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

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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Rowland’s Calumet Brewing Company

Rowland’s Calumet Brewing lies in the heart of Calumet County, in the county seat of Chilton. It debuted in 1990 after a 48-year absence of breweries in Chilton, using what was known as the Roll Inn Tavern for its home base. Still, it was one of the first craft breweries in Wisconsin after the repeal of Prohibition.

Rowland’s regular brews include Calumet Amber, Calumet Dark, Oktoberfest, Pale Ale, Rye, Calumet Wild Rice, and Fat Man’s Nut Brown Ale. They also brew up a variety of seasonals including a Kolsch, several lagers and pilsners, a Schwarz Bier named Mittnacht Pilsner, a Scotch Ale, and more. Brewmaster Patrick Rowland goes local with many ingredients; he’s been known to grow hops in the back.

Rowland’s Calumet Brewery also makes a variety of sodas – so you can bring the kids. They’ll be just as amused by some of the wall signs and decorations as you will.

You’ll find Rowland’s Calumet Brewing along Highways 32/57 in downtown Chilton, within a block of where U.S. 151 joins for a quick zigzag.

25 N. Madison Street
Chilton, WI 53014
(920) 849-2534

Grumpy Troll Pub & Brewing Company

The Grumpy Troll lies just off the main “Trollway” (Highway 78) in a former creamery and cheese factory in Mount Horeb. Opened in 2000, you’ll find a nice selection of craft beers which can be enjoyed anytime, but especially during “Grumpy Hour” (Sunday-Wednesday 4-6pm, ’til close on Thursdays.)

The Grumpy beers include the Sunflower, a Farmhouse Ale; Trailside Wheat, a Hefeweizen named for its location along the Military Ridge Trail; Captain Fred, an American lager; E.O. Dark Strong Ale; Over N Under Pale Ale; Norski Nut Brown; Hoppa Loppa; Erik the Red; a Maibock; their Whiskey Barrel Stout; and more. The sampler can be as large as 15 beers.

The restaurant features a full menu and popular pizza pub; all of the items can be paired nicely with the variety of beers brewed at the Grumpy Troll. Every year on the 2nd Saturday in September, the brewpub hosts Thirsty Troll Brew Fest in Grundahl Park nearby.

The Grumpy Troll is just off Highway 78 and Business U.S. 151; the U.S. 18/151 bypass is just to the south, and Highway 92 comes in from the southeast.

105 S. 2nd Street
Mount Horeb, WI 53572
(608) 437-2739


One Barrel Brewing exterior, Madison

One Barrel Brewing Company

One Barrel Brewing Company anchors the heart of this historic Madison neighborhood called Schenk’s Corners along Atwood Avenue on the near east side. A “nano-brewery” located in a former neighborhood grocery, One Barrel’s tap room is like a cozy pub that offers a look at the entire brewing process, from the one-barrel brewing system (hence the name), and 11 fermentation tanks. From these, seven beers are regularly brewed: their Commuter Kolsch, Penguin Pale Ale, No. 2 Strong Ale, Bilbo Baggins Black IPA, Hopticity Jones, Breakfast Beer-Oatmeal Stout, and Emperor Penguin. Others brewed at times can include the Ale-o’saurus (an aged brew), Behemoth Imperial IPA, Bridezilla Brown (made by the brewmaster for his wedding…hmm…), Care Bear Blood Imperial Coffee Stout, and Chai-town Brown, a spiced brown ale.

One Barrel also launched a line of gluten-free ciders and offers wine and light snacks for those who want to explore the place but aren’t for a beer right then.

One Barrel Brewing taps, Madison

The beer menu at One Barrel changes daily, and the menu notes you can purchase a bar stool for $4,500… which we imagine must be something like a personal seat license at a stadium. We’ll find out more about that!

One Barrel Brewing sampler

One Barrel is west of U.S. 51/Stoughton Road and south of U.S. 151/East Washington Avenue east of the state capitol in the historic and very cool Schenk’s Corners neighborhood. Highway 113‘s southern end is just blocks away (at 1st & East Washington) and Highway 30 is just northeast from there. Within a fairly short distance you can also check out Next Door Brewing, Working Draft Brewing, Bos Meadery, Karben4 Brewing, and Ale Asylum – and those are just the ones within a few minutes of driving (or riding with someone responsible)!

