Our 2011 tour is in the history books! We trekked across Wisconsin once again, and will included some breweries that have been added to the landscape since our first tour.
Dave's BrewFarm, home of wind-powered beer, was our first stop. Brewmaster Dave Anderson was a great host and shared some of his creations with us. Most of his recipes are only available at the BrewFarm - check his Facebook Page for updates on open hours. He's creating a nice, comfortable destination. In addition to BrewFarm Select and Matacabras, their two packaged brews, Dave always has some envelope-pushing trials underway.
Next, it was on to Lucette Brewing in Menomonie. Lucette is a young brewery that is already gaining momentum in the region. Their facility is not the biggest, but it's very nicely done. We were honored to be among the first to sample their newest beer, "Farmer's Daughter". Great light-bodied summer ale.
We ventured on to Red Eye in Wausau for lunch. In addition to a nice selection of house beers, they have great food! Pizza's, burgers, soups, and more! A nice stop.
Then it was south to Central Waters in Amherst. They have limited public hours on Friday and Saturday, but they host the most friendly gathering we found. Much as Dave's BrewFarm is gaining momentum as a destination, Central Waters has developed this on a slightly larger scale. Their taproom is virtually just a fenced off area of the brewhouse - nothing fancy but lots of fun. Our last stop was Stone Cellar in Appleton, which included a great fish fry and even better carrot cake.
Our second day was an attempt at deviating from our normal path and we took a boat tour that included three stops - Milwaukee Ale House, Rock Bottom Brewery, and Molly Cool's (Molly Cool's is not a brewery but hosts a regional brewery for these stops. In this case it was New Glarus). We missed the mark a bit on this jaunt. These three stops do not lend themselves to true tours. We decided that we'd just enjoy "beer culture" for the day. We made some friends, sampled some decent if not adventurous beers, and called it a day.
Day 3 included Sprecher and Lakefront Brewing. These both have very well organized tours. Both quite entertaining. Sprecher offered a choice of samples that included most of their recipes. Lakefront was a little more limited in the selection but may have tipped the scale in entertainment value through the tour. They also house Bernie Brewer's Chalet from County Stadium, so that's a plus!
If you'd like a little more detail of our stops and experience, check our Facebook page, "Wisconsin Brewery Tour - Brew2". Follow the link on our home page.
We tried to spread the word about our attempt to make a serious effort at having fun with "Beer Tourism" in Wisconsin. We had lots of great conversations with the people we met, including a beer distributor in Appleton. Now, if we could only figure out how to capitalize on this....