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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181

STH-181“State Fair to the Covered Bridge”

Quickie Summary: State “Trunk” Highway 181 runs along western portions of Milwaukee and Ozaukee County communities, serving as a major artery for the Wisconsin State Fair, the city of Wauwatosa, northwest Milwaukee, Mequon, and the “Five Corners” area in Cedarburg, just south of where Wisconsin’s last covered bridge can be found. Along this route is a mix of big city neighborhoods, rural farmland, growing towns, suburban villages, and of course the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair and the Milwaukee Mile. All in a 22-mile drive.

Wisconsin Highway 181 Road Trip

The Drive (South to North): Highway 181 begins at Highway 59/Greenfield Avenue in West Allis (pop. 60,411), which was called North Greenfield early on. The establishment of a huge Allis-Chalmers factory in 1902 led to the town changing its name and incorporating as West Allis in 1906; that company dominated manufacturing in the area – and the nation – for decades before closing in 1987. For nearly eighty years, tens of thousands of workers descended on the West Allis plant, as well as other manufacturers in town – some of which are still cranking out products. Hundreds of thousands head to State Fair Park in early August for the Wisconsin State Fair, one of the nation’s leading state fairs. After starting in Janesville in 1851, the Wisconsin State Fair made West Allis its permanent home in 1892. The grounds includes the Milwaukee Mile, the oldest operating motor speedway in the world; it’s hosted most of racing’s legendary drivers at one time or another, from Barney Oldfield and A.J. Foyt to Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick. The Milwaukee Mile continues to host NASCAR and Indy events, including IndyFest, on its legendary oval. And during the State Fair, you can park on it!

State Trunk Tour Tidbit:
The Green Bay Packers made the infield of the Milwaukee Mile at State Fair Park their home field for Milwaukee games between 1934 and 1951, even playing the 1939 NFL Championship Game there: a 27-0 defeat of the New York Giants – the first shutout in NFL playoff history.

Highway 181 runs along 84th Street in West Allis, and intersects with I-94 just north of State Fair Park. The Pettit National Ice Center is at the junction with the freeway; it’s one of the few Olympic-qualifying speedskating rinks in the world! After all, this area has sprouted the likes of gold medalists Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen – it’s obviously a haven for champions. The Pettit National Ice Center features two full-size hockey rinks and a quarter-mile speedskating rink, among other features that make it a center for Olympians, athletes in training, hockey players, and just people who love to skate. The oval is open to the public for skating, and there’s even a .28 mile running track along the outside of the oval.

Wisconsin Weekend: US Olympic Training Facility, the Pettit National Ice Center at I-94 & Highway 181

“The Skater” statue in front of The Pettit National Ice Center.

Pettit National Ice Center

I-94 & Highway 181 is where you’ll find one of only two indoor Olympic speedskating tracks in the nation. The Pettit National Ice Center attracts athletes from around the world for training… and you can skate, play hockey, or even jog around the outside of the ice all year ’round!

Just north of I-94, Highway 181 ducks into a brief silver of the city of Milwaukee and intersects with U.S. 18/Blue Mound Road into Wauwatosa (pop. 47,000). This area was originally settled by Charles Hart in 1835 and was named “Hart’s Mills” for a mill he built along the Menomonee River. The railroad came through shortly thereafter, as did the Watertown Plank Road, an early toll road (seriously built with planks) that connected Milwaukee and Watertown by 1849. The town – then village, then city – was renamed Wauwatosa, the Potawatomi word for “firefly.” Wauwatosa mixes tree-lined residential neighborhoods, a world-class medical center with the Medical College of Wisconsin as an anchor, a downtown village brimming with shops, restaurants, and historic crossroads, industrial parks, factories, a major regional shopping mall… basically, Wauwatosa has a bit of everything.

Highway 181 enters Wauwatosa as 84th Street and becomes Glenview Avenue until it reaches the historic Watertown Plank Road. You literally jog over a few blocks on the road before turning left on a tight bridge that leapfrogs the Menomonee River Valley and lands in the “downtown” – Wauwatosa’s village. The old road continues downhill to a railroad crossing and a bridge over the Menomonee River; that’s the original Watertown Plank Road and Highway 181 until the bridge was built in the 1970s to ease congestion.

(More on Highway 181 to come!)

167

STH-167 “Holy Hill to Lake Michigan”

 

WisMap167_200wQuickie Summary: State “Trunk” Highway 167 is a key route across the northern suburbs of Milwaukee. It provides access to the beautiful Holy Hill area, as well as the booming towns of Germantown and Mequon. The eastern part is mostly suburbia; the westernmost 10 miles or so provides a hilly, scenic drive.

The Wisconsin Highway 167 Road Trip

The Drive (East to West): Highway 167 runs along Mequon Road through – surprise! – Mequon. It begins at the I-43/Highway 32 interchange and Highway 57 joins 167 for the first few miles going west. The first intersection is just a few hundred feet west, known as Port Washington Road, which was the main highway north before the interstate was built. If you’re up for shopping, you’re in the right place.

Mequon (pop. 23,820) is consistently rated as one of the “Best Places to Live in the United States” by Money Magazine – and there’s a lot of money in Mequon. The city has a lot of high-end homes, some plotted on acre-plus lots and others amidst forested neighborhoods. Mequon is often paired with Thiensville (pop. 3,254), known locally by some as the “worthwhile square mile.” Mequon is Wisconsin’s fourth largest city by area, while Thiensville is about 1/36th of Mequon’s size. Nestled right along the Milwaukee River, Thiensville features the charming and compact layout of a small Midwestern village, while Mequon is a more spread-out version of a nice suburb.

