(262) 642-3263
Website

 

World's Largest Muskie in Hayward, along US Highway 63
National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame


Hayward is a major center for fishing, lumbering, and cross-country skiing. It’s only fitting that this town hosts the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. It’s Hayward’s largest attraction (100,000 visitors per year) and the “international headquarters for education, recognition, and promotion of freshwater sport fishing” (their words from their website.)

This Hall of Fame is noted for having the World’s Largest Fiberglass Sculpture, which is also the World’s Largest Muskie. Standing 143 feet long and 41 feet tall, the muskie holds names of world record-holders in fishing across the world – over 3,000 entries. You can check out the names and climb the steps to show yourself from the muskie’s mouth, 4 stories off the ground. It’s a popular place to get your picture taken… how can one resist??

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame grounds - fiberglass fishIt’s more than the big muskie, though. The six acre spread includes the “Sea of Fishes” (why not a “school of fishes”??), a sculpture garden peppered with perch, bluegill, and more. Some are clutching fiberglass frogs; some have lures in their mouths. All are fun and interesting works of art. The museum has over 5,000 fishing lures on display along with 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors (remember, the outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin!)

We have a whole gallery of photos here.

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame front entrance.

You’ll find the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame just south of downtown Hayward nestled between Hayward Lake and Highway 27. U.S. 63 and Highway 77 are within blocks. The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame is open year ’round, so feel free to attend on a hot summer day, a chilly winter day during the annual American Birkebeiner, or the World Lumberjack Championships, which takes place annually just a stone’s throw away.

Address:
10360 Hall of Fame Drive (Highway 27)
Hayward, WI
(715) 634-4440
Website

National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame grounds from the big fish.

Langlade County Historic Museum & Railroad Park

Langlade County Historic Museum & Railroad Park

The Langlade County Historic Museum is housed in an original Carnegie Library, constructed with a grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1905. It served as the public library for Antigo until 1997 and now features historic items from around Langlade County.

The Deleglise Cabin on the grounds showcases the typical early structures of northern Wisconsin, many of which were built along early military trails. This cabin, originally built in 1878, housed the Deleglise family and later church services and a printing office for a local newspaper, the New County Republican. Inside the cabin you can check out original items such as a chest of drawers from the 1850s and an altar from the 1870s.

antigotrain_800Also on the ground is Railroad Park, with a restored Union Pacific 440 steam locomotive originally constructed in 1900. She worked through Kansas and Nebraska before being retired in 1955; the locomotive was on display in Lincoln, Nebraska and then at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin, before being moved here to Antigo in 2005. Some restorations to the train and a roof for it were completed in 2007.

You’ll find the Langlade County Historic Museum right along U.S. 45/Highways 47 and 52 (they’re all combined on this stretch) in Antigo, just south of the downtown crossroads. Highway 64 is just to the north.

Museum Hours:
Summer (May 1st – Sept 30th): Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm
Winter (Oct 1st – Apr 30th): Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10am-4pm

Address:
404 Superior Street (U.S. 45/Hwy 47/Hwy 52)
Antigo, WI 54409
(715) 627-4464
Website

 

Webster House Museum

Webster House Museum


In Elkhorn, Walworth’s County Seat, you’ll find the home of composer Joseph Philbrick Webster, who songs were popular through the Civil War and beyond. The well-maintained Greek Revival-style cottage was constructed in 1836 and was originally located in Elkhorn’s public square (today’s Courthouse Square) and served as the federal land grant office, which sold land to Walworth County pioneers before Wisconsin’s 1848 statehood. It was also used as a temporary courthouse before a “real” one was constructed.

The Websters moved in after the house was moved to its current location at Rockwell & Washington Streets, where they added a kitchen and bedrooms while also creating a music room.

Webster’s descendants sold the house to the county in 1955; it opened a museum the following year. On August 8, 1970, the Webster House Museum was named a Wisconsin State Landmark and the official marker went in.

A tour of the museum shows off plenty of period items, including the square rosewood piano on which the composer created and played old classics like “Lorena” and “Sweet By and By.”

The Webster House Museum is just south of Elkhorn’s downtown and the junctions of Highways 11 and 67; U.S. 12 and I-43 are also nearby.

Hours:
Mid-May through mid-OctoberWednesday through Saturday, 1-5pm or by appointment

Address:
9 E. Rockwell Street
Elkhorn, WI 53121
(262) 723-4248
Website

Willow River State Park

Willow River State Park


hudson_willowriverSP01Following the Willow River and its beautiful valleys, Willow River State Park covers nearly 2,900 acres and offers terrific hiking, swimming, canoeing, camping, fishing, and more. The surroundings include forest and prairie grasslands with the river cutting through it all on its way to the St. Croix.

The park’s crowning glory is Willow Falls, a beautiful, cascading set of waterfalls in a rock- and tree-lined gorge nearly 200 feet deep. Trails bring you just above the falls and to the top of the rocks above; the views offer many angles, sounds, and sights.

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Willow Falls from 200 feet above.

Willow River State Park is located just north of U.S. 12 along County A in St. Croix County, about 5 miles northeast of Hudson. I-94 is just to the south and Highway 35 is nearby to the west.

Address:
1034 County Road A
Hudson, WI 54016
(715) 386-5931
Website

Tornado Brewing Company

Tornado Brewing Company


In March 2000, a tornado hit Cudahy, a south suburb of Milwaukee on a rare 80-degree day. That was the inspiration behind the name of Tornado Brewing, which opened in Cudahy in 2013 but relocated to Menomonee Falls in June, 2015 and then again to Horicon in 2017.

Owner Dennis Erb – who grew up around Menomonee Falls – focuses on a whirlwind of different beers, having served over 200 different ones – of their own – in just their first two years of being a brewery. The varieties continue to come fast and furious. It’s no wonder their menu stays on a TV monitor rather than a printed menu – or even a chalkboard!

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They definitely have a wide variety of unique beers. We tried varieties like the Pepperoni Pilsner, which indeed had a pepperoni flavor; the Tri-Pepper Pilsner, which was robustly peppery; the Grapefruit Ale, which was similar to a Radler beer but still unique; the Pistachio Kolsch, which was smooth and fairly pistacho-y (we’re inventing words here); and the Habanero Red Ale, which truly carries the heat of habanero peppers. We needed ice water and lots of it after that one.

Tornado’s space (as of December 2015) is still a bit rough on atmosphere but their restaurant menu continues to grow and their beers continue to fascinate. If you like unique flavors in craft beers, Tornado is definitely worth trying.

Tornado Brewing is now in Horicon, where Highways 28 and 33 meet, just east of Highway 26.

Tornado Brewing Company Address:

311 E. Lake Street
Horicon, WI 53032
Website




Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum


An impressive art museum in the heart of Wausau – which itself is in the heart of Wisconsin – the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum covers four acres and is housed in a beautiful 1931 Tudor mansion. Their “Birds In Art” exhibition is world-class, filled with contemporary artistic representations of all kinds of birds, from paintings to sculptures. It’s truly a prime destination for nature art lovers – and admission is free!

The Museum also hosts a series of events from art exhibits to concerts and holiday celebrations. Check their website’s event calendar for updated schedules.

The Museum’s hours are:
Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm, with extended hours until 7:30pm on the first Thursday of each month
Saturday-Sunday noon-5pm
Closed Mondays and major holidays

You can get to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum via Highway 52, with I-39, U.S. 51, and Highway 29 all close by!

Address:
700 N. 12th Street
Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 845-7010
Website

Green Bay Distillery

Green Bay Distillery


The Green Bay Distillery opened in 2011 right across from the Packers’ practice facility, Ray Nitschke Field. It’s now part of the “Titletown District,” within easy walking distance of Lambeau Field, the Resch Center, Brown County Arena, and more.

The Distillery started as a restaurant with specialty vodkas, Green Bay Classic and Green Bay Cherry, with cherries from nearby Door County. They have since expanded into gins and whiskies as well as vodkas with lime and grape flavors, great for mixers.

Green Bay Distillery is in a pretty huge building, and they host plenty of events – especially Packer game parties. Their indoor/outdoor patio room shows games and is a great place to enjoy food and drink in the nice weather months.

You’ll find Green Bay Distillery along Mike McCarthy Way, just off Oneida Street near Lambeau Field. Highways 32, I-41, and 172 are close by, and Highways 29, 54, 57, and U.S. 141 also bring you to Green Bay to check this place out and enjoy.

Address:
835 Mike McCarthy Way
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 393-4403
Website

Irvine Park & Zoo, Tiger
Irvine Park & Zoo

Irvine Park & Zoo


Chippewa Falls has an amazing place to play, relax, and observe animals in the beautiful 318-acre Irvine (pronounced “ER-vin”) Park.  the Irvine Park Zoo opened way back in 1909 with a bear exhibit. Today, the Zoo features tigers, bobcats, cougars, deer, bison, and other wildlife. Summer months also offer the Red Barn Petting Zoo, and an extensive lighted holiday display – we’re talking over 100 displays and 100,000 lights – makes the holiday season sparkle. Historical displays include the Sunny Valley Schoolhouse and Pioneer Norwegian Log Home on the weekends, which are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Irvine Park Cave on the grounds runs about 20 feet long, with natural springs running through.

Cave in Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

Rumble Bridge in Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

The Rumble Bridge (above) is a pony truss style bridge that spans a ravine in Irvine Park. It got its name from its design that features wood planks that were only nailed down on one end. It allowed for flexing and stress relief, plus expansion and contraction with the seasons. It also created a rumbling sound when cars would drive over it, hence the name of “Rumble” or “Rumbly” Bridge. The Rumble Bridge carried vehicles all the way to 1981; it’s now for pedestrians and bicyclists in the park.

Sunny Valley School in Irvine Park, Chippewa FallsThe Sunny Valley Schoolhouse (right) was originally built in 1903, standing about 8 miles west of Chippewa Falls to serve the nearby Town of Wheaton. This one-room schoolhouse was heated with cord wood and slabs in a box stove, and lit with kerosene lamps. Almost all of the children who attended back then walked to school, as there were few automobiles and no snow plows (of course, they told their kids and grandkids it was uphill, both ways.) Sunny Valley School stayed an operating school until the early 1960’s, when the growth of Chippewa Falls and its school district took over. It was donated and moved to Irvine Park in 1965, where you can explore it – in season.

Irvine Park & Zoo is located on the north side of Chippewa Falls, near the Leinenkugel Brewery and Northern Wisconsin State Fair Park. Just off Highway 124, Highway 29 and U.S. 53 also bring you close.

The Zoo is open year ’round from 7am to sunset, with extended hours during the holidays. Admission is free.

Irvine Park & Zoo Address:

125 Bridgewater Avenue (Highway 124)
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
(715) 723-0051
Website



Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

GO Chippewa Falls

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AeppelTreow Winery & Distillery

AeppelTreow Winery & Distillery


Located just off Highway 142 east of Burlington abutting the Richard Bong Recreation Area, AeppelTreow features a winery, distillery, and an orchard. They specialize in apple-based wines, hard ciders made with apples and pears (known as “perrys”), and a variety of spirits. The winery started in 2001, partnering with the adjacent Brightonwoods Orchard which grows and/or preserves over 200 varieties of apples and pears.

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Address:
1072 288th Avenue (County B)
Burlington, WI 53105
(262) 878-5345
Website

 

Schlitz Audubon Center

Schlitz Audubon Center


The Schlitz Audubon Center offers 185 acres of unspoiled beauty along the lakefront with six miles of trails, a variety of nature programs and a 60-foot observation tower that lets you enjoy the lake view as well as the sight of downtown Milwaukee, now about 10 miles to the south. As one might guess, “Audubon” means there is an emphasis on studying birds and serving as a resting and safe place for them, but the Center is also about being responsible stewards of the land.  As its name implies, this area came from the Schlitz Brewing Company families, originally an farm in 1800s called Nine Mile Farm for its distance from the brewery in downtown Milwaukee. It took until the 1970s for this land to become the Schlitz Audubon Center – but it was definitely worth the wait!

You’ll find the Schlitz Audubon Center right where Highway 32 turns from Lake Drive to Brown Deer Road in Bayside, mere yards from the Lake Michigan shore (which you can’t quite see due to the dense forest – which is okay by us!) Highway 100 and I-43 are close by, just to the west.

Hours:
Daily 9am-5pm

Admission:
Adults: $8
Youth 3-17, Military Active Duty & Veterans: $5

Address:
1111 E. Brown Deer Road (Highway 32)
Bayside, WI 53217
(414) 352-2880
Website

Lynden Sculpture Garden

Lynden Sculpture Garden


In 1962, Peg Bradley (a matriarch of the Allen-Bradley Corporation, now part of Rockwell International) began collecting contemporary sculptures and installed them on the grounds of the 40-acre property and she and her husband Harry owned. They purchased the home and property in 1927 and transformed the grounds into an English country garden, complete with small lakes and a rustic bridge. The addition of monumental sculptures throughout turned the grounds into a draw for art lovers and enthusiasts from all over. Sculptures on the grounds include those by artists Alexander Archipenko, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Clement Meadmore, Marta Pan, Tony Smith, Mark di Suvero and many others. Decent-led tours are available on Sundays.

You’ll find (and you definitely have to look!) the Lynden Sculpture Garden along Highway 100/Brown Deer Road in River Hills, 0.8 miles west of I-43/Highway 32 and about 1.5 miles east of Highway 57.   Look for the small sign hanging from a lamppost at the entrance that says “LYNDEN. Harry L. Bradley.”

Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-5pm (Wednesdays til 7:30pm during summer months)
Thursday CLOSED
Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm

Admission:
Adults: $9, $12 with Sunday tour
Seniors (62 and over), Students with ID, and Children 6-17: $7, $8 with Sunday tour
Children under 6 are admitted free with adult, with or without the tour

Address:
2145 W. Brown Deer Road (Highway 100)
Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 446-8794
Website

Tyranena Brewing Company in Lake Mills
Tyranena Brewing Company

Tyranena Brewing Company

Tyranena notes itself as “Legendary Wisconsin Beer,” calling back to the mysterious stone structures and effigy mounds that border – and are submerged under – today’s Rock Lake… the original name of which lives on in the name of this brewery.

lakemills_tyranena03Tyranena began operations in late 1999, quite early on in Wisconsin’s craft beer renaissance. Over time, the brewery has grown to a production capacity of about 45,000 barrels annually in Lake Mills, located just northeast of town, just about one mile east of Highway 89 and within earshot of I-94.

