Foxtown Brewing along Highway 167 in Mequon

Foxtown Brewing Company

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

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

Flagship beers include:

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

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

Foxtown Brewing taps (Foxtown photo)

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

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

Foxtown Brewing caves in Mequon

Foxtown Brewing Company Tap Room Hours:

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

Foxtown Brewing Company Address:

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


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 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 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 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 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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Brewfinity Brewing Co., Oconomowoc

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.

Broken Bat Brewing, Milwaukee

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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Thirsty Pagan Brewing front view

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




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