Heading west along Highway 167 is basically our typical nice suburban landscape for a while. You cross the Milwaukee River and reach the original Green Bay Road, where Highway 57 heads south into Milwaukee; Green Bay Road itself continues north into the aforementioned Thiensville, where more small-town charm awaits (the even more charming Cedarburg is a little further up as well.)

Just west of the Milwaukee River crossing and the Highway 57 junction, running westerly to the Highway 181 intersection, Mequon is taking a mile or so along Mequon Road for new development that strives to build somewhat of a downtown development here. The Mequon Public Market opened in 2019, based on a scaled-down version of the Milwaukee Public Market. Everything from St. Paul Fish Company to florists, crafters, and smaller versions of city restaurants have up shop here.

Foxtown Brewing along Highway 167 in Mequon*** Brewery Alert ***
The Foxtown Brewing Company established itself along Mequon Road/Highway 167 in November 2019, building upon a historic brewery. The Optiz-Zimmerman Brewery opened on this site way back in 1857, and they built subterranean caves that last to this day.

Continuing west on Highway 167 past Highway 181 (Wauwatosa Road/76th Street) brings you to more open areas in western Mequon. You end up on a two-lane road that navigates some of the Ozaukee County countryside before hitting Washington County.

Yeah, that was quick: Ozaukee County is only six miles wide at that point. Washington County means entry into Germantown (pop. 20,100). Much of Germantown is newer, developing city but it retains history in a downtown area that began as the settlement of Dheinsville in 1842. Much of the historic museums, including Wisconsin’s largest bell collection, reside just up Highway 145, which Highway 167 crosses shortly after entering Germantown. Still known as Mequon Road at this point, Highway 167 serves somewhat as the “new” type of Main Street USA, where Germantown’s main retail and commercial centers line the road for a few miles and decorative street lights tell you this area is given close attention.

Germantown doesn’t look at Mequon with too much envy; in July 2007 Germantown was rated as the 30th most appealing city, town or village in the United States to live in by Money magazine. Basically, if you live near Highway 167, you’re in a desirable area.

Toward Germantown’s western edge, Highway 167 becomes a freeway for a short spell, joining U.S. 41/45 for a ride northwest to Holy Hill Road, which Highway 167 joins going westward. Following Holy Hill Road EAST at the interchange, by the way, is another good way to access Germantown’s old downtown, the Dheinsville Historic District, and the little museums. You can also stop in Jerry’s Old Towne Tavern and karaoke if you have the courage. By the way, following I-41/U.S. 45 north another mile or so brings you to Cabela’s, the outdoor shopper’s paradise. You can see it from the Highway 167 overpass, and if you need a compass to help with your State Trunk Tour trips, well, I’m pretty sure they’ll have some available.

West from the freeway, Highway 167 enters Richfield and crosses Highway 175, the original U.S. 41. This stretch of Highway 167 begins to take on the hilly character of the Kettle Moraine region it enters. Small taverns dot the roadside, including the charm of the Down Slope Pub… one step inside and you feel like you’re in old-school Ireland (After the Germanic nature of Germantown, this area gets awfully Irish – after the town of Richfield is the town of Erin, after all. After crossing Highway 164, the twin steeples of the road’s namesake begins to come into view. They’re the unmistakeable symbol of the Holy Hill National Shrine. The highest point in southeastern Wisconsin (1,350 feet above sea level, or about 770 feet higher than Lake Michigan), Holy Hill was declared a Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians in 1903 and in 2006 was elevated to the status of Minor Basilica. It also hosts events such as the annual Saints & Sinners Golf Outing…no word on which sides get the better scores, since some golfers would sell their soul for a good golf game. There probably aren’t the usual number of references to “Caddyshack” in this outing either, but who knows?

167wbnearerin_600

Highway 167 narrows and traverses hills near Freiss Lake approaching Holy Hill.

holyhill01_800

The twin steeples atop Holy Hill dominate the landscape for miles around and will keep you staring… and wanting to climb up in there and check it out. Downtown Milwaukee – 35 miles away – is visible from these steeples on a clear day.

Highway 167 as Holy Hill Road twists and turns more as you approach the entrance to Holy Hill in a stretch of road more commonly found in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. The entrance is on the south side of the highway… watch for slow traffic sometimes as a result. More scenery can be found along Highway K, which doubles as a Rustic Road here in the Town of Erin. You’ll also have an access point to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Less than two miles later, Highway 167 comes to an end. The increasingly busy Highway 83 is where you reach the end of the brief 167 tour, but you can follow 83 north to Hartford or south into Waukesha County’s Lake County for more cool stuff to see. Or, continue west on County O… you’ll eventually reach Highway 67!

167wbend_800

Highway 167 comes to an end at Highway 83, which continues to traverse the Kettle Moraine area and heads south into Lake County in Waukesha County. While not officially a “child” of Highway 67, you can reach 67 by continuing westward on County O, which after a bit of zigzagging through the hills in these parts will bring you there.

Highway 167 overall is a nice, quick tour – about 25 miles through pleasant countryside, nice suburban areas and past a National Shrine. Combine it with Highway 83, 67 or 164 for a longer trip to see more. Enjoy!

CONNECTIONS:
East Terminus:
Can connect immediately to: I-43, Highway 32, Highway 57
Can connect nearby to: Highway 100, about 3 miles south; Highway 60 about 7 miles north

West Terminus:
Can connect immediately to: Highway 83
Can connect nearby to: Highway 67, about 7 miles west; Highway 164, about 5 miles east