Beers from Tyranena include some colorful names: Bitter Woman IPA, Rocky’s Revenge Brown, Three Beaches Honey Blonde, Headless Man Amber Alt, Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale, Down N’ Dirty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Chief Blackhawk Porter, and more. A group of beers referred to as “Brewers Gone Wild!” include offerings like Tapping the Sugarbush, an Imperial Maple Porter aged in Bourbon barrels; the Coco Poco, a Coconut Porter aged in rum barrels; the Kisser’s Monday Night Special, a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Double Stout; and the PINK Fruit Tart, a Sour Wheat Ale with cherry and pomegranate. For non-beer drinkers in your group, they also serve hard lemonade, hard seltzer, non-alcoholic brews, root beer, and other sodas.

While available in stores throughout the state, you can best sample the wide variety of their beers in their Lake Mills Tasting Room. Along with a 35-seat dog-friendly bar area with a variety of games and occasional live music, a summertime outdoor patio offers more accommodations. Both the Tasting Room and patio are dog-friendly.

Brewery Tours are also available every Saturday. Yes, they’re free and no reservations are required. Certain Saturdays are designated as “Technical,” with brewers on hand. Which dates offer those? You can find that out here.

Tasting Room Hours:

Monday: 4:30 to 10:00 pm
Tuesday: 4:30 to 10:00 pm
Wednesday: 4:30 to 10:00 pm
Thursday: 4:30 to 10:00 pm
Friday: 3:00 to 11:00 pm
Saturday: 12 Noon to 11:00 pm
Sunday: 12 Noon to 8:00 pm

Tyranena Brewing Company & Tap Room Address:

1025 Owen Street
Lake Mills, WI 53551
(920) 648-8699
Website




 

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lakemills_tyranena04

Sheboygan and City Green: the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the State Trunk Tour Podcast
John Michael Kohler Arts Center

John Michael Kohler Arts Center


The John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) offers a variety of concepts and directions in contemporary art with particular consideration of craft-related forms, installation works, photography, new genres, ongoing cultural traditions, and the work of self-taught artists.  They have an impressive collection of permanent exhibits and a dynamic series of rotating ones.  Their ARTspace gallery offers international collections and exhibits.

The JMKAC has a world-renowned Arts/Industry program, considered one of the most unusual ongoing collaborations between arts and industry in the country (the Kohler Corporation’s involvement is, of course, one reason for this.)

Plenty of events are hosted at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center too, check our Event Calendar for those or the JMKAC Event Calendar!

You’ll find the JMKAC in downtown Sheboygan at 6th & New York Avenue, just a short hop away from where Highways 23, 28, and 42 all meet… and end.

Hours:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Closed major holidays

John Michael Kohler Arts Center Address:

608 New York Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081
(920) 458-6144
Website

FREE parking is available across the street on the south side of New York Avenue.
Admission to the Arts Center is by voluntary donation.




Pelicans on Lake Michigan - Visit Sheboygan

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Milwaukee Public Market from across Water Street
Milwaukee Public Market

Milwaukee Public Market


Milwaukee Public Market from the top levelConsidered one of “America’s Best Public Markets,” the Milwaukee Public Market opened in 2005 and offers a variety of one-of-a-kind, high quality artisan & ethnic products, fresh produce and prepared foods, beer and wine from crafters all over the world, demo kitchens, and even places to pick up fresh-cut flowers and goofy Milwaukee-themed clothing, such as a t-shirt with a bottle opener embedded in it – we found that at Brew City Beer Gear.

Independent merchants make up the Milwaukee Public Market, an indoor venue complemented by its Outdoor Urban Market along with craft fairs during the summer months. The MPM itself crowns the north end of the vibrant Historic Third Ward neighborhood, right along St. Paul Avenue between Water and Broadway and literally nuzzling up against I-794, under which parking is available. The new Milwaukee Streetcar System, known as “The Hop,” is being constructed along this corner; the Public Market will undoubtedly be a key stop along this new route.

You can get everything from fresh fish at St. Paul Fish Company to exotic spices at the Spice House, prepared soups, scratch-made specialty chocolates – and much more. The meat and deli counters at Foltz’s Family Market and West Allis Cheese & Sausage offer anything you could want. For vegans, On the Bus features everything from avocado toast and seitan sandwiches to take-home vegan ingredients for meal prep. Margarita Paradise offers Mexican fare and ingredients; Aladdin has you taken care of on the Mediterranean side. Kehr’s Candy Kitchen is a continuation of a long-traditional shop in the city with specialty chocolates and treats; while C. Adams offers incredible bakery across the way. Thai-namite offers fresh sushi, sashimi and similar fare while the Soup & Stock Market creates new concoctions every way. Bring any food to Thief Wine and sip a variety of wines from around the world at their counter while you enjoy, or peruse bottles to bring home. Brew City Beer Gear covers you with your favorite Wisconsin and Milwaukee t-shirts, hoodies, even socks – with creative messages. Plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants flank the Market in the Third Ward, which has become a prime boutique shopping destination for people from as far away as Chicago.

The Milwaukee Public Market is open seven days a week. Hours are 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm Saturday, and 10am-6pm Sunday. Early morning coffee lovers can grab a fresh cup as early as 7am on weekdays at Anodyne Coffee, and wine enthusiasts can enjoy extended hours until 9pm Thursday-Saturday nights at Thief Wine in the middle of the Market.

I-794 is one easy way to reach the Milwaukee Public Market via exits to St. Paul or Jackson Street south; Highway 32 flanks its east side as Broadway, U.S. 18/Michigan Avenue is just two blocks north, and Highways 38, 59, and 145 all get you close.

Milwaukee Public Market Address:

400 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 336-1111
Website




Milwaukee Public Market towards Brew City Beer Gear

Ochsner Park & Zoo

Ochsner Park & Zoo


Right along Highway 33 in beautiful Baraboo, the Ochsner Park & Zoo offers 26 acres of parkland and a free zoo covering two of them. Ochsner originally opened in 1926 and features an interesting variety of animals for a relatively small zoo:  a snow leopard, a Capuchin (just acquired in 2015), bobcats, prairie dogs, a black bear, llamas, wolves, and a series of birds. The zoo is open year ’round seven days a week. It opens at 8:30am; closing times vary throughout the year: 7:30pm during summer, 5:30pm in fall and spring, and 3:00pm in winter.

Ochsner is easily accessible along Highway 33, just east of U.S. 12 and west of the end of Highway 113.

Address:
903 Park Street
Baraboo, WI 53913
(608) 355-2700
Website

Hearthstone Historic House Museum

Hearthstone Historic House Museum


Hearthstone is the first house in the world to have electric lights powered by a centrally located hydroelectric station that used the Edison system. It began operation on September 30, 1882 with a generator situated in the beater room of the Appleton Paper and Pulp Company. The three buildings that were lighted on that historic occasion were the Appleton Paper and Pulp Company owned by John Van Nortwick and run by Henry J. Rogers who owned the home on the bluff above, now known as Hearthstone, and Kimberly & Clark’s Vulcan Paper Mill located nearby. There was one other generator in the nation at the time, in New York City. It powered several business, but no homes – giving Hearthstone its distinctive title.

A tour of Hearthstone includes the Hands-On Hydro Adventure Center, with plenty of interactive activities for kids and grown-ups. And of course, old mansions are cool. Evening tours are available during Haunted Hearthstone and Victorian Christmas or by appointment.
Hearthstone is closed Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

General Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for Seniors or AAA members, $5 for kids 5-17, free for kids under 5.

Hours:
Monday-Wednesday: Closed
Thursday — Friday: First tour begins at 10 am
Saturday: First tour begins at 11 am
Sunday: First tour begins at 1 pm
Tours are conducted every half hour with the last tour of the day beginning at 3:30 pm

You’ll find Hearthstone right along the Fox River near downtown Appleton along Highway 47. Highway 125 (College Avenue) and Highway 96 (Wisconsin Avenue) are just to the north; U.S. 10 and Highway 441 are just to the south and I-41 wraps around the west and north sides of the city. Plenty of ways to get there!

Address:
625 W. Prospect Avenue
Appleton, WI
(920) 730-8204
Website

Raised Grain Brewing Company

Raised Grain Brewing Company


Raised Grain opened in 2015, billing itself as “Waukesha’s Craft Brewery.” What began as an argument between a Scottish home brewer and a Belgian home brewer evolved into this place. The brewery sits just west of “Goerkes Corners”, where I-94 and U.S. 18 meet on the north side of Waukesha close to Pewaukee and Brookfield. Technically it’s located at 2244 W. Blue Mound Rd., which is Historic Highway 30.

Raised Grain features eight brews on tap in its Tap Room, which also features big screen TVs. Beers include their first brew, Paradocs Red, and others like Kilted Kolsch, Ah-Ha IPA, Birdseye Belgian Trippel, Six Stone Scotch Ale, Spring City Amber, Roggenaut Rye and the seasonal tap, Black Walnut Belgian Imperial Stout. Additional beers are being added.

Their Tap Room, visible from the Home Depot (which is the most visible thing around there), is open Wed-Thurs 4-10pm, Friday 4pm-midnight, Saturday noon-midnight, and Sunday 1-5pm, although hours can vary based on football season and such – check their Facebook page for any updates on that.

Address:
2244 W. Bluemound Road (Historic Highway 30), Unit E
Waukesha, WI 53186
Website

Burr Oak Winery

Burr Oak Winery


Burr Oak Winery dates back to 1997, when the first grapes were planted. A few years later they were drawing visitors to their tasting room, a European-style building featuring beautiful stained glass windows salvaged from a church built in 1882. Today they host a number of events and offer over 15 varieties of red, white, and dessert wines. They managed several medal wins at the 2015 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, too.

Burr Oak Winery is open 11am-5pm, seven days a week. You’ll find them just south of downtown New Lisbon, along U.S. 12/Highway 16/Highway 80, just a few minutes off I-90/94.

Address:
N5873 Hwys 12 & 16 (and 80)
New Lisbon, WI 53950
(608) 562-5271
Website

Heritage Hill State Historic Park

Heritage Hill State Historic Park


greenbay_heritagehillhistmarkerAs its name implies, Heritage Hill State Historic Park is a 48-acre outdoor museum filled with historic structures adorning a lovely hill that offers views of the Fox River, Lambeau Field, and even towards downtown Green Bay (more so when the leaves aren’t on the trees.)  Over 30 historic structures from fur trade-era log cabins to original stores and even buildings from Fort Howard, which gave rise to Green Bay, dot the hill.

During the warm months (sometimes month), you’ll find live interpreters in period clothing running around who will gladly fill you in on the history that abounds. Over 6,600 artifacts are among their collection, some pieces dating back to the 1600s when French explorers first started pulling up on the shores of Green Bay thinking they’d made it to Asia (the Native Americans already there informed them otherwise, of course.)

greenbay_heritagehill02There’s a Belgian farm and Moravian church on the grounds, as well as a newer educational center for classes and program and even events, which are increasingly popular here. Many events take place here throughout the year.

You’ll find Heritage Hill along the east bank of the Fox River in Allouez, just north of where Highways 57 and 172 (the freeway that serves southern Green Bay) meet. Highway 32 is just across the river; I-41 is also just to the west, and Highways 29, 54, and U.S. 141 are just to the north. It’s very easy to get to!

Address:
2640 S. Webster Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54301
Website

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Lambeau Field is THIS close to Heritage Hill.

Pettit National Ice Center
Pettit National Ice Center

Pettit National Ice Center


A truly world-class facility, the Pettit National Ice Center features a 400-meter speedskating oval that serves as only one of two official U.S. Olympic training facilities in the United States. The oval surrounds two international-size ice rinks, popular for hockey players. The Pettit opened in 1993, welcomes about 425,000 visitors annually, brings in speedskaters from all over the world. The facility has hosted competitions like the National Short and Long Track Speed Skating Championships, the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships, and the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Time Trials. Local Gold medal champions Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen first skated the rink and aspiring Olympians continue to use the Pettit for training.

westallis-pettit-statue

And yes, YOU can skate at the Pettit! You can even run around the outside of the speedskating oval, as a 0.28-mile running track lines the outside – it’s a popular runners’ destination in winter. Check here for times.

What other cool facts can we say about the Pettit National Ice Center?

– The Pettit features 97,000 sq ft of ice between the Oval and two international sized hockey rinks

– It has been said that If you divided all the ice in the Pettit Center into one- inch sections you would have a total of 13 million ice cubes!

– 99 miles of piping cools the Olympic Oval and the two international sized hockey rinks.

– The ice actually gets painted so it appears so white – 2,000 gallons of mixed ice paint are used every year.

– The Run-Walk Track is a little over a quarter mile for a lap, a little under four laps for a mile and just over 94 laps for a full marathon which we actually host every January! The marathon weekend welcomes over 800 participants in a variety of distances.

You’ll find the Pettit along Highway 181/84th Street at I-94, just north of Highway 59/Greenfield Avenue, south of U.S. 18/Bluemound Road, and east of I-41/U.S. 45/I-894 on the Milwaukee-West Allis border.

Address:
500 S. 84th Street (Highway 181)
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 266-0100
Website

 

Thrasher Opera House

Thrasher Opera House


A vintage 1910 theater built by Charlie Thrasher to showcase vaudeville acts and (very) early movies, the Thrasher Opera House was a community hub for decades after it first opened. After being shuttered for decades, it was refurbished and once again hosts musical acts, plays, theatre and comedy performances, events, and more – though we didn’t see any actual opera on the schedule.

The charm of the original building’s inside remains, and it’s once again a hub of community activity in downtown Green Lake on Mill Street. Check their schedule of events and maybe you can catch something fun when you come through! Highways 23 and 49 bring you to Green Lake.

Address:
506 Mill Street
Green Lake, WI 54941
(920) 294-4279

Muk Luks Museum

Muk Luks Museum


Ah, Muk Luks. The comfy, fashionable footwear originated in Princeton and gained worldwide acclaim. The Muk Luks Museum opened in 2014 with Muk Luk artifacts and a variety of styles to show. Original Muk Luks, the tools used to make them, old shipping boxes, and more adorn the small but interesting museum. And there’s plenty there to keep you warm.

The museum is open Saturdays, 11am-3pm. It’s part of Princeton’s Shops of Water Street District, just south of Highways 23 and 73.

Address:
631 W. Water Street
Princeton, WI 54968
(920) 295-6612

National Dairy Shrine

National Dairy Shrine


We’re “America’s Dairyland.” Of COURSE the National Dairy Shrine should be here, right? Fort Atkinson hosts this salute to bovine lactation, chock full of interactive displays, exhibits, and artifacts.

