Melms Brewing Company, Hartland

Melms Brewing Company

With its origins dating back to some of Milwaukee’s earliest brewing history, Melms Brewing Company launched in Hartland – about 25 minutes west of the big city along Highway 16 – and is working to grow its portfolio in Wisconsin’s beautiful Lake Country.

The origins of Melms indeed date back to 1854, when Franz Neukirch and Charles T. (“C.T.”) Melms opened a brewery on Virginia Street in the Walkers Point area of Milwaukee. Their original name of Menomonee Brewery changed to Melms, and by 1860 they were the largest brewers in Milwaukee. After C.T.’s passing in 1869, the Best Brewing Company came in and bought their operation. Best Brewing lives on with the name they flipped to in 1889 – Pabst. Today’s Melms grew out of a crowdfunding campaign that began in 2014. Their appearances at beer festivals and word-of-mouth helped create buzz, and they opened their Hartland Tap Room in 2018.

Melms Brewing Company bar in Hartland

A Rhapsody Bohemian Pilsner at Melms Brewing Company in Hartland, mere feet from Highway 16.

Melms offers 7-8 of their own craft beers in their Tap Room, which is in the basement level of a fairly non-descript shopping strip right at the corner of Highway 16 and Merton Road, at the northeast corner of the interchange. Their most popular is their Rhapsody Bohemian Pilsner, with other featured beers including their Blarney Stone Stout, Hootenanny Farmhouse Ale, Heifer Vice, Lake Country IPA, Reflection Imperial Porter, the Woodshed Imperial Amber Ale, and an upcoming (as of May, 2019) Disco Lemon-Aide IPA.

You can get any of the beers as a pint or as part of a 5 Beer Flight, which features 4-oz. samples. They also offer growler fills in large and small, plus sodas for non-drinkers.

You’ll find Melms in that aforementioned strip mall in Hartland, right at the interchange where Highway 16 meets Merton Road. Westbound Highway 16 travelers can use Exit 183 and just turn right immediately to find it; it’s right across from the Walgreens. Eastbound Highway 16 travelers can use Exit 182 (County E) and jog left and then right along the Frontage Road eastbound to Merton Avenue, where it’s right where the frontage road ends.

Melms Brewing Company Address:

418 Merton Avenue
Hartland, WI 53029
(262) 361-4946
Website



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Hubbleton Brewing Company sign

Hubbleton Brewing Company

Hubbleton Brewing Company sign along Hubbleton Road

Hubbleton Brewing Company sign along Hubbleton Road.

Between Waterloo and Watertown in the Town of Portland, at the end of a long driveway, you’ll find Hubbleton Brewing Company. Trust me, few just happen to stumble across it as they wander!

Hubbleton Brewing, like many of Wisconsin’s more recent craft breweries, arose out of successful home brewing. Dan Schey co-founded the brewery with his son, Michael. It’s definitely a family business, but the extended family is drawing in a growing legion of folks who drive the rural roads off Highway 19 to get there. Tucked away in the midst of farmland, trees, and an active hop garden they use for their beers, Hubbleton Brewing Company has a sign out front about Hubbleton Road. That’s the only indication from the street, because the Tap Room and brewery requires a drive of about 400 yards up what at times feels like a long residential driveway. Indeed, the Schey’s house is to the right as you pull in – which makes for a nice commute. But the Tap Room itself is right at the end, and there’s room for parking and often a friendly greeting from their dog Murphy awaits.

Hubbleton Brewing's Tap Room and Brewery, early 2019

Hubbleton Brewing’s brewery and tap room in 2018. They’re working on a new tap room literally within a stone’s throw; construction begins in 2019.

The property, which is the Schey family farm and residence, also includes a three-acre hop farm. The hops are used in their beers and are also sold through a collective called Arrowhead Hops; founder and master brewer Dan Schey was also founder and first president of the Wisconsin Hop Exchange, which manages the hops of more than 65 growers in southern and central Wisconsin.