Their second location is opening in Egg Harbor, along Highway 42 in Door County, in May, 2019. Contact info is below!

Tap Room Hours:

Monday: 4pm-11pm
Tuesday: 4pm-11pm
Wednesday: 4pm-11pm
Thursday: 4pm-1am
Friday: 2pm-1am
Saturday: 12pm-1am
Sunday: 12pm-9pm

One Barrel Brewing Company storefront, Madison

One Barrel Brewing along Atwood Avenue in Madison.

One Barrel Brewing Company Addresses:

2001 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 630-9286

(Opens May 16, 2019, Grand Opening May 23)
4633 Market Street (Highway 42)
Egg Harbor, WI 54209

One Barrel Brewing chalkboard

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Next Door Brewing Company

Next Door Brewing Company is a restaurant and brew pub on the east side of Madison, just off “Willy Street” along Atwood. Their beers include the Bascom Blonde American Blonde Ale, Luminous IPA, Eastside American Pale Ale, Rockets Red Ale, Hammerhead IPA, and Sevex, a unique stock ale. Seasonals include Sunshine Wheat, a Bam Ba Lam Black Ale, Iron Brigade Stout, a Batch 100 Barley Wine, and more.

2439 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 729-3683

Ale Asylum logo

Ale Asylum Brewery

Ale Asylum started in Madison in 2006 and has expanded nicely; they now have a beautiful restaurant and tap room along Highway 113 on the road to Madison’s Dane County Airport, literally seconds north of where Highway 30 ends (close to U.S. 51 and U.S. 151, too!) The bar and dining room are open for lunch and dinner, and for late drinks and eats. Tours of the brewery inside the building are available Sundays, noon-5pm beginning on the hour.

Hopalicious is Ale Asylum’s most well-known beer; Ambergeddon, Bedla! IPA, Madtown Nutbrown, Demento Session Pale Ale, and Unshadowed Hefeweizen are their brands consistently available; seasonals include Velveteen Habit, the Diablo Belga Belgian-style ale, a Belgian Abbey called Kink, the Gold Digger Blonde Ale, and plenty more.

Ale Asylum is not only near the airport, but also near the Karben4 Brewery (which operates in Ale Asylum’s original location), the ALT Brewery (which specializes in gluten-free beers) and the Octopi/3rd Sign Brewery, which is right up Highway 113 in Waunakee.

In 2015, they expanded into downtown Milwaukee with a tap room just off Old World Third Street, complete with views of the Milwaukee River.

Ale Asylum Brewery, Madison Ale Asylum River House, Milwaukee
2002 Pankratz Street
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 663-3926
1110 North Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 269-8700

Karben4 Boom Taco Session Ale

Karben4 Brewing

Karben4 logoKarben4 Brewery in Madison specializes in – as they say – “English-style malt bombs.” Their website features a video “roadtripping” to their brewery (that’s extra credit in our book!) They started up in 2013, revitalizing the brewery Ale Asylum originally used.

Karben4 Tap Room

Karben4 glass

The “Boom! Taco” Session Ale at Karben4. Ask for the back story.

Beers include their Fantasy Factory IPA (which may have the coolest label ever!), the NightCall Smoked Porter, Block Party Amber Ale, Tokyo Sauna Pale Ale, Martian Sunrise Red India Pale Ale, UnderCover Session Ale, Champagne Tortoise English Mild Ale, and Lady Luck Irish Red.

All beers are served in their Tap Room along with a food menu developed with Madison’s Underground Food Collective, meaning you’ll find some interesting pairings. They also offer a Sunday brunch. They offer a sizeable bar and tables, plus board games, all year and an outdoor patio when weather permits.

Tours of the facility are available Saturdays. They’re growing pretty quickly; from only selling their beer in the Tap Room, you can now find their beers throughout Madison, Milwaukee, and the Fox Cities (especially Fantasy Factory) and by the time you read this, probably a lot more areas!

Karben 4 food

Karben4 offers some nice food plates, helping you rationalize that you’re being healthy and not actually taking in ALL that many calories.