The actual National Dairy Shrine is headquartered in Ohio, but its museum is here in Fort Atkinson and offers a detailed look at rich heritage of the dairy industry.  Learn about the history of ice cream, check out a dog-powered butter churn(?), learn how milking works, what 19th century farm families had to go through and how modern manufacturing techniques have made their lives easier while improving the availability and quality of milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream for all of us. There’s also a look at where this technology is going. And you’ll probably want an ice cream cone when you’re done.

The National Dairy Shrine is right along U.S. 12/Highway 89 next to the Hoard Historical Museum a little bit south of downtown Fort Atkinson and the Rock River. Business Highway 26 is just to the west, and Highway 106 is just to the north.  They’re open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm.

Address:
401 Whitewater Avenue (U.S. 12/Highway 89)
Whitewater, WI 53538
(920) 563-7769
Website

Hoard Historical Museum

Hoard Historical Museum


The Hoard Historical Museum covers Fort Atkinson’s colorful history, starting with its namesake William Dempster Hoard, the “father of American dairying.” The museum also offers a good look at the likes of noted Sauk warrior Black Hawk and the “Black Hawk War” of 1832, the experiences of a young Abraham Lincoln as he rode into and through the area, and poet and Fort native Lorine Niedecker. Other historic artifacts, current and historic artwork, and an exhibit on area Native American mounds round out the museum’s top offerings.

The Hoard Historical Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm. Admission is free, although donations are welcome ($5/person or $10/family is suggested – and a good idea.) The National Dairy Shrine Museum is adjacent; the two share a Visitor Center.

You’ll find both along U.S. 12/Highway 89 just south of downtown Fort Atkinson. It’s just east of Business Highway 26 and about half a mile south of Highway 106.

Address:
401 Whitewater Avenue
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
(920) 563-7769
Website

Rhinelander Brewing Company

Rhinelander Brewing Company


Rhinelander Brewing has a long history in the North Woods. Founded in 1882, the Rhinelander brand became well-known for its 7-ounce “shorty”, the stubby bottle that some other brands have imitated. A many local brewers did in the 1960s, the original Rhinelander Brewery facility shut its doors in 1967. The Joseph Huber Brewing Company bought the rights and kept them until Jyoti Auluck purchased the brand back in 2009 and brought back the original malty recipe to their flagship and signature beer: Rhinelander Export Lager. More places around the state are carrying the shorty bottles, and in Rhinelander, it’s even available on tap.

Rhinelander is working to build a brewery back in its hometown; for the time being Rhinelander Export Lager and Rhinelander Light are brewed by Minhas Brewing in Monroe. They’re also adding craft brews, including Chocolate Bunny, Imperial Jack IPA, Mystical Jack Ale, and Thumper IPA – yes, all rabbit-themed.

Their offices are in Rhinelander on Brown Street but there is no brewery back yet. You’ll find their beers in pretty much every bar in town, though!

Address:
59 S. Brown Street
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(715) 550-2337
Website

 

 

Dahl Auto Museum

Dahl Auto Museum


The Dahl Auto Museum offers a stroll down memory lane, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history of automobiles. The Dahl family has been in the automotive dealer business for over 100 years, spanning five generations – so they know their history and have an impressive collection to show. Much is shown “through the eyes” of the Ford Motor Company; there’s also an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles from the turn of the century to present.

The museum is downtown in La Crosse, along 3rd Street. U.S. 14, 53, and 61, along with Highways 16, 33, or 35, bring you either there or within blocks.

The Dahl Auto Museum is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10am-4pm. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for Seniors and Kids 9-16, and free for Kids under 8 and service guests of Dahl.

Address:
711 3rd Street South
La Crosse, WI
(608) 791-6494
Website

Children’s Museum of La Crosse

Children’s Museum of La Crosse


Exhibits and interactive displays for children of all ages cover three floors, and the Mt. LeKid Climbing Wall lets grown-ups compete with the kids to see who can reach the top. It’s an impressive museum for a city the size of La Crosse, and it draws families from all over the region.

Hours: Tuesdays–Saturdays, 10am-5pm, Sundays Noon-5pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Admission: $7.00 per person admission ($6 on Sundays). Infants (under 12 months) are free.

Address:
207 5th Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 784-2652
Website

Swarthout Museum

Swarthout Museum


Located in a library and part of the La Crosse County Historical Society, the Swarthout Museum features an extensive look at the history of La Crosse, features one of the few remaining horse-drawn fire pumpers in the world, and rotates exhibits frequently. You’ll find a lot of artifacts and period clothing from as far back at the 1850s, when La Crosse first became a city.

Address
112 9th Street N
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 782-1980
Website

Hinterland Brewing logo
Hinterland Brewing Company

Hinterland Brewing Company


From 1995, Hinterland Brewing operated in a former meat-packing warehouse in Green Bay. In 2017, they moved to a new facility in the Titletown District next to Lambeau Field – right at the site of the Mobil station we used to warm up at during cold-weather (read: October-January) games.

Hinterland Brewery at night

Hinterland’s year ’round beers include their flagship Luna Coffee Stout; their Pale Ale; Packerland Pilsner; Hinterland IPA; Nitro IPA; and their Pub Draught English-style ale. In various seasons, you’ll also find their Cherry Wheat, Oktoberfest, Hinterland Timberland (yes, it rhymes), their Bodenbrecher, and a Saison. Other limited releases are also available here and there – naturally-made products have a way of being dependent on growing seasons and such!

Tours of the Green Bay brewery are available Saturdays at noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm; they cost $10 and include a souvenir pint glass and a beer.

You’ll find their brewery and restaurant in the Titletown District in the shadow of Lambeau Field, just off I-41 near Highways 32 and 172. Highways 29, 54, and 57 also come close as they go through Green Bay.

Hinterland Brewing Address:

1001 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 438-8050
Website




Titletown Brewing Company

Titletown Brewing Company


Located in Green Bay’s former Chicago & Northwestern Train Depot, Titletown Brewing Company opened in 1996, just weeks before the Packers became “Titletown” once again by winning Super Bowl XXXI.

Beers brewed by Titletown include their “400” Honey Ale, named after the former “400” passenger train; Canadeo Gold, named after one of only five – soon to be six – Packers players to have his number retired, Tony Canadeo; the Dark Helmet Schwartzbier; Green 19 IPA; Hogshead Mild, a British session; IrrationAle, an unfiltered American wheat beer that is quite rational; Johnny “Blood” Red, named after another Packers legend; a Maibock; Pullman Porter; St. Norbert Pilsner; and the tech-savvy Ctrl “Alt” Delete, a German-style amber ale.

You’ll find the depot along U.S. 141/Dousman Street, with the iconic Packers statue out front that once stood on the grounds of the Packers Hall of Fame before they moved into Lambeau Field. The depot itself dates back to 1898 and still has tracks out front, which are fun to play on since trains no longer run on them. The brewery includes a popular restaurant; we rate everything there quite tasty.

Of course, I-41 and Highways 29, 32, 54, 57, and 172 also bring you to Green Bay.

Address:
200 Dousman Street
Green Bay, WI 54303
(920) 437-2337
Website

Door Peninsula Winery & Distillery

Door Peninsula Winery & Distillery


The Door Peninsula Winery started back in 1974 in a former two-room schoolhouse built in 1868. Taking advantage of the abundant and legendary cherry orchards nearby, they started out with cherry wine. Numerous expansions since have added on more wine storage and production space, a restaurant, and finally new distillery in 2011 where gin, whiskey, brandy, and bitters are made. Cherry moonshine recently debuted, too; we have yet to try that but we’ll head there again soon!

You’ll find the Door Peninsula Winery right along Highway 42 in Carlsville, about five miles north of Sturgeon Bay.

Address:
5806 Highway 42
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 743-7431
Website

Door County Historical Museum

Door County Historical Museum


This museum looks small from the outside but the inside is extensive. The Door County Historical Museum tracks the extensive and colorful history of the peninsula, complete with an original jail cell, a fire truck you (and the kids) can sit in, and even a nature section illustrating the variety of plants and animals you’ll find throughout the area. The Chicago Tribune even named it the “Best Small Museum in the Midwest.”

The museum is free, although a $2 donation is suggested.

You’ll find it on 4th Street in downtown Sturgeon Bay, one block east of where Business Highway 42/57 veers onto 3rd Street.

Address:
18 N. 4th Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 743-5809
Website

Door County Maritime Museum

Door County Maritime Museum


Located right along the waters on the “mainland” side of Sturgeon Bay, the Door County Maritime Museum offers four galleries showcasing model ships, shipwrecks, lighthouses, the shipbuilding companies in the region, and an in-water exhibit of the restored tug John Purves from 1919, which was restored in the 1960s and continued to serve until 2000. You can use a submarine periscope to spy on Bay Shipbuilding across the bay (the largest in the area) as they busily build more ships. The museum is right next to the historic Steel Bridge, which opened in the 1930s and served as the only road connection across the bay for four decades, taking Highway 42 and 57 between southern and northern Door. Today, the Oregon Street bridge provides another downtown connection while the mainline 42 and 57 use the bypass bridge a mile to the east.

The Door County Maritime Museum is open year ’round, although tug tours of the John Purves are only available from May through October (that water gets old in those other months, you know.) Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for kids 5-17, and free for kids 4 and under, although the tug tour for the little ones will run $6.

Address:
120 N. Madison Street
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 743-5958
Website

Ahnapee Brewery

Ahnapee Brewery


Making use of Algoma’s earlier name, the Ahnapee Brewery is a resurrection of an original that lasted from 1868 to 1886. Located next to the Von Stiehl Winery, Ahnapee came back in 2013 with a brewery just outside of town that supplies in their in-town tap room with fresh craft beer.

Ahnapee’s revolving list of brews includes styles like the Pain in the Rye (a blonde Roggenbier), Helles in Red, Fun Guy (a mushroom brown ale brewed with actual North Woods mushrooms), the Two Stall Milk Stout, the Wild 100 sour, and more. Their tap room features eight lines always offering either their own crafts or other Wisconsin-based brews, along with “gourmet” pizzas made in-house. They’re open Wednesday-Sunday, always opening at noon while closing at 9pm Wednesday and Thursday, 10pm on Friday and Saturday, and 5pm on Sunday.

Ahnapee Brewery’s Tap Room is adjacent to the Von Stiehl Winery along County S in downtown Algoma, just east of Highway 42 and north of the eastern terminus of Highway 54, within a few hundred yards of Lake Michigan.

Address:
105 Navarino Street
Algoma, WI 54201
(920) 785-0822
Website

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum


The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton’s collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world. The Museum is also home to an amazing array of advertising cuts from the 1930s through the 1970s, and all of the equipment necessary to make wood type and hot metal type.

Located between the East and West Twin Rivers on Lake Michigan, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company (right behind the Historic Washington House, home of the ice cream sundae) was the largest wood type producer in the country, when virtually everything was letterpress printed. The company was founded in 1880, and along with wood type they manufactured medical office furniture, light tables, the first gas powered clothes dryer and more. Hamilton is still around; over 130 years old now, they make steel lab equipment.

The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum relocated to the former Formrite Company building, where they doubled their space and have a nice view of Lake Michigan. You’ll find it just off Highway 42 at 10th & Madison, just south of Highway 310.

Address:
1816 10th Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 794-6272
Website

Historic Washington House Museum

Historic Washington House Museum


Built as an immigrant hotel and saloon in the 1850s, the Historic Washington House lays claim to inventing the ice cream sundae. Around 1881, they dished up ice cream and chocolate sauce, but only in sodas. One customer started asking for a dish of ice cream topped with the sauce and they began selling it that way, but only on Sundays. Shortly thereafter, a 10-year-old girl requested a dish of ice cream with “that stuff on top” on a different day of the week, suggesting they could “pretend” it was Sunday. Between that and the long canoe-shaped dishes in which the ice cream was served being known as “sundae dishes,” the ice cream sundae was born.

Today, the Washington House serves up sundaes but also history, with seven rooms and an old ballroom to explore, filled with items of interest from military to 19th century doctors’ and dentists’ offices to historic knick-knacks. The building itself is well-preserved and even has its original decorative tin ceiling.

The ice cream parlor is a must of course, so order one up and dig in! There are 18 different sundae flavors to choose from. The Washington House is open seven days a week from 9am until 5pm (summer hours ’til 9pm). You’ll find it one block east of Highway 42 in downtown Two Rivers, right near the ends of Highways 147 and 310.

Address:
1622 Jefferson Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 793-2490
Website

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village Lighthouse
Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village


Anchoring Two Rivers’ historic district, Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village showcases the long and colorful history of Two Rivers’ commercial fishing industry – the longest such history of any city on the Great Lakes. Calling commercial fishing “America’s most dangerous profession,” this complex offers an incredible look at the 175+ years of history, techniques, boats, and even shipwrecks (hence the “dangerous”) while offering the chance to climb the North Pier Lighthouse, built in 1886.

Statue at Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village

Rogers Street Fishing Village features a museum, the original 1936 tugboat Buddy O that you can climb on and explore, a French-Canadian-style fisherman’s home, original 19th century engines, boardwalks and plenty of artifacts.

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village Boardwalk

Speaking of shipwrecks, the waters in Lake Michigan just off Two Rivers have had their share and you can see actual remnants of ships like the Vernon (which sank in 1887) and the Rouse Simmons (which sank in 1912) that were recovered and are now on display… right down to gauges from the ship and photos of the deceased – it gets real. Native American murals and artifacts also explore the era prior to European arrival in the area.

Rogers Street Fishing Village, recovered Windlass off the Francis Hinton ship

The Francis Hinton sank in 1909; you can see the windlass recovered from the steamer, among other amazing pieces from sunken ships, inside the Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum.

You’ll find Rogers Street Fishing Village just off Highway 42 in Two Rivers, near the endpoints of Highways 147 and 310, bordering the East Twin River. The museum is open from mid-May through mid-October.

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village Address:

2102 Jackson Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 793-5905
Website




Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo


This free zoo just north of downtown Manitowoc features over 200 animals, ranging from black bears and snow leopards to eagles and a prairie dog town that can occupy you for a while (they’re pretty cute.)

The Lincoln Park Zoo is open seven days a week except in winter, when it’s closed on Sundays.