The brewery itself is behind the tasting area. Hubbleton Brewing uses a 3-barrel system and plans to expand to 10, especially as they break ground on their new, larger space later this year. Tours, which don’t take long, are available on Saturdays and upon request, as Dan will proudly show you their layout. His son Michael handles a lot of sales and marketing and is a big part of the reason you can start finding Hubbleton’s beers in 12-oz. bottles in bars and some liquor stores around Waterloo, Watertown, and more areas around Milwaukee and Madison. They hope for additional expansion as their popularity grows.

Hubbleton Brewing taps

Hubbleton Brewing Company beers include their Crawfish River Porter, names for the river winding around nearby; the “Crooked Judge” IPA, named for one of Wisconsin’s first judges who was – as its name implies – crooked. He was impeached in 1848. They also offer their Cattail Pale Ale, two IPAs including one called Fred the Moose, and an Imperial stout called Huntsman’s Breakfast. And of course there are more, especially as Hubbleton keeps coming up with more.

You’ll find Hubbleton Brewing Company just north of Highway 19 in Dodge County between Waterloo and Watertown; just follow County BB north and then head east on Hubbleton Road. The sign for the brewery will become visible shortly; just head up the driveway past the hop farm. When you reach the end, you’ll see the Schey house to the right, and the brewery and tap room straight ahead. Just park and get ready to enjoy!

Hubbleton Brewing Company bottles and merch

Hubbleton Brewing Company Address:

W10445 Hubbleton Road
Waterloo, WI 53594
(920) 253-7141
Facebook Page




A growler at Hubbleton Brewing Company

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company

Thumb Knuckle Brewing signThumb Knuckle Brewing Company opened in Luxemburg (the town in Wisconsin, not the country) in March, 2017. They’re named for their geographic position in Wisconsin: in Kewaunee County, right where the Door Peninsula – the “Thumb” – of Wisconsin begins. But since it’s the “bottom” of the thumb, “Thumb Knuckle” became the inspiration. You can see it in the logo, too; a Wisconsin-shaped hand wrapping around a pint glass of craft beer. It definitely catches your eye as you drive by on Highway 54 just east of the Brown-Kewaunee County line.

Thumb Knuckle brews up a number of beers and sodas. Beers include:

  • Heyder Helles, a Bavarian Helles style lager
  • Belgian Beauty Wit, a Belgian-style Wit beer with plenty of citrus
  • Gunmetal Porter, a rich and smoky, roasty-flavored porter
  • Boat Load IPA, a Cascade aroma hoppy IPA using hops grown in nearby Algoma, just down Highway 54
  • Red Beard Festbier, a traditional Märzen-style beer, great for Oktoberfest beer fans
  • Solea Amber Ale, a lighter crisper beer named after the Walloon-Belgian word for “sun.”

The Tap Room offers pints and samplers of their beers and sodas, as well as a glimpse into their brewing facility on the premises. Samplers are offered in a cool cutout of Wisconsin. You can also imbibe in freshly cooked pizzas and snacks. Thumb Knuckle occasionally hosts small events and live music.

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Tap RoomThumb Knuckle Brewing Taproom Hours:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 4-8 pm
Thursday: 4-8 pm
Friday: 4-10 pm
Saturday: 12-10 pm
Sunday: 12-6 pm

You’ll find the Thumb Knuckle Brewery and its Tap Room right along Highway 54 just into Kewaunee County and just west of the village of Luxemburg. Nearby, you’ll find Luxemburg Speedway and Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese (a State Trunk Tour favorite.) To the east down Highway 54, Algoma offers shopping, Ahnapee Brewery, Von Steihl Winery, and a beautiful lakefront. To the west along Highway 54, Green Bay with all its amenities isn’t a very long drive, either!

Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company Address:

E0208 Wisconsin Highway 54
Luxemburg, WI 54217
Website

Thumb Knuckle Brewing sampler

A four-beer sampler at Thumb Knuckle Brewing. This one ranges from reds to ambers, a porter and a weiss bier.




Thumb Knuckle Brewing pint

A good pint at Thumb Knuckle Brewing Company, along Highway 54 just west of Luxemburg.

