Gray Brewing Company – originally Gray’s Brewing – dates back to 1856 and is in its fifth generation of family ownership. It’s one of the oldest family-owned beverage companies in the country. 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 Blood Orange Radler; 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, about two miles east of where the current Highway 11 bypass re-joins the original highway. 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. Again, this is subject to periodic cancellation due to COVID-19.
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 when COVID isn’t happening. They also offer drive-up service for growler refills. Call their office at 608-752-3552 or email them for more information.
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