Address:
1215 N. 8th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 683-4685
Website

Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Wisconsin Maritime Museum


Since Manitowoc is “Wisconsin’s Maritime Capital” (even one of the high schools has the nickname “Shipbuilders”), it’s only fitting that the Wisconsin Maritime Museum would be located in the city. Holding one of the nation’s most extensive collections of Great Lakes maritime artifacts and history, the museum prominently features the USS Cobia, a World War II submarine similar to the ones manufactured in the city.  The Cobia is permanently berthed in the river and can not only be toured, but kids and parents can bunk down for overnight stays during monthly events!

Other exhibits include the Children’s Waterways Room, the Maritime History Gallery, an Aquatic Species Investigation Lab, and “Treasures of NOAA’s Ark”, which offers a look at Wisconsin’s underwater treasures. The museum is a big part of the effort to turn the Lake Michigan coast from Port Washington to Two Rivers into a national marine sanctuary.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-15, and free for kids 5 and under. Other discounts are available for military, AAA members, senior citizens, and families.

The museum’s hours vary by season:
• Spring (Mid March – June): 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Summer (July – August): 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
• Fall (September – October): 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
• Winter (November – Mid March): ◦Weekdays: 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
◦ Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

They are closed New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Address:
75 Maritime Drive
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 684-0218
Website

 

Rahr West Art Museum

Rahr West Art Museum


The Rahr West Art Museum sits just north of downtown Manitowoc along northbound U.S. 10/Business 42 (8th Street) in an 1893 Queen Anne mansion. The mansion was originally built for Joseph Vilas, a successful merchant and two-time mayor of the city (UW-Madison students will recognize his name on their communication building.)

A museum since 1941, the Rahr West features a variety of art collections including a rare porcelain sculptures, original furnished 1930s dollhouses, and period furniture throughout the museum’s many rooms. Special exhibitions are regularly held, as is Sputnik Fest, which commemorates a piece of the Soviet satellite landing in the street in front of the museum in 1962.

The Rahr West’s hours are 10am-4pm Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays. They are closed Mondays.

Address:
610 N. 8th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 686-3090
Website

Circus World Museum

Circus World Museum


The Circus World Museum is a place where boys, girls and children of all ages can see how circuses have worked and entertained people for generations. As they say, “experience the thrill that never gets old.” Featuring a Circus Museum, an area called Ringlingville, a wide variety of circus animals and the World’s Largest Circus Wagon Collection, Baraboo’s Circus World Museum is open 10am-4pm daily. History abounds; a series of buildings in the Circus World Museum date back to the 19th century and plenty of plaques will tell you more.

Circus World Museum is right along Highway 113 on the south side of Baraboo; U.S. 12 is to the west and Highway 33 is just to the north.

Address:
550 Water Street
Baraboo, WI 53913
(608) 356-8341
Website

 

Shipwrecked Brewpub, Egg Harbor along Highway 42
Shipwrecked Brewpub

Shipwrecked Brewpub

Shipwrecked Brewpub in Egg Harbor

The original Brewpub along Highway 42 in Egg Harbor, before the fire in August, 2017.

Shipwrecked Brewpub, Egg Harbor

The rebuilt Shipwrecked Brewpub, which rose from the ashes of its predecessor in 2018.

Shipwrecked Brewpub sits right at the bend of Highway 42 as it makes its way through Egg Harbor, one of the beautiful little towns on the Green Bay side of Door County. Housed in a saloon originally built in 1882, Shipwrecked was a craft brewing pioneer in this part of the state when it opened in 1997. The brewery served thirsty and hungry residents and visitors alike until a major fire rendered the original building and brewery to ashes in 2017.

Late the following year, a new, larger Shipwrecked Brewpub opened on the very same spot. Shipwrecked expanded its food menu, added more beers, and even moved on up with a second floor space that offers views of the waters of Egg Harbor as well as up and down the main drag. Some whimsical art pieces have been added, including some that support drinking and dining tables.

Some bike art holds up a table at Shipwrecked Brewpub in Egg Harbor

A lil’ bike art helping to hold up a table at Shipwrecked Brewpub.

Beer-wise, Shipwrecked has been legendary for its Door County Cherry Wheat, drawing from the peninsula’s extensive cherry orchards. Other beer selections – subject to change, of course – include the Bayside Blonde, Peninsula Porter, Captain’s Copper, Milk Stout, an India Pale Ale, and their East Coast IPA, among others. A variety of cocktails and martinis can also be enjoyed, along with local wines and spirits from the Door County Winery & Distillery.

You can also choose from an extended food menu from appetizers to sandwiches to a variety of entrees from meatloaf to shrimp to pike with your beer (or other) selections, since one can’t eat on an empty stomach.

Bar area at Shipwrecked Brewpub, Egg Harbor

Brewpub Hours:

Sunday – Thursday, 11am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday, 11am – 10pm

Shipwrecked Brewpub Address:

7791 State Highway 42
Egg Harbor, WI 54209
(920) 868-2767
Website





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Sand Creek Brewing Company

Sand Creek Brewing Company

Sand Creek Brewing is the third largest microbrewery in Wisconsin, located in a space that has been a brewery since 1856. Previously, the building was home to the Oderbolz Brewing Company, the Badger Brewing Company, and the Pioneer Brewing Company. Sand Creek itself started up in Downing, Wisconsin in 1999; in 2004, Sand Creek and Pioneer merged into one in Black River Falls.

Sand Creek Brewing with their new sign

Sand Creek Brewing, located in a building that has served as a brewery since 1856. Inside, tons and tons of delicious beer.

Since 2000, brews from Pioneer – and now Sand Creek – have won three gold awards at the World Beer Cup. They brew their own brands and also contract brew brands for others at times. Popular Sand Creek beers include Badger Porter, Woody’s Easy Ale, Oscar’s Stout, Bugler Brown Ale, English Style Special Ale, Wild Ride IPA, their Cranberry Special Ale (a salute to their proximity to the heart of Wisconsin’s cranberry-growing region), and a series of hard lemonades. They also brew up a tasty root beer.

Sand Creek Brewing's Donkey Kong machine

It’s ON like… ah, too easy…

Inside their brewery, the Tap Room offers a cozy space for sampling and imbibing; a larger space as you enter the building has additional tables for people to gather, play board games, check out some memorabilia, or even play Donkey Kong on one of the original video game machines. Seriously.

Their Tap Room is open Fridays from 3-10pm all year, and Saturdays from noon-5pm during warmer months (usually May-Labor Day). However, they’ll sell you beer from their retail space from 8am-5pm Monday through Thursday, and Friday nights until 10pm.

U.S. 12 and Highways 27 and 54 bring you to Black River Falls. From I-94, connect to downtown Black River Falls (on the west side of the Black River) via Highway 54 or U.S. 12/Highway 27 and head south to Pierce Street.

Address:
320 Pierce Street
Black River Falls, WI 54615
(715) 284-7553
Website

 

Enlightened Brewing Company

Enlightened Brewing Company


Enlightened Brewing started in 2014, setting up shop in the Lincoln Warehouse complex, a 1928-era building on 1st Street in Milwaukee that one served as an A&P grocery distribution center. The Twisted Path Distillery and Bittercube, a specialty maker of bitters, are also in the building and Horny Goat Brewing is right across the street; the Kinnickinnic River runs along the side. This is definitely a craft beer-loving area of town, and it’s easy to get to: Highway 32 is just to the east, Highway 38 is just to the south and west, and I-94/43 is a few blocks west.

Their beers include their A Priori Pale Ale, their 53207 (a California Common style, also their zip code), Dark Matters Black Wheat, Sustained Thought Stout, From the Roots Dark Ale, Leap of Faith Gose, an American Wild Ale named Heather, an English Mild Ale called Polly Baker’s Porridge, a Farmhouse Saison called Amour de Soi, and The Luminary, a Belgian Blonde.

Enlightened is very much in the “nanobrewery” category but is growing; as of March, 2016 they’re in the process of preparing to open a new tap room and are targeting late spring/early summer for that opening. Their Facebook page will have the latest updates – and we’ll be there sampling soon!

Address:
2018 S. 1st Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207
(414) 744-2018
Website

Rustic Road Brewing Company

Rustic Road Brewing Company


Noting itself as “Kenosha’s Oldest Operating Brewery,” Rustic Road opened waaaay back – in 2012. But it’s still true they’re the oldest operating one in town! Located right downtown on 56th Street just east of Highway 32 between Highway 50 (63rd Street) and 158 (52nd Street), Rustic Road is a nanobrewery with different batches fermenting throughout the year.

Beers include their F451 Jalapeño Peppercorn Pale Ale, Hazelnut Harvest, Single Track IPA, Up North Double Chocolate Milk Stout, Goldings ESB, and Sean O’Murphy’s Dry Irish Stout, along with others brewed during various seasons. Their tap room also offers wine and whips up cocktails including a popular Bloody Mary, especially during Packers and Bears games (remember, lots of Bears fans mill about Kenosha… you’ve been warned.)

Rustic Road is open every day except Tuesday and stays open late on Friday and Saturday nights. Check their site for specific hours – they can also change based on big games or events happening downtown – and their current beer selections. The Kenosha Streetcar and a number of museums and other fun places downtown and in HarborPark are all right nearby!

Address:
510 56th Street
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 320-7623
Website

National Historic Cheesemaking Center

National Historic Cheesemaking Center


Housed in a former railroad depot and part of the Green County Welcome Center, this charming little museum is located on the west side of Monroe along Highway 69.  Outside, you’ll find the charm of a train station, a fiberglass cow and some large copper kettles, all part of a “Memory Walk.” Inside, you’ll find a remarkable display of cheesemaking tools workers used dating back to the 19th century to make so much of the cheeses that made Wisconsin famous. Vats, weights, wringers, presses, old packaging, advertisements, and more fill this museum. Pieces of the former, 100+ year-old Imobersteg Cheese Factory were moved to the museum in 2010, and the 2nd Saturday in June every year Master Cheesemakers come in and produce a 90 pound wheel of Swiss cheese using the old equipment.

The Depot is itself also features original train station materials, including old schedules, an original bench, photos and more.

Cows and kettles dot the landscape in front of the National Historic Cheesemaking Center.

monroedepot2_500

The Depot Welcome Center offers travel information on Monroe, Green County, and area trails as well as the National Historic Cheesemaking Center.

monroedepot3_500

An original typewriter and schedule from the days way back when the trains roared through here are just a few of the classic items you’ll find in the Depot.

monroedepot4_500

Some of the cheesemaking equipment in the National Historic Cheesemaking Center includes plenty of vats, weights, wringers, presses and old packaging that held cheeses made back in the 1800s.

 

 

 

 

You’ll find the Depot and National Historic Cheesemaking Center on the southwest side of Monroe along Highway 69, just south of Highways 11 and 81 and southwest of the end of Highway 59. The Illinois state line is about six miles to the south.

Address:
2108 6th Avenue
Monroe, WI 53566
(608) 325-4636
Website

Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway

Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway


These classic trains run May-October, following the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway tracks to nearby Marine and Dresser on 90-minute excursions. It’s a beautiful ride through the St. Croix River valley, and the Depot is pretty cool, too. You’ll find the train and its station in Osceola just off Highway 35, across the tracks from the very brief Highway 243.

Address:
114 Depot Road
Osceola, WI 54020
(715) 755-3570
Website

Fountain City Brewing Company & the Monarch Public House

Fountain City Brewing Company & the Monarch Public House


Wisconsin’s oldest serving establishment, the Monarch Public House opened back in 1894. But beer was brewed on this site as far back as 1856, when Fountain Brew first started emerging from copper kettles. Fountain Brew continued until 1965, when the brewery closed. Resurrected in 1997, Fountain City Brewing brought back the original recipe and also brews up Prairie Moon Red, Eagle Valley Harvest Gold, Irish Valley Spring Bock, and John Robert Porter, an oatmeal stout and coffee porter.

Housing the brewery, the Monarch Public House is also an Irish pub serving up a full menu including stone-fired pizzas; don’t be surprised to find live music there, too. Downstairs, the Rock Bottom Pub has emerged from what was the cellar, featuring the original bluff stone floor and a hand-hewn beamed ceiling.

An outside patio in the back of the Monarch overlooks Highway 35 and the river. This is a great stop along the Great River Road!

Address:
19 N. Main Street
Fountain City, WI 54629
(608) 687-4231
Website

Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum

Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum


Perched on Eagle Bluff just outside Fountain City along Highway 95 near Highway 35 and the Great River Road, Elmer’s offers one of the largest displays of muscle, classic, antique, and pedal cars and trucks in the country, some dating back to 1910. Over 100 pedal tractors are on display along with thousands of toys, antique tools, and dolls, some of which date back to the 19th century. It’s right outside Fountain City near the Monarch Public House and Fountain City Brewing Company; this is also one of the highest points along the Mississippi, so run around and check out some beautiful views!

Address:
W903 Elmers Road
Fountain City, WI 54629
(608) 687-7221
Website

Reefpoint Brew House

Reefpoint Brew House


Racine now has a brewpub. The Reefpoint Brew House is perched above Racine Harbor in the downtown area and serves up a variety of Wisconsin craft beers, including some of their own recipes like the Belle City Ale. The restaurant offers an extensive variety from brunch to nice dinners.

You’ll find Reefpoint on Christopher Columbus Causeway, wedged between downtown Racine and the lakefront in full view of the boats in the harbor. Highways 11, 20, 32, and 38 are all within blocks.

Address:
2 Christopher Columbus Causeway
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 898-7333
Website

Bull Falls Brewery

Bull Falls Brewery


Bull Falls Brewery takes its name from the falls along the Wisconsin River as its run through Wausau. They’re known for their craft beers – usually canned – and hosting a series of events and festivals at their brewery, from a Maifest to barbecue events to bands of many genres performing on various nights.

wausau_bullfallsbrew01wausau_bullfallsbrew03

Bull Falls opened in 2007 with an Oktoberfest Lager that proved popular; today they also brew their Five Star Ale, Holzhacker Lager, Hefeweizen, Bock Lager, Bourbon Barrel Stout, Hop Worthy, Irish Red Ale, Marathon Lager (a salute to the former Marathon City Brewery), Midnight Star Schwarzbier, Nut Brown Ale, and Oatmeal Stout.

wausau_bullfallsbrew05wausau_bullfallsbrew06

Brewery tours, done by appointment, cost $5 and feature the brew house, the fermenting and aging area, and the packaging section, along with beer samples and a souvenir mini-stein. They’re available Monday-Friday after 4pm and Saturday after 1pm; they’ll set one up for you if you call 715-842-2337.

Bull Falls Brewery is just south of downtown Wausau, south of Highway 52 and just a few blocks east of Business U.S. 51. I-39/U.S. 51 are west across the river, and Highway 29 is west and south of the city.