Inventors Brewpub

Inventors Brewpub

Inventors Brewpub, Port Washington

Inventors Brewpub brought active brewing back to Port Washington – a beautiful harbor town with a brewing history dating back to 1847 – when they opened in June of 2017. Located inside the American Legion Post 82 right across from Lake Michigan, Inventors strives to be a family-friendly restaurant and watering hole with a nano-brewery located behind the bar and kitchen.

Inventors Brewpub Tap Room

Some of the flagship beers at Inventors Brewpub include their  7 Hills Pale Ale, Edison IPA, Ozaukee Wheat, PW Golden Ale, Archimedes Amber, Witbier von Braun, Tesla’s Coil Double IPA, Reverend Reaper Scottish Ale, SS Porter, Beach Rock Extra Special Bitter, and Flughosen – a Berlinerweiss-style sour ale. They also feature a series of rotating beers to discover on each visit, primarily seasonal selections. Check out their unique Wright Flight sampling tray, too!

Inventors Brewpub flight

The “Wright Flight” sampler at Inventors Brewpub. A pretty cool invention, right?

The location is great, right in downtown Port Washington by their fantastic and historic harbor, just off Highway 32/Franklin Street. The iconic steeple of St. Mary’s Church is a top the hill, and the Port Washington Lighthouse is to the other side. The views of the lake out front are picturesque, and coupled with the activities available (board games, outside bean-bag toss, and events like “wheels,” where anyone can come and hang out bringing their bike, motorcycle, or car.

Inventors Brewpub beer at the barInventors Brewpub Hours:

Monday – Tuesday, 4pm – Close
Wednesday – Thursday, 11am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday, 11am – 11pm
Sunday, 11am – 7pm

Brewery Tours are available Fridays at 5pm and 7pm, or by appointment by calling (262) 284-4690.

Inventors Brewpub Address:

435 N. Lake Street
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-4690
Website




 

You’ll find Inventors Brewpub on Lake Street by Lake Michigan, just east of Highway 32 and less than a mile from the eastern terminus of Highway 33 in downtown Port Washington. I-43 and Highway 57 also come close and access Port via Highway 32. While there, check out a bevy of downtown shops, bars and restaurants, Coal Dock Park, their beautiful harbor, and more!

Visit Port Washington

Lone Girl Brewing, Waunakee,, Wisconsin along Highways 19 and 113

Lone Girl Brewing Company

In the heart of downtown Waunakee, the Lone Girl Brewing Company opened in a renovated building in 2015 along Highways 19 & 113 at the railroad crossing. The historic railroad depot lies literally across the tracks. They have a good restaurant and bar inside their large Tap Room, and even a rooftop deck so you can enjoy your brew above the fray on nice days. Evenings, too – they sometimes have live music or show movies or games up there.

Lone Girl Brewing sampler

Lone Girl’s craft brews include:

  • SpeaKEEasy Light Light Ale, a pale straw-colored ale with an aroma eliciting a sweetcorn. It’s a good choice for a lighter, crisp- and clean-drinking beer.
  • Summer Lovin’ Wheat/Fruit beer, a mango-infused wheat ale;
  • Oktoberish Ale, a Märzen style Oktoberfest beer;
  • Yes Please! East Coast Ale, a hazy golden beer with citrus flavors. Do they say “please” a lot on the east coast??;
  • Nut Punch Peanut Butter Porter, not as painful as it sounds. And yes, it’s a porter infused with peanut butter;
  • Surprise Threesome Belgian Trippel, a stronger beer (9.5% ABV) brewed as a trippel;
  • Baby Got BAQ, a barrel-aged Quad at 10.5% ABV;
  • Ham the Astrochimp, an Imperial IPA named after the first chimpanzee in space. It even includes Galaxy hops and a Mazomanie, Wisconsin-grown hop named Skyrocket;
  • Sip & Slide, an herb and fruit beer;
  • Double Trubbel, a Belgian Dubbel with pumpkin spice;
  • Towhead, a Belgian Blonde ale with a honey-like presence, going from sweet to a dry finish;
  • Off the Rails IPA, a golden beer with a creamy head, blending citrus hops and a malty sweetness. Hey, you’re right to the rails at Lone Girl!

