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




The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor & Confectionery


One step into this old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream parlor, and you’re whisked back to an earlier, sweeter era. Everything from home-mixed ice cream in waffle cones made right in the store to scratch-made flavored soads and rich, tasty malts from the old-school Hamilton Beach mixer and the metal cup delights the senses. A wall of candies, chocolates, nuts, and other treats make this one of the more complete confectioneries you’ll find anywhere – it could be the 1930s in here!

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lacrosse_thepearl04The Pearl is located right on (surprise!) Pearl Street in downtown La Crosse, right near the La Crosse Center. U.S. 53 begins just to the east; U.S 14/61 and Highways 16 and 33 are just a few blocks to the south; and Highway 35 is about a mile to the east. Basically, if you heard towards downtown La Crosse where all the bars, restaurants, shops, and nightlife are, you’re practically within eyeshot of The Pearl. It’s definitely a great, sweet stop.

The Pearl, waffle cone making

Want a fresh waffle cone? They don’t get any fresher than this!

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I stocked up on candy cigs; you don’t find them around very often. Don’t worry, I paid for them.

Address:
207 Pearl Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 782-6655
Website

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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