Address:
901 E. Thomas Street
Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 842-2337
Website

Redeye Brewing
Red Eye Brewing Company

Red Eye Brewing Company


Red Eye brews their beer on-site in downtown Wausau and serves up artisan pizzas along with a full menu to go with them, emphasizing fresh ingredients and sustainability in both their food and their beer. Speaking of sustainability, they actually use a solar thermal hot water system to heat their water – the first brewery in Wisconsin to use this method.

Brews at Red Eye include the Bloom Belgian Wheat; Thrust, an American-style IPA; Scarlet 7, a Belgian Dubbel; Charlatan, an Imperial Stout; Dyna-mighty Wheat; Lemongrass Rye; and Fast Eddy’s Anniversary Ale, a Belgian-style Pale Ale.

They’re open six days a week, closed on Sunday. You’ll find Red Eye in Wausau’s downtown area, along Highway 52/6th Street northbound, which is also northbound Business U.S. 51. I-39/U.S. 51 is just a few miles to the west, as is Highway 29 as it winds around the city.

Address:
612 Washington Street
Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 843-7334
Website

Public Craft Brewing Company

Public Craft Brewing Company


Public Craft is one of two microbreweries in downtown Kenosha, in the midst of a resurgent district filling up with shops, art galleries, and bars.

Beers from Public Craft include their PUBLIC Pale Ale, Sweet Colleen’s Irish Red, K-Town Brown Ale, UBER Hefty Weizen, Inkwell Black IPA, Special Porter, and more. Their Tap Room is open Thursday & Friday from 3:30-9:00pm, Saturdays noon-9pm, and Sundays noon-6pm.

Public Craft is located in downtown Kenosha on 58th Street, just east of Highway 32 and the east end of Highway 50. Highway 158 starts six blocks north at 52nd Street. Within walking distance are tons of shops, museums, restaurants, the harbor, and more.

Address:
716 58th Street
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 652-2739
Website

Plymouth Brewing Company sign
Plymouth Brewing Company

Plymouth Brewing Company


Plymouth Brewing Company is a small craft brewery producing small batches of ales in their downtown location and also a facility across the street, all on Mill Street in the heart of downtown Plymouth. Established in 2013, Plymouth Brewing is a resurrection of the original Plymouth Brewing Company, which operated in the town before the era of Prohibition. Their slogan of “Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Unsucky.” wasn’t part of the original brewery back in the day, but it is now!

Their “unfiltered, unpasteurized, unsucky” selections change regularly in their Tap Room. It usually includes anywhere from 8-10 of their own beers and selections of others from craft breweries all across Wisconsin. Their brews vary from pale ales to porters to a unique saison with blueberry, which was our personal favorite as the blueberry balance was just right.

Their Tap Room is laid back and adorned with some very classic brewery items on the walls. They don’t serve food per se but you can enjoy popcorn and pretzels or get food ordered in from the City Club, 52 Stafford, or any of the other nearby restaurants. The Dairy Heritage & Cheese Cultural Center across the street is also a great place for a grilled cheese sandwich before or after a tasting. The awesomely-named Mullet River is also within a block.

Sampler at Plymouth Brewing Company

Plymouth Brewing Company is on Mill Street, which is now County C but was once the mainline of Highway 23 right through the heart of town. You’ll find it just east of Highway 67 (and Antoinette the Cow) in downtown Plymouth, west of Highway 57 via County C and south of the Highway 23 freeway.

Plymouth Brewing Tap Room Hours:

Monday & Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Thursday: 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Sunday: Closed

Plymouth Brewing Company Address:

222 E. Mill Street
Plymouth, WI 53073
(920) 400-1722
Website




Plymouth Brewing Company slogan

Plymouth Brewing Company along Mill Street in Plymouth, Wisconsin

Plymouth Brewing Company’s Tap Room is right along the main drag of Mill Street in downtown Plymouth, once Highway 23.

Explore other Wisconsin breweries

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Minhas Craft Brewery logo
Minhas Craft Brewery

Minhas Craft Brewery


Minhas Craft Brewery is the oldest brewery in Wisconsin. It’s also the second oldest in the nation and yet still one of the ten largest breweries in the country. Minhas originally opened as the Monroe Brewing Company way back in 1845. Ownership changes led to name changes; by 1906 it was the Blumer Brewing Company, and in 1947 it became the Joseph Huber Brewing Company. As Huber, the brewery produced popular Midwestern beer brands including Berghoff (which included a relationship with the famous Chicago restaurant), Huber, and Augsburger. It stayed as Huber until 2006.

Some tumult with ownership resulted in changes to the brands and then massive contract brewing arrangements. That led to the brewery producing and exporting a large volume of beer to Canadian markets for Ravinder and Manjit Minhas, who purchased and re-named the brewery in 2006. Under their direction, the brewery has expanded further and some original brands were brought back, along with a line of flavored malt beverages and sodas.

Beers brewed in Monroe by Minhas still include Huber Premium and Bock. They brew a line of Boxer beers and Mountain Crest, a big brand in Canada. Others include Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale, 1845 Pils, a Swiss Amber (saluting Monroe as “Swisstown”), and several malt beverages. Minhas also produces a line of specialty sodas named after its era as Blumer’s from back in the day. They’ve also contracted with old-school brands like Rhinelander.

Tours begin and end at the Lazy Mutt Lounge; they last 45-60 minutes and are available seven days a week, always at 1pm and then also 11am and 3pm on select days. The $10 tour includes a take-home pack of four beers, a soda, and a branded sampler glass.

The brewery’s lower level features the Herb and Helen Haydock World of Beer Memorabilia Museum. It is the largest museum of its kind, featuring hundreds of brewery advertisements from the past, Lithographs and prints from the mid 1800-era. The museum also holds a collection of tap handles, growlers, model cars, trucks and trains from all around the world.

You’ll find the Minhas Craft Brewery is just southwest of Monroe’s downtown square, with Highways 11, 59, 69, and 81 all nearby.

A State Trunk Tour-recommended pairing with the Minhas Brewery Tour is Monroe’s town square. Just a few blocks north, you can admire the beautiful Green County Courthouse and check out Baumgartner’s, a longtime local favorite cheese shop and tavern. There, sandwiches from salami & brick to limburger are devoured regularly along with a variety of craft beer favorites.

Minhas Craft Brewery Address:

1208 14th Avenue
Monroe, WI 53566
(800) 233-7205
Website




Stevens Point Brewery main entrance along Water Street
Stevens Point Brewery

Stevens Point Brewery


Stevens Point is home to the 5th oldest continuously operating brewery in the United States. The Stevens Point Brewery started up back in 1857 and supplied beer to Civil War troops, near-beer to people waiting out Prohibition, and Chicago Daily News columnist Mike Royko in 1973, whose choice of Point Special as the best-tasting beer in America launched it to new heights. Today, Point sells their beer in 27 states.

Point has since expanded its line to include a variety of craft-style beer and ales, including several seasonal varieties. Along with flagship Point Special, they feature Point Cascade Pale Ale, Beyond the Pale, Drop Dead Blonde, Nude Beach, Horizon Wheat, Point Smiley Blue Pils, the 2012 Black Ale (which played off the end-of-the-world predictions that year), and a line of gourmet sodas that includes a tasty root beer.

Stevens Point Brewery taps for sale

Among other things, the Gift Shop at Stevens Point Brewery offers a variety of their tap handles.

Stevens Point Brewery gift shop

The Point Brewery Gift Shop even has clothes for a littlest ones, who of course, ARE home-brewed.

Their hour-long tour takes you through all facets of the brewing process, including a look inside the copper kettles and samples of the resulting products. This really goes bring you through the middle of everything; closed toed shoes are required. Tours are available Monday-Saturday on the hour, usually from 11am-2pm but it can vary by season. Their Gift Shop features plenty of memorabilia to take home, including of their legendary advertising slogans and designs. Definitely one of the most comprehensive brewery tours in the state!

You’ll find Stevens Point Brewery about a mile south of downtown along Water Street. It’s a few blocks west of Business U.S. 51. Highway 66/Historic U.S. 10 is nearby to the north and Highway 54 approaches within several miles to the south. I-39/U.S. 51 is about three miles east.

Stevens Point Brewery Address:

2617 Water Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481
(715) 344-9310
Website




Stevens Point Brewery front

Stevens Point Brewery is a little secretive about the origins of their mascot, who may have inspired “The Coneheads” on SNL,.

Pitchfork Brewing Company

Pitchfork Brewing Company


Pitchfork Brewing was started by some local home brewers in Hudson who kept at it for nearly 20 years before opening their brewery in 2013.  Located next to Paddy Ryan’s Irish Pub, Pitchfork’s Tap Room offers up their craft beer, TVs for game watching, and even chess boards to sharpen your strategic skills – while drinking beer.

Pitchfork’s list of available beers varies each week, but some include their Pitchfork Pale Ale, American Gothic IPA, Honey Bee Blonde, Sweet Mack Cherry Stout, Red Hen Amber, and Straw German Pilsner. Many more are regularly rotated.

They offer free tours on Sundays at 2pm (and that time moves around when the Packers play at noon) that include a 30-minute look at the brewery and brewing process as well as tap samples.

You’ll find Pitchfork just off I-94’s Exit 4 and U.S. 12 on the east side of Hudson, just east of where Highway 35 meets up with I-94, too. Rodeo Drive is just off U.S. 12 north of the freeway.

Address:
709 Rodeo Drive
Hudson, WI
(715) 245-3675
Website

Pigeon River Brewing Company

Pigeon River Brewing Company


Located right along U.S. 45 where Highway 110 ends in Marion, Pigeon River Brewing Company believes that beer is “more than just a catalyst for drunkenness” (it’s right there on their website). Pigeon River opened in 2012 (despite the “end of the world” prognostications for later that year) and offers up a full bar and food menu in their brewery, including 18 tap lines.

Pigeon River’s beers include their Townie Cream Ale, Wet Willy Oatmeal Stout, Spring Fugue Bock, On Your Knees Dunkelwisse, Hefeweissen Wheat, Buxom Lass Scottish Ale, and a Red IPA. Located right by the Pigeon River, their tasting room is accessible right along U.S. 45; they’re open every day and evening after 4pm.

Address:
W12710 US Highway 45
Marion, WI 54940
(715) 256-7721
Website

Grumpy Troll Pub & Brewing Company

Grumpy Troll Pub & Brewing Company


The Grumpy Troll lies just off the main “Trollway” (Highway 78) in a former creamery and cheese factory in Mount Horeb. Opened in 2000, you’ll find a nice selection of craft beers which can be enjoyed anytime, but especially during “Grumpy Hour” (Sunday-Wednesday 4-6pm, ’til close on Thursdays.)

The Grumpy beers include the Sunflower, a Farmhouse Ale; Trailside Wheat, a Hefeweizen named for its location along the Military Ridge Trail; Captain Fred, an American lager; E.O. Dark Strong Ale; Over N Under Pale Ale; Norski Nut Brown; Hoppa Loppa; Erik the Red; a Maibock; their Whiskey Barrel Stout; and more. The sampler can be as large as 15 beers.

The restaurant features a full menu and popular pizza pub; all of the items can be paired nicely with the variety of beers brewed at the Grumpy Troll. Every year on the 2nd Saturday in September, the brewpub hosts Thirsty Troll Brew Fest in Grundahl Park nearby.

The Grumpy Troll is just off Highway 78 and Business U.S. 151; the U.S. 18/151 bypass is just to the south, and Highway 92 comes in from the southeast.

Address:
105 S. 2nd Street
Mount Horeb, WI 53572
(608) 437-2739
Website

 

One Barrel Brewing exterior, Madison
One Barrel Brewing Company

One Barrel Brewing Company


One Barrel Brewing Company anchors the heart of this historic Madison neighborhood called Schenk’s Corners along Atwood Avenue on the near east side. A “nano-brewery” located in a former neighborhood grocery, One Barrel’s tap room is like a cozy pub that offers a look at the entire brewing process, from the one-barrel brewing system (hence the name), and 11 fermentation tanks. From these, seven beers are regularly brewed: their Commuter Kolsch, Penguin Pale Ale, No. 2 Strong Ale, Bilbo Baggins Black IPA, Hopticity Jones, Breakfast Beer-Oatmeal Stout, and Emperor Penguin. Others brewed at times can include the Ale-o’saurus (an aged brew), Behemoth Imperial IPA, Bridezilla Brown (made by the brewmaster for his wedding…hmm…), Care Bear Blood Imperial Coffee Stout, and Chai-town Brown, a spiced brown ale.

One Barrel also launched a line of gluten-free ciders and offers wine and light snacks for those who want to explore the place but aren’t for a beer right then.

One Barrel Brewing taps, Madison

The beer menu at One Barrel changes daily, and the menu notes you can purchase a bar stool for $4,500… which we imagine must be something like a personal seat license at a stadium. We’ll find out more about that!

One Barrel Brewing sampler

One Barrel is west of U.S. 51/Stoughton Road and south of U.S. 151/East Washington Avenue east of the state capitol in the historic and very cool Schenk’s Corners neighborhood. Highway 113‘s southern end is just blocks away (at 1st & East Washington) and Highway 30 is just northeast from there. Within a fairly short distance you can also check out Next Door Brewing, Working Draft Brewing, Bos Meadery, Karben4 Brewing, and Ale Asylum – and those are just the ones within a few minutes of driving (or riding with someone responsible)!

Their second location is opening in Egg Harbor, along Highway 42 in Door County, in May, 2019. Contact info is below!

Tap Room Hours:

Monday: 4pm-11pm
Tuesday: 4pm-11pm
Wednesday: 4pm-11pm
Thursday: 4pm-1am
Friday: 2pm-1am
Saturday: 12pm-1am
Sunday: 12pm-9pm

One Barrel Brewing Company storefront, Madison

One Barrel Brewing along Atwood Avenue in Madison.

One Barrel Brewing Company Addresses:

2001 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 630-9286
Website

(Opens May 16, 2019, Grand Opening May 23)
4633 Market Street (Highway 42)
Egg Harbor, WI 54209




One Barrel Brewing chalkboard

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O’so Brewing Company

O’so Brewing Company


Just south of Stevens Point in a shopping center strip in Plover, O’so Brewing Company offers 40 Wisconsin beers in its Tap House. Anywhere from 8 to 14 are brewed by O’so in-house, and tours of the brewery are available on Saturdays at 2, 3, and 4pm.

