R'Noggin Brewing logo

R’Noggin Brewing Company

R'Noggin Brewing, Tap RoomAlong I-41/94 in Kenosha between Highways 50 and 158, you’ll find a small, unassuming building that for years served D.O.T. trucks maintaining the roads. Today, this building maintains a brewery called R’Noggin, which opened in 2016.

R'Noggin Brewing sampler

Sampler from R’Noggin. Their beers change frequently, based on the season and local ingredient availability.

R’Noggin Brewing is the brainchild of two brothers, Jeff and Kevin Bridleman. They craft brewed for a number of years in southeastern Wisconsin before launching R’Noggin, focusing on going as local as possible with ingredients and creatively crafting seasonal releases. They make multiple uses of the word “noggin,” since the founding brothers “put their noggins together” and a noggin is also both a small glass and a measurement unit of a quarter of a pint. That’s 4 ounces, a good sampler amount. Similar to their use of “noggin,” the beer names get creative. They range from R’Biter (a IPA) to Kachem F. Ucan (an Imperial Ginger Bread beer) and from Chasing Tire (an English Porter) to a favorite during a visit, the Carpet Creature Cream Ale.

Available beers vary at any given time, so check their website or Facebook page for the latest lineup. While they don’t have a kitchen, they have partnered with the nearby Rivals Sports Pub & Grille to offer fish on Friday nights.

R'Noggin Brewing's building along I-41/94

Once a service building for trucks, this building now services R’Noggin beer drinkers.

R’Noggin’s Brewery and Tap Room sits right next to a State Trunk Tour favorite bar and restaurant, Uncle Mike’s on I-41/94. The Brat Stop and Mars Cheese Castle are close by, too! Their indoor room is open year ’round and during nice weather their picnic tables hit the lot and the yard for outdoor enjoyment.

R’Noggin Tap Room Hours

​Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 5:30pm-9pm
Thursday: 3:30pm-9pm
Friday: 3:30pm-10pm
Saturday: 12pm-9pm
Sunday: 12pm-6pm

Address:
6521 120th Avenue (Frontage Road of I-41/94)
Kenosha, WI 53142
(262) 960-1298
Website

 

Brat Stop exterior sign

Brat Stop

Wisconsin loves brats, and Kenosha’s “World Famous” Brat Stop is among the best places in the state to enjoy them! This iconic location has been in business since 1961, when it was pretty much the only major place to eat along the rural U.S. 41, newly-minted I-94 at Highway 50. And they sell a ton of brats every week – literally.

The Brat Stop has long been heralded for its bratwurst, beer, cheese, and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a large place, with a bakery, bar, music stage for live entertainment, huge TVs, pool, video games, rides for kids, and event space at their banquet facility, called the Parkway Chateau. Their Beer Garden is open whenever the weather allows; the food – they have a full menu – is fantastic, the beer selection is impressive, and you can get everything from a wide variety of cheese, baked goods, and Wisconsin accoutrements. This is makes is a perfect stop for people coming up from that place known as Illinois.

Brat Stop Details

Brat Stop is open 365 days a year and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with bratwurst of course being the top seller. Other popular Brat Stop dishes include Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Broasted Chicken,  their Reuben on Dark Rye, Pizzas, and the Brat Stop Prime Rib Dinner. Breakfast incorporate bratwurst.

The Brat Stop is a Live Music Venue, Too!
The Brat Stop’s huge bar is well-stocked and ready for shows, from local bands to national acts like Slaughter, Lonnie Brooks, The Charlie Daniels Band, Cheap Trick, Sugarland, Trace Adkins, Theory of a Deadman, and Jackyl. Check out their music lineup here!

The Brat Stop’s Cheese Mart opens at 8 a.m. with the rest of the place, and generally closes at 10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on weekends. The products, and custom-made gift boxes, are available for shipping. Over 100 different cheeses, all from Wisconsin, are available. We’re talking Cheddar, Swiss, Brick, and specialty cheese, along with cheese spreads.

Like all good Wisconsin places popular with visitors, there’s a large selection of apparel, glassware, souvenirs, Brat Stop memorabilia, Cheesehead hats, and Bears and Packers merchandise – with this location SO close to Illinois, the proportion of Bears to Packers fans is such where they cater to both – with a lean towards the Green & Gold, of course. It’s definitely a fun place to catch the Packers-Bears and Brewers-Cubs (or White Sox) games.




The “World Famous” nature of the Brat Stop has led the likes of Bette Midler, Michael Jordan, and Steven Tyler to stop in. Sports announcers in town – for either Chicago or Milwaukee teams – tend to drop in when they’re traveling between the two cities.

The Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival – a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha – is held there every April. There’s a Toys For Tots fundraiser held each December, and a Polar Plunge for Special Olympics each winter, where they set up a pool outside.

As you travel to or through Kenosha, the Brat Stop is a MUST stop – a definite State Trunk Tour favorite! You’ll find it right along Highway 50 just west of the busy I-41/94 interchange. Enjoy!

Address:
12304 75th Street (Highway 50)
Kenosha, WI
(262) 857-2011
Website

Peshtigo Fire Museum

Peshtigo Fire Museum

On October 8, 1871, a massive firestorm broke out in the woods near Peshtigo. Dubbed the “Peshtigo Fire”, the inferno consumed about 1,875 square miles of land – 1.2 million acres – along a wide strip from north of Menomonee, Michigan through Peshtigo down towards Green Bay. It is still the largest loss of life due to fire in U.S. history; estimates range from 1,200 to 2,500 lives lost.

It’s sometimes called the “Forgotten Fire” since the Great Chicago Fire happened the very same day and grabbed more attention. Other fires broke out on that dry, hot, very windy day in the Door Peninsula and a few areas in Michigan, but the Peshtigo Fire was the largest in terms of area and deaths.

The Peshtigo Fire Museum opened in 1963 to showcase some of the few items that survived. One featured item in the museum’s collection is a Church tabernacle, saved by submerging in the Peshtigo River by a local priest. Other items include a small burned Bible and a melted glass dish discovered by a construction worker in 1995. You can read several letters written by survivors with accounts of the fire and cleanup, including one that describes the burial of up to one thousand people. Also included are several maps of Peshtigo, including before the fire and one showing the extent of the fire. Murals depict the area before, during, and after the fire. Other items that the museum features include a collection of antique items showing the history of the area since the fire.

The Peshtigo Fire Museum is open from May through October. You can call 715-582-3244 to arrange a visit during other times of the year. Admission to the Museum is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

U.S. 41 runs on a bypass around Peshtigo; following either of the exits into town brings you to the original U.S. 41 through town. You’ll find the Peshtigo Fire Museum just off the main street, on Oconto Avenue. Signs will point you there, and the sculpture out front looking like flames (or french fries, depending on how hungry you are) indicates the Museum, located in a former church. The Peshtigo Fire Cemetery is right next door.

Photo above is © 2001 by Deana C. Hipke of peshtigofire.info. We’re looking for the photos we took!

Address:
400 Oconto Avenue
Peshtigo, WI 54157
(715) 582-3244
Website

Hinterland Brewing logo

Hinterland Brewing Company


From 1995, Hinterland Brewing operated in a former meat-packing warehouse in Green Bay. In 2017, they moved to a new facility in the Titletown District next to Lambeau Field – right at the site of the Mobil station we used to warm up at during cold-weather (read: October-January) games.

Hinterland Brewery at night

Hinterland’s year ’round beers include their flagship Luna Coffee Stout; their Pale Ale; Packerland Pilsner; Hinterland IPA; Nitro IPA; and their Pub Draught English-style ale. In various seasons, you’ll also find their Cherry Wheat, Oktoberfest, Hinterland Timberland (yes, it rhymes), their Bodenbrecher, and a Saison. Other limited releases are also available here and there – naturally-made products have a way of being dependent on growing seasons and such!

Tours of the Green Bay brewery are available Saturdays at noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm; they cost $10 and include a souvenir pint glass and a beer.

You’ll find their brewery and restaurant in the Titletown District in the shadow of Lambeau Field, just off I-41 near Highways 32 and 172. Highways 29, 54, and 57 also come close as they go through Green Bay.

Hinterland Brewing Address:

1001 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 438-8050
Website




Titletown Brewing Company


Located in Green Bay’s former Chicago & Northwestern Train Depot, Titletown Brewing Company opened in 1996, just weeks before the Packers became “Titletown” once again by winning Super Bowl XXXI.

Beers brewed by Titletown include their “400” Honey Ale, named after the former “400” passenger train; Canadeo Gold, named after one of only five – soon to be six – Packers players to have his number retired, Tony Canadeo; the Dark Helmet Schwartzbier; Green 19 IPA; Hogshead Mild, a British session; IrrationAle, an unfiltered American wheat beer that is quite rational; Johnny “Blood” Red, named after another Packers legend; a Maibock; Pullman Porter; St. Norbert Pilsner; and the tech-savvy Ctrl “Alt” Delete, a German-style amber ale.