Other brews rotate in and out, some are seasonal. Check their latest lineup on the Lone Girl Brewing website’s Brewery page.

The food menu is extensive, with numerous appetizers (carbo-load with their “KRĀZĒ Bread”, or try their beer-battered pickle spears, another fave of ours), burgers, sandwiches and soups, and some specialty entree and dessert selections.

Lone Girl Brewing barLone Girl Brewing Hours:
Monday: 5pm – midnight
Tuesday & Wednesday: 11am – midnight
Thursday – Sunday: 11am – 2am
Kitchen hours:
Sunday – Wednesday until 9pm
Thursday – Saturday until 11pm

Lone Girl Brewing Company Address:

114 E. Main Street (Highways 19/113)
Waunakee, WI 53597
(608) 850-7175
Website




Racine Brewing logo

Racine Brewing Company

Racine Brewing Company started up in late 2017, brewing beer and craft sodas right along Main Street. Husband and wife team Andy & Angie Molina, Racine residents all their lives, always loved craft beer and traveled around to tour many across Wisconsin and nearby states. Inspired by what they saw and the benefits for the community that develop with it, they decided to brew their own craft beer in Racine.

The tap room offers their regular and seasonal brews along with occasional guests from other brewers in Wisconsin and Illinois. At various times, Racine Brewing’s Tap Room features live music, a comedy show, karaoke, or game nights. Their Facebook page has more event details.

Hours:
Monday Closed
Tues – Thurs 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

You’ll find Racine Brewing Company in a storefront on Main along the strip in Racine’s downtown, right along Highway 32. Highway 20 is just to the south by a few blocks; Highway 38 is just a few blocks to the north. Highway 11 also brings you into Racine a mile or two to the south.

Address:
303 Main Street (Highway 32)
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 631-0670
Website




Sample Beers Available at Racine Brewing Company

  • Pete’s Fury, a cherrywood-smoked pineapple Cascadian dark ale
  • Pontoon Down! Hazy white IPA with Habanero
  • Lakehouse Cream Ale
  • Dragon Boat Warrior Amber Ale
  • Hola Racine! Mexican style ale with agave

Sodas include Sarsparilla, Ginger, Vanilla Cream, and Cherry

Real Racine Events Guide 2019

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Pecatonica Beer Company logo

Pecatonica Beer Company


Pecatonica Beer Company has its headquarters in Gratiot, Wisconsin, by Highways 11 and 78 in Lafayette County. Its Tap Room offers up these beers several miles south via 78 in Warren just over the Illinois border, making it something of a bi-state brewery. The Pecatonica Tap Room is on Warren’s Main Street, which is part of an historic stagecoach trail.

Pecatonica Beer Tap Room entrance

The front of Pecatonica’s Tap Room, complete with a canoe hovering above along Highway 78 in Warren, just south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

Pecatonica features a UW rowing crew boat - but it won't get in your way.

Pecatonica features a UW rowing crew boat – but it won’t get in your way – it’s suspended from the ceiling.

Named after the beautiful river that winds through the area, Pecatonica Beer launched in 2014 and brews small batches with an eye on full-bodied beer varieties. Their Tap Room is located in a historic building on Warren’s Main Street – also part of Highway 78 – with plenty of character. This includes an original Blatz Beer neon from the 1940s era and an original University of Wisconsin canoe the rowing crew used from the 1950s into the 1970s suspended from the ceiling, with crew shoes still affixed in the boat. Although the Tap Room is technically in Illinois, the brewery, beers, accoutrements, and owners scream “Wisconsin.”

As of this writing, they offer four annual beers: the Muskelager Lager, Alphorn Ale, Quinn’s Amber Lager, and their Pecatonica IPA. Seasonals at this time include Oktoberfest, the Belgian Beauty, the Irish Red, and the Nightfall Lager. A relationship with Potosi Brewing Company means they also offer some Potosi beers, as well as other guest brews based on the time of year and demand.

