Baraboo now lays claim to “The Greatest Brewery on Earth!” as its illustrious history with the Ringling Brothers Circus has now translated into a craft brewery that makes its home in part of the historic AL. Ringling Mansion along Highway 113 downtown. Opened in September 2020, the AL. Ringling Brewing Company launched after discovery of the original Ringling beer recipe. It inspired and spawned a brewery and beautiful – and fairly ornate – tap room inside the AL. Ringling Mansion, which remains a historic mansion (with tours) and an inn as well as a brewery and kitchen. Along with the tap room, a beer garden is available outside – in season, of course – where you can enjoy the craft brews and food while taking the weather and the mansion’s exterior beauty.
Inside the tap room, which is quite roomy, you can opt for a seat at the bar or large table seating on the ground level, or hop up to the mezzanine for a wider view of the whole place. One side opens to some of the brewery equipment busily working away while other sides of the room display works of art and gilded age-era tables and décor… even an organ, which was of course a popular feature in the circus.
They’re not clowning around with the beers, however. AL. Ringling Brewing takes their craft quite seriously. Its flagship is the Ringling Original, a prohibition style ale that is pretty light (3.8% ABV, only 4 IBU) but has good flavor and serves well as the brewery’s inspiration. At last check, other primary brews crafted on-site included:
- Motorcycle Girl, a Blonde Ale
- Cherry Pie, a Fruited Wheat
- King Pole, a Kölsch
- Baraboobian, their IPA
- Roustabout, an English Porter
- Candy Butcher, a Vanilla Cream Ale
- Drew Brew, an American IPA
- Cow Pie, a Chocolate Turtle Stout
- Humbug, a Hazy New England IPA
- 1906 Cherry Lime Gose, a Sour Fruited Gose
- Hanneford Red, an Irish Red Ale
Some seasonals include Elephant Walk, a Belgian Red; Dr. Pilz’s Kickapoo Stout, an American Stout; and two fruited sours, Ring #1 which features guava, and Ring #2 which incorporates passionfruit. They also have regular guest brews on tap and a full bar for those who might prefer wine or cocktails. There’s always a few.
By the way, beer flight get somewhat whimsical: the “mustache flight” offers up four 5-oz. pours in a mustache-shaped wooden holder, presumably for style.
Along with beer, AL. Ringling Brewing features a kitchen that serves up American, German, and – most interestingly – Peruvian specialties including some terrific empanadas. They range from Peruvian Beef and Argentinian Beef to Portabella, Mac & Cheese, Garlic Shrimp, even Apple Pie. They also offer a few entrees – still Peruvian style – and sides along with sandwiches, soups, appetizers, and fish frys on Friday. They also have Kids’ meals because while the kids may not (or shouldn’t yet) appreciate the beer, they know they’re in the heart of where the circus has made its home.
AL. Ringing Brewing also has live music in season, with an indoor stage backed by an ornate piece of history (you’ll know it when you see it) and outdoor entertainment at times in their beer garden.
You’ll find AL. Ringling Brewing near downtown Baraboo right along Highway 113/Broadway Street, just a few blocks south of Highway 33. The town square, AL. Ringling Theater, Sauk County Courthouse, and more are within a few blocks’ walking distance. The mansion is pretty sizable; you won’t miss it.
AL. Ringling Brewing Company Address:
623 Broadway Street (Highway 113)
Baraboo, WI 53913