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




Irvine Park & Zoo, Tiger

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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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