Karben4 is located along U.S. 51/Stoughton Road just north of the U.S. 151/East Washington Avenue intersection, less than two miles north of Highway 30. You may hear the roar of jet engines too, since it’s right in the shadow of Madison’s Dane County Regional Airport! ALT Brewing is the neighborhood and Ale Asylum is nearby; plus, just up Highway 113 toward Waunakee you’ll find Octopi Brewery & 3rd Sign Brewing; on top of that, just a little further into downtown Waunakee you’ll find the Lone Girl Brewing Company. So Karben4 is a good part of a “beer tour” on Madison’s east side!


Karben4 Tap Room Hours:  Daily, 11am-10pm

3698 Kinsman Blvd. (along U.S. 51)
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 241-4812

Green Dragon Brew Pub

Currently serving plenty of Wisconsin-based craft brews from around the state, the Green Dragon is preparing to open their own brewery in their Fond du Lac facility. We’ll share more details as we get them!

156 Western Avenue
Fond du Lac, WI
(920) 933-5224

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company

The Great Dane opened its original location just off the Capitol Square in Madison in 1994. Located inside the former historic Fess Hotel, the building dates back to the 1850s, with the Victorian cream brick half of the building added in 1883. While their flagship location continues to thrive, they’ve expanded to five locations and counting.

Great Dane’s beers include Peck’s Pilsner, the Wooly Mammoth Porter, Potters Run IPA, Old Glory APA, Landmark Lite Lager, Crop Circle Wheat, Speedway Indiana Pale Ale, Emerald Isle Stout, the Black Earth Porter, and more. Availability can vary by location, but there’s always a large selection on tap.

Downtown/Flagship Madison Eastside Wausau
123 E. Doty Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 284-0000
876 Jupiter Drive
Madison, WI
(608) 442-1333
2305 Sherman Street
Wausau, WI
(715) 845-3000
Fitchburg Madison Hilldale
2980 Cahill Main
Fitchburg, WI
(608) 442-9000
357 Price Place
Madison, WI
(608) 661-9400


Gray Brewing Company, Janesville

Gray Brewing Company

Gray Brewing Company – originally Gray’s Brewing – dates back 1856 and is in its fifth generation of family ownership. Through the years (centuries, really), Gray Brewing has both brewed specialty beers and created gourmet sodas; beer production ceased in 1912 but came back in 1994 and today Gray offers a variety of year ’round and seasonal brews. They include a Honey Ale, the state’s original honey beer; a hearty Rathskeller Amber Ale; Rock Hard REd; the “56” Oatmeal Stout, named for the year of Gray’s founding (1856); Rock Hard Red, a berry-flavored beer named in part for Rock County); the unfiltered Wisco Wheat; the Tap Joclkey Irish Stout; and the colorfully-named Irish-style Busted Knuckle.

Gray’s Janesville brewery is located along historic Highway 11/Court Street on the west side of Janesville.  Their Janesville Tasting Room re-opened in 2015. Hours are Friday from 4:30 to 9:00pm and Saturday from 2:00 to 7:00pm. The Growler Hour is on Saturday before tours, starting at 2pm. The “Owners Brewery Tours” take place every second Saturday of each month at 3:00pm.
Tour Prices are $5 for the regular tour, and $20 for the VIP Tour, which includes the Owners Brewery Tour, unlimited samples until 4:00pm that day, and a souvenir pint glass.

All ages are welcome into the Gray Brewing Tasting Room and on the Owners Brewery Tour, but you must be 21+ with a photo I.D. to enjoy alcoholic beverages. Group tours (12+) are available for reservation on non-regular Owners Brewery Tour Saturdays. Call their office at 608-754-5150 or email them for more information.

In 2016, Gray Brewing expanded into the restaurant business in booming Verona just off U.S. 18/151 near Highway 69 with Gray’s Tied House, where you can try all of their beers and gourmet sodas before checking out their full menu of food… because you can’t eat on an empty stomach.

Gray Brewing Company Addresses:

Gray’s Brewery, Tasting Room, Tours Gray’s Tied House
2424 W. Court Street (“City” Highway 11)
Janesville, WI 53548
(608) 754-5150
950 Kimball Lane
Verona, WI 53593
(608) 845-2337