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

Indian Mounds Park, Whitewater


Also known as the Whitewater Effigy Mounds Preserve, Indian Mounds Park covers 22-acres and preserves a prehistoric, Native American ceremonial and burial site dating back to between 200 and 1000 A.D. You’ll find a collection of animal and geometric mounds, and along the east bank of an old river bed, a former community area that once held 30 circular huts where early mound builders lived. The dozen or so effigy mounds at the site are what survive, and they continue to serve as a setting for Native American ceremonial pow-wows.

Indian Mounds Park is open daily and admission is free. You’ll find it on the west side of Whitewater, between Historic/”Business” U.S. 12 through town and the U.S. 12 Bypass. Highways 59 and 89 are also close.

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.

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

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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.

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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

Baumgartners in Monroe on the town square

Baumgartner’s Cheese Store & Tavern


Baumgartner’s Cheese Store & Tavern in Monroe is a State Trunk Tour favorite! A cheese shop and tavern established in 1931, Baumgartner’s is a highlight of any road trip, serving up selections of cheese, sausage, beer, and some terrific fresh sandwiches. Our favorite is the brick cheese and summer sausage on rye, especially if you take advantage of their variety of mustards. The house specialty is the limburger sandwich, featuring cheese direct from the only limburger cheesemaker in the United States: nearby Chalet Cheese Cooperative, which is only a few miles up the road.

Baumgartner's brick and summer sausage sandwich

Not the best lighting, but it IS one of the best sandwiches. Summer Sausage & Brick on Rye at Baumgartner’s.

The walls are adorned with murals, maps (check the pins indicating where people have visited from all over the world, especially Europe), and fascinating artwork while up top the ceiling is peppered with dollar bills, thrown up expertly by staff members who know how to incorporate a tack, a little weight, and a strong throw straight upward to help the donated bills stay there. About once a year, Baumgartner’s takes down the money and donates it to a different local charity.

Baumgartner's menu and taps

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Dollar bills, embedded in the ceiling from skillful employees, hover over you in Baumgartner’s. Each year, the money is donated to a local charity.

A festive atmosphere often permeates Baumgartner’s, as does the scent of Limburger cheese when a hearty soul orders it as part of a sandwich. They have a variety of foods to enjoy, cheese and sausage to buy, and people to meet, as this is a destination for many tourists from around the world. Check out where they’re all from on large national and world maps that adorn the south wall.

Baumgartner’s is right on Monroe’s town square, which hugs the beautiful Green County Courthouse across the street. Minhas Brewery – and its new distillery and wine-tasting room – is just down the street. Highways 11, 59, 69, and 81 all bring you to Monroe and this tasty Wisconsin experience.

Baumgartner's Limburger sign in Monroe

Baumgartner’s Address:

1023 16th Avenue
Monroe, WI 53566
(608) 325-6157
Website




Baumgartner's Cheese Store & Tavern front

The front entrance to Baumgartner’s, a destination for cheese and sausage (and beer) fans from around the world.

Minhas Craft Brewery logo

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




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

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

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