O’so beers include their flagship “The Big O”, a wheat ale; Hopdinger IPA; Night Train Porter; Rusty Red; Memory Lane Pilsner (5% of the proceeds for this beer are donated to help fight Alzheimer’s Disease); Hop Whoopin’; and Convenient Distraction, an Imperial Porter blended with coffee. Seasonals include colorfully-named beers like Doe in Heat and Lupulin Maximus.

The O’so Tap House is visible from I-39/U.S. 51 at the County B exit, just north of Highway 54 and east of Historic U.S. 51. It’s open every day and night except Sunday. The Wisconsin Korean War Veterans Memorial is only blocks away in Worzella Pines Park and Pacawa Lake.

Address:
3028 Village Park Drive #3034
Plover, WI 54467
(715) 254-2163
Website

Northwoods Brew Pub, Osseo
Northwoods Brew Pub

Northwoods Brew Pub

Originally in Eau Claire, Northwoods Brew Pub moved into a massive former condensery in Osseo in April, 2016 and now sports an incredibly impressive space featuring its brewery operations, full restaurant with a front patio, and bars on two levels with event space that rivals anything we’ve seen in Milwaukee or Madison.

osseo-northwoods-brewpub-outside

Northwoods Brew Pub’s new building is gi-normous. During World Wars I & II, this place was a condensery.

They still brew Eau Claire’s historic Walter’s Premium Pilsner, a brand they resurrected in the 1990s after decades of dormancy. Northwoods Brewing Company brews quite a few of their own brands, including:

  • Floppin’ Crappie Pale Ale (voted the #1 “Biker Beer” in Sturgis in 2004)
  • Lil’ Bandit Brown Ale (a silver medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival)
  • Rowdy Rye Ale
  • Prickly Pike’s Pilsner
  • Bumbl’n Bubbas Buzz’ Brew
  • Red Cedar Red
  • White Weasel Light Ale
  • Mouthy Muskie Light,
  • and – lest you think we’re getting too light here – Kelly’s Stout.

Northwoods Brew Pub front tapsThey add seasonals here and there including a Ripplin’ Red Raspberry Wheat (from mid-May ’til it’s gone), their Chippewa Valley Oktoberfest Lager (available in fall – you know, around Oktoberfest time), their Buckshot Buck in February, and more.

Northwoods offers tours of their brewing facilities. They’re open seven days a week at 11am.  Their closing times are 10pm Monday through Thursday, 11pm Friday and Saturday, and 8pm on Sunday. Winter and holiday hours can vary; call 715-597-1828 for updates.

Their main brewery, bar, and restaurant is located on the main floor, but worth a look (at the very least) are the beautiful second and third levels. With original wood floors, sandblasted brick, original ceilings, and impressive new bar facilities, they’ve made the most of this solid old building.

Northwoods Brew Pub, 2nd floor

Part of second floor event space at Northwoods Brew Pub.

You’ll find Northwoods Brew Pub one block north of U.S. 10/53 on West Street, just west of Osseo’s downtown (the other big attraction in town, the Norske Nook, is less than half a mile away.) I-94 travelers reach Osseo via Exit 88 (U.S. 10) and going west about one mile and then one block north on West Street. The Buffalo River State Park Trail runs right past the building.

Address:
50819 West Street (just off U.S. 10/53)
Osseo, WI 54758
(715) 597-1828
Website

 

Next Door Brewing Company

Next Door Brewing Company


Next Door Brewing Company is a restaurant and brew pub on the east side of Madison, just off “Willy Street” along Atwood. Their beers include the Bascom Blonde American Blonde Ale, Luminous IPA, Eastside American Pale Ale, Rockets Red Ale, Hammerhead IPA, and Sevex, a unique stock ale. Seasonals include Sunshine Wheat, a Bam Ba Lam Black Ale, Iron Brigade Stout, a Batch 100 Barley Wine, and more.

Address:
2439 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 729-3683
Website

New Glarus Brewing Company

New Glarus Brewing Company


New Glarus is now known for Spotted Cow as much as its Swiss heritage. The New Glarus Brewery opened in 1993 along Highway 69 just north of the village center; by 2010, a newer, larger facility opened on a hilltop just south of the village center, also along Highway 69. The original brewery is still there and easily spotted, although closed to the general public; the newer brewery – called the Hilltop, creatively enough – features tours, a large gift shop, and a patio overlooking the town as you imbibe in their creations.

newglarusbrewtopNew Glarus Brewing Company is best known for their flagship beer, Spotted Cow.  While only legally allowed to be sold in Wisconsin, it’s been smuggled all over the country; a bar in Manhattan was once busted for selling it. Other popular New Glarus brands include Moon Man, Totally Naked, Moon Man, Two Woman, Cabin Fever, Raspberry Tart, and Wisconsin Belgian Red, which is made with Door County cherries. Additional seasonal and specialty beers are made throughout the year.

Tours are available seven days a week from 10am-4pm; self-guided tours are free. More involved “hard hat” tours runs Fridays at 1pm; they cost $30, run three hours and include both breweries plus a private beer and cheese pairing afterward.  The Gift Shop and Tasting Room are open all week from 10am-4pm.

newglarus_brewery03_150hiAddress:
2400 State Highway 69
New Glarus, WI 53574
(608) 527-5850
Website

Milwaukee Brewing Company

Milwaukee Brewing Company


Milwaukee Brewing, which almost sounds redundant, started in 1997 with the opening of Milwaukee Ale House on Water Street in the city’s Historic Third Ward district. Demand grew, and eventually the main brewery had to move south into the Walkers Point neighborhood along 2nd Street, one block west of Highway 32, three blocks north of Highway 59, and three blocks east of Highway 38.

The 2nd Street Brewery for Milwaukee Brewing Company kegged its first beer in 2007 and installed the first “micro-canning” system in Wisconsin a few years later. The brewery proudly implements a long list of “green initiatives” that include using the Milwaukee Ale House’s waste vegetable oil to help power the brewery’s heating needs.

Milwaukee Brewing Company (often abbreviated as “MKE”, the city’s airport code) produces a number of popular brews including flagship Louie’s Demise, an amber ale; Polish Moon, a stout named after the nearby iconic Allen-Bradley clock (ask for the story); the Hop Happy IPA; Booyah, a saison-style ale named after popular Flemish-Belgian-inspired stew; Outboard, a cream ale noting the invention of the outboard motor by local resident Ole Evinrude back in the day; and Litta Bitta, a Belgian Wit. Plenty of other seasonals and “herb-in legends” are also produced by the brewery, including a tea-infused wheat beer called O-Gii.

Tours are “beer-in-hand” and run every half hour from 4-6:30pm Fridays and 1-4pm on Saturdays, with a 5pm “open house” lasting two-hours that go even more in-depth and usually becomes a fun social convener.

Address:
613 S. 2nd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 226-2337
Website

Ice Caves at the Miller Brewery Tour, Milwaukee
Miller Brewery Tour

Miller Brewery Tour

One of the largest and most popular brewery tours in the nation, the Miller Brewery Tour covers the grounds of MillerCoors’ Miller Brewing plant, Wisconsin’s largest with an output of over 10 million barrels per year.  The brewery sits on land purchased by Frederick Miller back in 1855 and fermentation has been happening here ever since.

Beers such as Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, and Milwaukee’s Best have been churned out for decades here; with mergers and acquisitions, Leinenkugel’s and Coors products are brewed in the Miller Brewery, as well as a ton of “old school” brands by contract: Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, Old Style, and more all still exist as brands but are brewed by Miller.

Miller Brewery Tour kettlesThe Miller Brewery Tour begins at the Visitor Center along State Street, which of course includes a large gift shop along with historic exhibits on Miller’s history here, from its humble beginnings in 1855 to being MillerCoors today, one of the largest breweries in the country and part of Molson Coors (there were a lot of parent company changes from 2002 to 2016.) After a 15-minute film describing the company, its history, and art of macro-beer brewing, the tour hits State Street for a walk to the Brewhouse. An optional stair climb offers a view from above of the shiny copper brew kettles. Then the tour heads back across the street to the Miller Inn, a Bavarian-style bar where free samples are offered. Next stop is the historic Miller caves, where beer was chilled with ice cut from area lakes before mechanical refrigeration made the process a bit easier. Next up is a look from above at the bottling and canning lines (you’ll hear “Laverne & Shirley” references on this part of the tour as sure as you’ll hear “Caddyshack” references on golf courses) where statistics on how many cans and bottles get filled per minute – it’s rather staggering – and how they deal with short fills, etc. are covered. A walk-through of the shipping and distribution warehouse follows. This massive shipping area is larger than four football fields, and you’ll frequently see forklifts plying the aisles hustling that beer into ready trucks. The tour then heads back to the Visitor Center to wrap up with additional samples, outdoors when weather permits and inside otherwise. And of course, that’s right next to the Gift Shop.

Tours cost $10 and include a souvenir glass and beer samples along the tour. If you’re not of legal drinking age, well, they’re free – but you don’t get beer.

Residents and anyone else with a Wisconsin state-issued ID get half off, so for state residents the tour is $5.

In winter, tours run six days a week (closed Sundays) from 10am to 3:30pm, kicking off every half hour. In summer, tours run 10-6 Monday-Wednesday and 10am – 7pm Thursday-Saturday. On Sundays in summer, there are no tours but the beer garden is open from 10am to 4:30pm. Call 414-931-BEER for details or go here for the latest updates.

In December, you can enjoy the "Holiday Lights" on a Miller Brewery Tour.

“Miller Valley” lights up with an animated display during the holidays. It can be part of the Miller Brewery Tour, or you can just drive by on State Street.

Miller Brewery Tour and Visitors Center Address:

4251 W. State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53208
414-931-2337
Website

You can access State Street easily from the Highway 175 freeway, just about a mile north of I-94 and Miller Park. Follow State Street east just a few blocks and you’ll see the Visitors Center right there. U.S. 18 is also right there, passing by via Wisconsin Avenue with a view of the whole complex from the bridge leapfrogging the Menomonee River and “Miller Valley.” You can access Miller’s Visitor Center from U.S. 18 via Highway 175’s connections to State Street or by connecting directly to State via 35th Street, which U.S. 18 follows between Highland Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue.

Miller Brewery Tour




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Lakefront Brewery

Lakefront Brewery


Lakefront Brewery is actually on Milwaukee’s riverfront, and dating back to 1987 they’ve been one of the most popular breweries in Milwaukee. Their tour has been rated among the best in America! Their Beer Hall also whips up a terrific Friday Fish Fry; live entertainment is not uncommon, and it’s a popular place for weddings and other events.

milwaukee_lakefrontbrewery01

Beers brewed by Lakefront include their Riverwest Stein Amber Lager, named for the neighborhood just to the north of the brewery; Fixed Gear, an American IPA; the Bridge Burner Imperial Amber Ale, after 19th century bridge-burning incidents along the Milwaukee River; the Extended Play IPA; a stout brewed with coffee called Fuel Cafe, named for a former popular coffee shop in town; the Eastside Dark; Kilsch Pilsner, named for its founder; and New Grist, a pioneering gluten-free pilsner-style beer brewed with sorghum that was the first gluten-free beer granted label approval by the U.S. government. There are many others that are seasonals or limited-edition specials, too.

The brewery is located in a 1908 former coal-fired power plant that powered the city’s interurban lines of the day. You’ll find it along Commerce Street, where the presence of the Holton Street Bridge above and Larry, Moe, and Curly out front make it unmistakeable. Tours are available on the hour and you can buy tickets there or online in advance. You’ll not only find brewing equipment and learn about their beers, you’ll probably spot the old Bernie’s Chalet from Milwaukee County Stadium and witness a brief show at the end related to “Laverne & Shirley.” Yes, take this tour.

Address:
1872 N. Commerce Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 372-8800
Website

Lake Louie Brewing

Lake Louie Brewing


Named for the vast, 1/4-acre pond (often used for skinny dipping by residents back in the day) upon which this microbrewery abuts, Lake Louie Brewing sprouted up back in 2000 in the tiny town of Arena just off U.S. 14. Their beers are available all over the state, but their brewery is of course where you get the freshest and experimental styles.

Lake Louie’s major beers include the Warped Speed Scotch Ale, Golden Booty Cream Ale, Kiss the Lips IPA, Tommy’s Porter, and their Arena Premium Pale Ale. Some limited releases are also available here and there; a brewery tour gives you the best access, and they conduct them on “select” Saturdays at noon and 1:15pm. Contact them for details. Arena is close to Spring Green, and a tour of Taliesin or House of the Rock nearby along with a stop at Lake Louie makes for a fun roadtripping afternoon!

Address:
7556 Pine Road
Arena, WI 53503
(608) 753-2675
Website

Ale Asylum logo
Ale Asylum Brewery

Ale Asylum Brewery

Ale Asylum started in Madison in 2006 and has expanded nicely; they now have a beautiful restaurant and tap room along Highway 113 on the road to Madison’s Dane County Airport, literally seconds north of where Highway 30 ends (close to U.S. 51 and U.S. 151, too!) The bar and dining room are open for lunch and dinner, and for late drinks and eats. Tours of the brewery inside the building are available Sundays, noon-5pm beginning on the hour.

Hopalicious is Ale Asylum’s most well-known beer; Ambergeddon, Bedla! IPA, Madtown Nutbrown, Demento Session Pale Ale, and Unshadowed Hefeweizen are their brands consistently available; seasonals include Velveteen Habit, the Diablo Belga Belgian-style ale, a Belgian Abbey called Kink, the Gold Digger Blonde Ale, and plenty more.

Ale Asylum is not only near the airport, but also near the Karben4 Brewery (which operates in Ale Asylum’s original location), the ALT Brewery (which specializes in gluten-free beers) and the Octopi/3rd Sign Brewery, which is right up Highway 113 in Waunakee.

In 2015, they expanded into downtown Milwaukee with a tap room just off Old World Third Street, complete with views of the Milwaukee River.

Ale Asylum Brewery, Madison Ale Asylum River House, Milwaukee
2002 Pankratz Street
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 663-3926
Website
1110 North Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 269-8700
Website




Karben4 Boom Taco Session Ale
Karben4 Brewing

Karben4 Brewing


Karben4 logoKarben4 Brewery in Madison specializes in – as they say – “English-style malt bombs.” Their website features a video “roadtripping” to their brewery (that’s extra credit in our book!) They started up in 2013, revitalizing the brewery Ale Asylum originally used.

Karben4 Tap Room

Karben4 glass

The “Boom! Taco” Session Ale at Karben4. Ask for the back story.