Pecatonica Beer sample sampler

Quite quaffable samplers at Pecatonica Beer Company’s Tap Room.

Pecatonica Beer Company Tap Room Address:

136 E. Main Street (Highway 78)
Warren, IL 61087
Tap Room Website

Pecatonica Beer Company Main Address:

5875 Main Street, Suite 1A (Highways 11 & 78)
Gratiot, WI 53541
(608) 558-5257
Website
Pecatonica Facebook Page




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

 

3rd Sign Brewery pint glass

Octopi Brewing and 3rd Sign Brewery

Octopi Brewing first “grew its tentacles” in 2015, setting up as a contract brewer for many other brands but also launching its own brand of beers called 3rd Sign. The slogan for 3rd Sign is “Dually // Brewed,” with the name being taken from Gemini, the third sign of the Zodiac. It hints at the “dual personalities” – and really the complexity – of their beers.

octopi-brewing-outsideThe Octopi Tap Room opened in early 2016 in a light industrial park just off Highways 19 & 133 on the east side of Waunakee. They feature a wide variety of 3rd Sign Brewery beers and several other selections from craft brewers across the state. You can sample five or six per order, offered up in 4-oz glasses and served on a holder resembling an octopus, custom crafted by a nearby woodworker. They’ll also can tap beer to go right on the spot, sealing a 32-oz  “crawler” right behind the bar for you. They also offer pizzas, craft nuts, and large soft pretzels. Live entertainment, an outdoor patio, and other activities and amenities are being added.

Octopi Brewing's 3rd Sign Brewery sampler

Our favorites when we tried included the Madagascar Vanilla Mild Ale, the Sumatra Coffee Mild Ale, the Chocolate Cherry Porter, the Grapefruit Jungle IPA, and their Pollux – a witbier infused with soursop. Other varieties include three IPAs, an American, West Coast, and Belgian; a Peach Pollux witbier; and the Mild Chaild Madagascar with Chai Spices.

The Octopi Brewing Tap Room is on Uniek Drive, which is just south of where Highway 113 meets Highway 19 on Waunakee’s eastern edge, about four miles west of I-39/90/94 and six miles north of the end of Highway 30 near Madison’s airport (MSN). Quite close by via Highway 113 and U.S. 51 you can also find Ale Asylum and Karben4; the concentration of breweries in this region of Dane County is really on the rise!

Address:
1131 Uniek Drive
Waunakee, WI 53597
(608) 620-4705
Website

 

Urban Harvest Brewing Company

Urban Harvest Brewing Company opened in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood in April 2016. They brew several small batches of lagers and ales per week and offer a taproom Thursday through Saturday for sampling.

Beers they craft on a fairly regular basis include their 414 Golden Ale, Black Puppy Pale Ale, their Falls Pilsner, Who the HELLES Alice? (a straw-blond light Czech lager), H.C. IPA, Nookie Nookie (Chinook Citra Pale Ale), PriBock, Olde Towne Amber, Corkscrew IPA, an Espresso Amber, and the interestingly-locally-named Ach Ya Der Hey-Fe Weizen.

Seasonals and specials include brews like their Wicket Summer Wheat, Blood Orange Wheat, Festive Gourds Pumpkin Ale, a Maple Brown, Weizenbock, their Chocolate Whiskey Stout, some bourbon barrel-aged varieties, and more.

Urban Harvest Brewing Company's tap roomYou’ll find Urban Harvest Brewing’s taproom along 5th Street (Highway 38), just south of Highway 59/National Avenue. I-43/94 soars by within a block, and Highway 32/1st Street is just four blocks to the east. Another fairly new craft brewery, Brenner Brewing, is just a few blocks to the north. Near Urban Harvest Brewing are sights like the Harley-Davidson Museum, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, St. Josephat’s Basilica, and more. Downtown Milwaukee is about one mile north.

Hours:
Thursday 4-9pm
Friday 2-10pm
Saturday 2-10pm

Address:
1024 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Website