You’ll find the depot along U.S. 141/Dousman Street, with the iconic Packers statue out front that once stood on the grounds of the Packers Hall of Fame before they moved into Lambeau Field. The depot itself dates back to 1898 and still has tracks out front, which are fun to play on since trains no longer run on them. The brewery includes a popular restaurant; we rate everything there quite tasty.

Of course, I-41 and Highways 29, 32, 54, 57, and 172 also bring you to Green Bay.

Address:
200 Dousman Street
Green Bay, WI 54303
(920) 437-2337
Website

Fox River Brewing Company


Fox River Brewing Company started up in 1995, an early entry in the craft beer resurgence across the country. It started with Fratello’s Waterfront Restaurant in Oshkosh and expanded to Fox River Brewery & Restaurant in Appleton’s bustling Fox River Mall in 1997.

The beers brewed in their Oshkosh and Appleton facilities encompass a wide variety, depending on the season. Popular picks include Fox Tail Pale Ale, their Hoppyface IPA, the Badger Bitter ESB, the Trolleycar Stout, and Vader’s Imperial Stout. But there are many seasonal and special beers available at different times of the year.

The Oshkosh location has a terrific outdoor patio along the Fox River right at the southeastern end of Lake Butte des Morts. Highway 21 meets U.S. 45 nearby, and the large new bridge carrying U.S. 41 (I-41 later this year) across the lake is visible. The patio is great in summer for enjoying their beers, live music, and occasionally some volleyball an boating activities.

Appleton Oshkosh
Fox River Brewpub & Restaurant
4301 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Appleton, WI 54913
(920) 991-0000
Website
Fratello’s Waterfront Brewery & Restaurant
1501 Arboretum Drive
Oshkosh, WI
(920) 232-2337
Website

Big Head Brewing Company


wauwatosa_bigheadbrew_outsideBig Head Brewing sits just a little over a mile west of the behemoth known as the Miller Brewery. Opened in 2013 just off State Street in Wauwatosa, Big Head brews a variety of craft beers, with an eye also on specializing in a diabetic-friendly line of beers with low carbs that still taste like craft brews.

wauwatosa_bigheadbrew_taps

Along with the beer variety, they have quite the tap handle variety – including ball-peen hammers, wrenches, and custom metal designs serving to help draw the draught.

Their Tasting Room is open Thursday-Saturday and features pool, darts, games, and bands playing on select evenings. While still new and brewing under 1,000 barrels annually, Big Head has big plans.

You’ll find Big Head about 1 1/2 miles west of the Highway 175 freeway, one mile east of Highway 181 (76th Street/Harmonee Avenue), one mile north of U.S. 18/Bluemound Road, and a few miles north of I-94 and east of I-41/U.S. 45. It’s also just east of the Village of Wauwatosa, a charming little area in its own right. It’s also mere minutes from Miller Park.

wauwatosa_bigheadbrew_coolers

Clearly, the cooler named after The Fonz is cooler than the cooler named for Richie Cunningham.

Address:
6204 W. State Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 257-9782
Website

Badger State Brewing Company

Badger State Brewing Company


Badger State Brewing Company is in the heart of Green Bay – and by that, we mean mere blocks from Lambeau Field in the “Titletown District,” which also includes the Resch Center and Brown County Arena.

greenbay_badgerstbrew01greenbay_badgerstbrew04greenbay_badgerstbrew06

Opened in 2013, Badger State operated a 15-barrel brewing system inside a 10,000 square foot building that was the last property left along Lombardi Avenue to be zoned manufacturing, allowing them to brew beer there.

They sell it, too: their tap room inside the facility opened in late 2014 and features two dozen Wisconsin-brewed beers, including their own flagship brands Bunyan Badger Brown Ale, Green Chop Session IPA, Porte des Morts Maple Porter, Green Chop Session IPA, Vive La Belge! Belgo-Pale Ale, Walloon Witbier, and the almost intimidating-sounding Dubious Ruffian Chocolate Stout. More recently, brews like their Resilience IPA and others have come aboard, and you can increasingly find their beers in bars and restaurants across the state.

You’ll find them southeast of – or behind – the Stadium View and Brett Favre’s Steakhouse on Tony Canadeo Run, where a lot of hotels are now going up, too. Lombardi Avenue, Oneida Street, and Ashland Avenue (Highway 32) surround this part of the Titletown District.

Check out all our Badger State Brewing pictures here!

Badger State Brewing Company Address:

990 Tony Canadeo Run
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 634-5687
Website