Beers include their Fantasy Factory IPA (which may have the coolest label ever!), the NightCall Smoked Porter, Block Party Amber Ale, Tokyo Sauna Pale Ale, Martian Sunrise Red India Pale Ale, UnderCover Session Ale, Champagne Tortoise English Mild Ale, and Lady Luck Irish Red.

All beers are served in their Tap Room along with a food menu developed with Madison’s Underground Food Collective, meaning you’ll find some interesting pairings. They also offer a Sunday brunch. They offer a sizeable bar and tables, plus board games, all year and an outdoor patio when weather permits.

Tours of the facility are available Saturdays. They’re growing pretty quickly; from only selling their beer in the Tap Room, you can now find their beers throughout Madison, Milwaukee, and the Fox Cities (especially Fantasy Factory) and by the time you read this, probably a lot more areas!

Karben 4 food

Karben4 offers some nice food plates, helping you rationalize that you’re being healthy and not actually taking in ALL that many calories.

Karben4 is located along U.S. 51/Stoughton Road just north of the U.S. 151/East Washington Avenue intersection, less than two miles north of Highway 30. You may hear the roar of jet engines too, since it’s right in the shadow of Madison’s Dane County Regional Airport! ALT Brewing is the neighborhood and Ale Asylum is nearby; plus, just up Highway 113 toward Waunakee you’ll find Octopi Brewery & 3rd Sign Brewing; on top of that, just a little further into downtown Waunakee you’ll find the Lone Girl Brewing Company. So Karben4 is a good part of a “beer tour” on Madison’s east side!

madison-karben4-signoutside

Karben4 Tap Room Hours:  Daily, 11am-10pm

Address:
3698 Kinsman Blvd. (along U.S. 51)
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 241-4812
Website




Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company


Known far and wide nowadays, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company traces its roots back to 1867, when Jacob Leinenkugel founded his brewery in Chippewa Falls. They stayed primarily regional – as in NW Wisconsin and the Twin Cities – until 1988 when Miller Brewing bought into the company and expanded their reach considerably.

Today, Leinenkugel’s brews a wide variety of beers, from their flagship Leinenkugel’s to their Leinie’s Honey Weiss, Berry Weiss, Sunset Wheat, Helles Yeah, Leinie’s Red, Leinie’s Creamy Dark, Summer Shandy, Canoe Paddler, Oktoberfest, Snowdrift Porter, Big Butt Doppelbock, and more.

The Leinie Lodge is the visitors’ headquarters of all things Leinenkugel, located off Highway 124 just north of downtown Chippewa Falls. From here, brewery tours of the original Leinenkugel Brewery are conducted; they’re available every half hour seven days a week (specifics here) and of course the Leinie Lodge offers plenty of samples and items to purchase for you and other beer lovers.

leiniebrewery_225

The Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls.

Address:
124 E. Elm Street
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
(888) 534-6437
Website

Green Dragon Brew Pub

Green Dragon Brew Pub


Currently serving plenty of Wisconsin-based craft brews from around the state, the Green Dragon is preparing to open their own brewery in their Fond du Lac facility. We’ll share more details as we get them!

Address:
156 Western Avenue
Fond du Lac, WI
(920) 933-5224
Website

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company


The Great Dane opened its original location just off the Capitol Square in Madison in 1994. Located inside the former historic Fess Hotel, the building dates back to the 1850s, with the Victorian cream brick half of the building added in 1883. While their flagship location continues to thrive, they’ve expanded to five locations and counting.

Great Dane’s beers include Peck’s Pilsner, the Wooly Mammoth Porter, Potters Run IPA, Old Glory APA, Landmark Lite Lager, Crop Circle Wheat, Speedway Indiana Pale Ale, Emerald Isle Stout, the Black Earth Porter, and more. Availability can vary by location, but there’s always a large selection on tap.

Downtown/Flagship Madison Eastside Wausau
123 E. Doty Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 284-0000
Website
876 Jupiter Drive
Madison, WI
(608) 442-1333
Website
2305 Sherman Street
Wausau, WI
(715) 845-3000
Website
Fitchburg Madison Hilldale
2980 Cahill Main
Fitchburg, WI
(608) 442-9000
Website
357 Price Place
Madison, WI
(608) 661-9400
Website

 

Gray Brewing Company, Janesville
Gray Brewing Company

Gray Brewing Company


Gray Brewing Company – originally Gray’s Brewing – dates back 1856 and is in its fifth generation of family ownership. Through the years (centuries, really), Gray Brewing has both brewed specialty beers and created gourmet sodas; beer production ceased in 1912 but came back in 1994 and today Gray offers a variety of year ’round and seasonal brews. They include a Honey Ale, the state’s original honey beer; a hearty Rathskeller Amber Ale; Rock Hard REd; the “56” Oatmeal Stout, named for the year of Gray’s founding (1856); Rock Hard Red, a berry-flavored beer named in part for Rock County); the unfiltered Wisco Wheat; the Tap Joclkey Irish Stout; and the colorfully-named Irish-style Busted Knuckle.

Gray’s Janesville brewery is located along historic Highway 11/Court Street on the west side of Janesville.  Their Janesville Tasting Room re-opened in 2015. Hours are Friday from 4:30 to 9:00pm and Saturday from 2:00 to 7:00pm. The Growler Hour is on Saturday before tours, starting at 2pm. The “Owners Brewery Tours” take place every second Saturday of each month at 3:00pm.
Tour Prices are $5 for the regular tour, and $20 for the VIP Tour, which includes the Owners Brewery Tour, unlimited samples until 4:00pm that day, and a souvenir pint glass.

All ages are welcome into the Gray Brewing Tasting Room and on the Owners Brewery Tour, but you must be 21+ with a photo I.D. to enjoy alcoholic beverages. Group tours (12+) are available for reservation on non-regular Owners Brewery Tour Saturdays. Call their office at 608-754-5150 or email them for more information.

In 2016, Gray Brewing expanded into the restaurant business in booming Verona just off U.S. 18/151 near Highway 69 with Gray’s Tied House, where you can try all of their beers and gourmet sodas before checking out their full menu of food… because you can’t eat on an empty stomach.

Gray Brewing Company Addresses:

Gray’s Brewery, Tasting Room, Tours Gray’s Tied House
2424 W. Court Street (“City” Highway 11)
Janesville, WI 53548
(608) 754-5150
Website
950 Kimball Lane
Verona, WI 53593
(608) 845-2337
Website
Fox River Brewing Company

Fox River Brewing Company


Fox River Brewing Company started up in 1995, an early entry in the craft beer resurgence across the country. It started with Fratello’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oshkosh and expanded to Fox River Brewery & Restaurant in Appleton’s bustling Fox River Mall in 1997.

The beers brewed in their Oshkosh and Appleton facilities encompass a wide variety, depending on the season. Popular picks include Fox Tail Pale Ale, their Hoppyface IPA, the Badger Bitter ESB, the Trolleycar Stout, and Vader’s Imperial Stout. But there are many seasonal and special beers available at different times of the year.

The Oshkosh location has a terrific outdoor patio along the Fox River right at the southeastern end of Lake Butte des Morts. Highway 21 meets U.S. 45 nearby, and the large new bridge carrying U.S. 41 (I-41 later this year) across the lake is visible. The patio is great in summer for enjoying their beers, live music, and occasionally some volleyball an boating activities.

Appleton Oshkosh
Fox River Brewpub & Restaurant
4301 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Appleton, WI 54913
(920) 991-0000
Website
Fratello’s Waterfront Brewery & Restaurant
1501 Arboretum Drive
Oshkosh, WI
(920) 232-2337
Website
Fixture Brewing Company

Fixture Brewing Company


Fixture Brewing popped in downtown Waukesha a few years ago and have become a fixture, so to speak, for thirsty patrons in the city famous for streets that go all over the place.

Beers include the “‘Sha-Shank” Stout and Fox River Red; their Wizard Weissbier is a salute to Waukesha native Les Paul, inventor of the electric guitar; the “Wauk-A-Shame” Apple Ale, where there’s probably a good story behind that; and the 1906 Forward Pass Pale Ale salutes the fact that Waukesha’s Carroll University – then Carroll College – was home to the first forward pass ever thrown in a college football game.

Fixture serves up their brews and some guest beers at their Clinton Street location, and bands often play on weekends.

You can navigate into downtown Waukesha via U.S. 18; Highway 59‘s original routes of Arcadian and St. Paul Avenues will bring you downtown, as well as Highway 164‘s original routes of County F from the north and East Avenue from the south.

Address:
716 Clinton Street
Waukesha, WI 53186
(262) 446-0770
Website

Door County Brewing Company

Door County Brewing Company


baileysh_doorcobrew01

Door County Brewing began in early 2013 and despite Door County’s reputation as a summer destination, their brewery and Tap Room is open year ’round with plenty of brews and activities. Door County brews many small batches on-site; they contract with Sand Creek Brewing in Black River Falls to help fill their demand while they work on expanding in Door County.

Their beers include the Polka King Porter, Little Sister Witbier, the Goat Parade Smoked Imperial Stout (remember, goats eat grass on rooftops in Door County), Bière de Seigle saison, Pastoral Farmhouse Ale, and their Silurian Stout, a creamy milk stout named after the ancient sea that once covered this thumb of land.

baileysh_doorcobrew04Door County Brewing is right off Highway 57 along County F in Baileys Harbor, on the Lake Michigan side of the Door Peninsula.

Address:
2434 County Road F
Baileys Harbor, WI
(920) 839-1515
Website

baileysh_doorcobrew02

Common Man Brewing, Ellsworth
Common Man Brewing Company

Common Man Brewing Company

Common Man Brewing keeps it modest: “we are just a couple storefronts east of the Family Dollar” is how they describe their location in Ellsworth, both Pierce County seat and the Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin.

The “nanobrewery” started out in 2015 and their restaurant grew so fast they had to hold off on releasing their own beers. While they gear up for brewing during the winter of 2017-2018, Common Man currently offers 22 beers on tap from around Wisconsin and the region. Common Man also serves cocktails and has an awesome food menu, including burgers so popular they’ve been featured on the Discover Wisconsin TV show. The menu also features fairly unique foods for small-town Wisconsin, like Korean Kimchee Fries. And don’t think the presence of Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery just down the street doesn’t affect the menu here, too!

Common Man Brewing Address:

193 E. Main Street (US 10/63)
Ellsworth, WI 54011
(715) 941-4060
Website

Common Man Brewing Hours:

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 11:30 am to 10 pm (kitchen until 8 pm)
Wednesday – 11:30 am to 10 pm (kitchen until 8 pm)
Thursday – 11:30 am to 10 pm (kitchen until 8 pm)
Friday – 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 pm (kitchen until 9 pm)
Saturday – 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 pm (kitchen until 9 pm)
Sunday – 11:30 a.m. to 10 pm (kitchen until 8 pm)

You’ll find Common Man Brewing right along U.S. 10/63 in Ellsworth, just east of downtown and not far from Highways 65 and 72.



Pearl Street Brewery

Pearl Street Brewery


Pearl Street has long been a center of activity in La Crosse, and La Crosse has long been a major beer town. The Pearl Street Brewery combined the two to offer residents, visitors, and many UW-La Crosse students (21 and over) several craft beers in the heart of downtown “LAX”.

Pearl Street Brewery opened up in 1999, the same year monster brewer G. Heileman shut its doors just to the south (today, it’s City Brewery.)  While still serving beer on Pearl Street (and 3rd Street, famous for being packed with bars), the brewery and Tasting Room have moved north of downtown a bit to a 100-year old former Rubber Mills boot factory just east of Highway 35 that offers plenty of room for both brewing and tasting. The Tasting Room is open every day but Sunday and Monday, and you can take a tour (a “Brewery Tourery” as they call it) on Saturdays from noon to 5pm.

Popular Pearl Street brews include their D.T.B. Brown Ale, which won a Gold medal at the World Beer Championships; Rubber Mills Pils, in salute of the factory in which they now operate; Pearl Street Pale Ale; El Hefe Bavarian Hefeweizen; Java Lava Coffee Stout; and the – get ready – “That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout Organic Rolled Oat Stout.”

Pearl Street’s Tasting Room is a few blocks off Highway 35, north of U.S. 14/61 and Highways 16 and 33 by a few miles. U.S. 53 is just to the west and I-90 crosses just two miles to the north.

Address:
1401 Saint Andrew Street
La Crosse, WI 54603
(608) 784-4832
Website

City Brewery

City Brewery


City Brewery in La Crosse grew out of the former G. Heileman Brewing, a longtime La Crosse legacy that brewed Old Style, Colt .45, and many other national brands. Heileman started in La Crosse back in 1858 and in the 1980s was the third largest brewer in the U.S. after acquiring regional brands around the country like Olympia, Rainier, Grain Belt, Blatz, and Black Label. The collapse of a holding company that acquired Heileman hastened its demise, before its late 1990s shutdown.

In 1999, City Brewery started in the former Heileman facilities; “City Brewery” was Heileman’s original name and so the legacy lives on. While Old Style is now brewed elsewhere, City Brewery produces a variety of beers and other beverages, including Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice, Angry Orchard, and Arizona Iced Tea in La Crosse as well as Iron City Beer and Sam Adams in a brewery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania that they bought in 2007.

6pack_200For local La Crosse brews, City Brewery produces La Crosse Lager, which is “krausened” like Old Style was. It is the flagship brand that adorns the popular “World’s Largest Six Pack”, a set of six metal beer storage tanks formerly labeled as Old Style cans and now decorated as La Crosse Lager cans. You’ll find them just south of downtown La Crosse one block east of the Mississippi River along U.S. 14/61, close to where U.S. 53 and Highway 33 begin and where Highway 16 comes in from Minnesota. Highway 35 is just a few blocks to the east.

The brewery itself does not currently offer tours, but the World’s Largest Six Pack is a must-see and a prime State Trunk Tour photo-op. Just north of City Brewery, downtown La Crosse offers plenty of things to see and do, and the Pearl Street Brewery is also available on the north side of town.

Address:
925 S. 3rd Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-4200
Website

Central Waters Brewing Company

Central Waters Brewing Company


Located right in central Wisconsin, Central Waters Brewing Company fired up in 1998 inside a former Model-A Ford dealership along U.S. 10 in Junction City. By 2007 they had grown so much they moved to a newer facility in nearby Amherst, where today they brew over 20 styles of beer.

Central Waters building

Central Waters Tap Room

Central Waters is expanding like donuts on a jelly injector. A sizeable Tap Room shares space with a growing set of brew kettles and fermentation tanks, and a new meeting room with outdoor patio seating fronting the building. During busy times, food trucks offer up fare out front that complements their beers.

Central Waters’ most popular brew is their Mudpuppy Porter, with the Ouisconsing Red Ale – named after a French version of the state’s original name – not too far behind. While they have a few lighter (and very good) varieties like a Honey Blonde Ale and Shine On Ale, their specialty tends to lean towards hoppier varieties like the Glacial Trail India Pale Ale or HHG APA (the “HHG” standing for “horseshoes and hand grenades, after a local band) as well as darker, flavorful selections like the Satin Solitude Imperial Stout. They also feature seasonals like Cherry Stout, the Bloody Sunrise (featuring Bloody Mary mix), and Bourbon Barrel Barleywines and Scotch Ales.

Central Waters tap selections

Their Tap Room is open 3pm-10pm Friday, noon-10pm Saturday, noon-7pm Sunday. During the day the rest of the week you can stop over, get a growler filled, use the restroom, drink a sample out front, but the Tap Room won’t be available.

Central Waters sampler

You’ll find Central Waters just off the U.S. 10 freeway via the County B exit in Amherst, about 15 minutes east of Stevens Point. The historic route of the Yellowstone Trail runs within eyeshot of the brewery, too!

Address:
351 Allen Street
Amherst, WI 54406
(715) 824-2739
Website

Capital Brewery logo, Middleton
Capital Brewery

Capital Brewery

Capital Brewery, Middleton building

Capital Brewery is just outside the state’s capital, in Madison’s highly-touted suburb of Middleton. Also highly touted are Capital’s beers: they’ve won over 200 awards including a Gold at the Great American Beer Fest.

Capital’s offerings include their flagship Wisconsin Amber, a very Sconnie lager called Supper Club, the Mutiny IPA, Capital Special Pilsner, a Munich Dark for dunkel lovers, a black ale called Dark Voyage, the patriotic U.S. Pale Ale, the unfiltered Ghost Ship (with spice and citrus including grapefruit), and Island Wheat, made with wheat brought down from Washington Island off the tip of Door County. In 2015, they debuted “Grateful Red,” a red IPA saluting the student section at Badger basketball games.

Capital Brewing outdoor patio, Middleton

The brewery offers tours for $7 which include a 30-45 minutes tour of the facility (they call it a “BREW-VENTURE”), a commemorative glass and 4 samples or one pint of beer. Self-guided “tasting tours” can be done anytime at their Bier Garten or Stube, where you can load up on six samples for $8. During the warmer months, plenty of outdoor events take place at their Bier Garten. Accordions may be involved.

Capital Brewery is on the western edge of Middleton’s historic downtown, visible from the Beltline (U.S. 12/U.S. 14) and easily reached via Greenway Blvd (Exit 252) or University Avenue (Exit 251) exits. The National Mustard Museum is mere blocks away, too!

Capital Brewery Island WheatCapital Brewery Address:

7734 Terrace Avenue
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 836-7100
Website




Biloba Brewing Company

Biloba Brewing Company


Biloba Brewing started in Brookfield in 2014.  Named after the “Ginkgo biloba” tree, this microbrewery sits just off Brookfield Road on Pleasant Street, in this booming suburb’s original downtown just south of Highway 190/Capitol Drive.

Biloba’s beers and specialty ales regularly rotate; their Tasting Room features several on tap at any given time, along with activities ranging from painting lessons to imbibing in food truck offerings. While the beers rotate, some available at various times include the Dark Side of the Brew (a Cascadian Dark Ale), Smokin’ Gramma (a Wee Heavy), and Rye of the Wort (a Rye Pale Ale.)

Address:
18720 Pleasant Street
Brookfield, WI 53045
(262) 309-5820
Website

Big Head Brewing Company

Big Head Brewing Company


wauwatosa_bigheadbrew_outsideBig Head Brewing sits just a little over a mile west of the behemoth known as the Miller Brewery. Opened in 2013 just off State Street in Wauwatosa, Big Head brews a variety of craft beers, with an eye also on specializing in a diabetic-friendly line of beers with low carbs that still taste like craft brews.

wauwatosa_bigheadbrew_taps

Along with the beer variety, they have quite the tap handle variety – including ball-peen hammers, wrenches, and custom metal designs serving to help draw the draught.

Their Tasting Room is open Thursday-Saturday and features pool, darts, games, and bands playing on select evenings. While still new and brewing under 1,000 barrels annually, Big Head has big plans.

You’ll find Big Head about 1 1/2 miles west of the Highway 175 freeway, one mile east of Highway 181 (76th Street/Harmonee Avenue), one mile north of U.S. 18/Bluemound Road, and a few miles north of I-94 and east of I-41/U.S. 45. It’s also just east of the Village of Wauwatosa, a charming little area in its own right. It’s also mere minutes from Miller Park.

wauwatosa_bigheadbrew_coolers

Clearly, the cooler named after The Fonz is cooler than the cooler named for Richie Cunningham.

Address:
6204 W. State Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 257-9782
Website

Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum

Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum


The Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum offers yo-yos, gyroscopes, spin toys, and plenty of hands-on science exhibits…. over 2,000 in all!  Regular presentations and interactive tours make it a fun stop.

Please note the museum requires tickets or arrangements scheduled ahead of time; you can’t just “drop in”. However, several times per month presentations take place (as listed on their website here) and with larger groups custom tours can be arranged. They also offer yo-yo classes.

Location:
533 Milwaukee Ave. (“city” Highway 36)
Burlington, WI 53105
(262) 763-3946
Website

 

Logic Puzzle Museum

Logic Puzzle Museum


The Logic Puzzle Museum offers over 100 unique hands-on brain, brain teaser, logic, and mechanical puzzles. Exhibits of puzzles, the ability to make your own puzzles to bring home, even a collection of vintage and – as they claim – “diabolical” puzzles can all be found here. The Logic Puzzle Museum is located in downtown Burlington along “city” Highway 36, right near where “city” Highway 11 intersects. Highways 83 and 142 are close by, too!

Address:
533 Milwaukee Avenue
Burlington, WI 53105
(262) 763-3946
Website

Delafield Brewhaus
Delafield Brewhaus

Delafield Brewhaus


Delafield Brewhaus is perched above I-94 just east of Highway 83 in Delafield, serving up a variety of craft beers including three medal winners in the 2014 World Beer Championships.

In-house brews include the “always on tap” Dockside Ale, Delafield Amber, Pewaukee Porter, Naga-Wicked Pale Ale (named somewhat for nearby Lake Nagawicka), and Sommerzeit Hefe Weizen.  Seasonals include a Strawberry Lager, Golden Promise (featuring a specialty Scottish malt), Green Bullet IPA (with unique hops from New Zealand), Einhorn Bock, a Belgian Quadrupel (10.5 ABV… whoa!), and the Oats and Barley Stout. Additional specialty beers, including some aged in whiskey barrels, are available from time to time.

The bar area and restaurant are adorned with plenty of Brewerania collectibles and old-school signs, and some of the shiny copper kettles used in brewing are smack dab in the middle of the place.

Easy to spot but tricky sometimes to get to, Delafield Brewhaus is along I-94’s frontage road on the south side about one mile west of Highway 83 (Exit 287 off I-94). From Highway 83, turn east on Hillside Road, weave your way past some big-box stores, and it will be on your right just past the big “Hotsy” sign familiar with I-94 drivers. From the east/Milwaukee direction, exit Highway SS (Exit 290) and head west on the north side frontage road before cutting over to the south frontage road via Elmhurst Road or County E/Maple Avenue and heading west.

Address:
3832 Hillside Drive
Delafield, WI 53018
(262) 646-7821
Website

Badger State Brewing Company
Badger State Brewing Company

Badger State Brewing Company


Badger State Brewing Company is in the heart of Green Bay – and by that, we mean mere blocks from Lambeau Field in the “Titletown District,” which also includes the Resch Center and Brown County Arena.

greenbay_badgerstbrew01greenbay_badgerstbrew04greenbay_badgerstbrew06

Opened in 2013, Badger State operated a 15-barrel brewing system inside a 10,000 square foot building that was the last property left along Lombardi Avenue to be zoned manufacturing, allowing them to brew beer there.

They sell it, too: their tap room inside the facility opened in late 2014 and features two dozen Wisconsin-brewed beers, including their own flagship brands Bunyan Badger Brown Ale, Green Chop Session IPA, Porte des Morts Maple Porter, Green Chop Session IPA, Vive La Belge! Belgo-Pale Ale, Walloon Witbier, and the almost intimidating-sounding Dubious Ruffian Chocolate Stout. More recently, brews like their Resilience IPA and others have come aboard, and you can increasingly find their beers in bars and restaurants across the state.

You’ll find them southeast of – or behind – the Stadium View and Brett Favre’s Steakhouse on Tony Canadeo Run, where a lot of hotels are now going up, too. Lombardi Avenue, Oneida Street, and Ashland Avenue (Highway 32) surround this part of the Titletown District.

Check out all our Badger State Brewing pictures here!

Badger State Brewing Company Address:

990 Tony Canadeo Run
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 634-5687
Website




Angry Minnow Brewing Company & Restaurant

Angry Minnow Brewing Company & Restaurant


The Angry Minnow is a craft microbrewery and restaurant in Hayward. It’s located in a beautiful brick building constructed in 1889 by – ironically enough – a lumber baron named Robert L. McCormick. It originally housed the offices of the Northern Wisconsin Lumber Company.  The renovation to a brewery and restaurant was very well done and kept the historic nature of the building; from the dining room, you can look through windows at the basement brew house below.

Angry Minnow-brewed beers include the River Pig American Pale Ale, Oaky’s Oatmeal Stout, Minnow Lite, Honey Wheat, and several seasonals including the Charlie’s Rye IPA, Tre Svends IPA, Nine Toe Doppelbock, and McStukie’s Scotch Ale.

You’ll find the Angry Minnow – often fairly crowded! – just off U.S. 63 and Highways 27 and 77 near Hayward’s downtown.

Address:
10440 Florida Avenue (U.S. 63)
Hayward, WI 54843
(715) 934-3055
Website

3 Sheeps Brewing Taps
3 Sheeps Brewing Company

3 Sheeps Brewing Company


3 Sheeps Brewing logo3 Sheeps Brewing is based in Sheboygan. It started, as may craft breweries, as a home brewing hobby by Grant Pauly. Meanwhile, along Highway 42 the Hops Haven Bar housed the Port Washington Brewing Company for several years before that brewery went under in 2012. That provided an opportunity for 3 Sheeps to open up shop in the bar, with the brewing operations in the back. They stayed there for four years before a new opportunity presented itself.

3 Sheeps won the 2012 RateBeer Award for “Best New Brewery in Wisconsin.”

Top year-round beers at 3 Sheeps include the Cashmere Hammer Nitro Stout, the First Kiss IPA, Rebel Kent Amber Ale, and their Really Cool Waterslides IPA.  Seasonal beers include Nitraberry, a tart wheat ale; the Paid Time Off, an Imperial wheat ale; Uber Joe Imperial Stout, and Happy Summer. They also brew a variety of small batch beers and ales.

3 Sheeps Tap Room

Their beers are now available across Wisconsin, the Twin Cities metro, down into central Illinois, and plenty of craft beer festivals across the Midwest, but why not try them at the source??

3 Sheeps has its brewery and Tap Room just north of its previous location. The large building hosts the brewing equipment, the full bar, and an event space. The tasting glass holders, which are really cool, were forged out of old barrel staves. Tables and chairs were repurposed from Sheboygan’s old Armory building.

3 Sheeps Tasting Glass Holder

You’ll find 3 Sheeps Brewery and Tap Room along North Avenue, just a few blocks east of Highway 42 (Huron Avenue.) It’s not too far north of the big intersection where Highways 23, 28, and 42 begin and end together just west of downtown Sheboygan. It’s less than 10-minute drive off I-43 and only a few minutes from downtown and Sheboygan’s beautiful lakefront and harbor area.

3 Sheeps Brewing Address:

1837 North Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081
(920) 395-3583
Website





Pelicans on Lake Michigan - Visit Sheboygan

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Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens

Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens


The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the nation’s best, hands down! Opened in 1958, it’s home to over 2,000 animals including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles – many of whom reside in specialized habitats. The grounds of the Milwaukee County Zoo spread across over 200 acres of forests, exhibits, a large pond, indoor and outdoor habitats. Along with viewing and learning about animals, the Zoo offers opportunity to enjoy wildlife shows, ziplines, a carousel, a 15-inch gauge miniature railway the whole family can ride that loops around the grounds, and more.

Other fun features of the Milwaukee County Zoo:

  • The Zoo features one of the largest groups on bonobos in one location outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • The aviary features over 60 species, including one large “cage-less” room where the birds fly free.
  • The “children’s zoo,” now called the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm, gives kids educational presentations and access to hedgehogs, porcupines, box turtles, bald eagles, and more.
  • At the Giraffe Deck, you can climb a deck to end up face-to-face with them – and even help feed them.

You’ll find the Milwaukee County Zoo nestled between I-94, I-41/U.S. 45, Highway 100, and U.S. 18/Bluemound Road on the far west side of Milwaukee, with Wauwatosa to the north, West Allis to the south, and Brookfield & Elm Grove to the west. The main entrance is off U.S. 18/Bluemound Road.

The Zoo’s hours vary by season. Admission fees run as follows (Milwaukee County residents with ID get additional discounts, see their website for details.)

ADMISSION
January 1 through March 31 & November 1 through December 31
Adult: $11.75
Child (age 3 to 12): $8.75
Child (2 and under): Free
Senior Citizen (age 60 and over): $10.25

April 1 through October 31
Adult: $14.25
Child (age 3 to 12): $11.25
Child (2 and under): Free
Senior Citizen (age 60 and over): $13.25

Parking is an additional $12 for passenger cars.

Address:
10001 Bluemound Road (U.S. 18)
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 256-5412
Website

Menomonee Park Zoo

Menomonee Park Zoo


The Menomonee Park Zoo is set on 8 acres in a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Winnebago. Open from early May through late September, the Zoo features nearly 50 varieties of animals and exhibits, including permanent exhibits for Gray Wolves and North American Elk. The zoo is bordered by Lake Winnebago on the East and Hazel and Merritt Streets on the South and West; U.S. 45 is just to the west. Highways 21, 44, and 76 are close by.

Address:
520 Pratt Trail
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 236-5082
Website