|Posted by Don on October 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM|
One of my oldest and dearest friends, Brad, lives in the great state of Wisconsin. I have been out to visit him on several occasions, usually with the family in tow. A few years back, after seeing the movie "Sideways" about 2 buddies who go on a California road trip to see the various vineyards, Brad came up with the great idea to do the same in Wisconsin except with beer. Thanks to our patient and supportive families, we were finally able to make this happen. Here is a travel log of the various breweries and pubs we hit along the way with a list of all the beers I tasted. Photos from this excursion can be found in my photos section.
Day #1 - Wednesday
After picking me up at the Milwaukee airport, Brad took me to our first stop.....a cigar bar in Waukesha, WI called "The Nice Ash". www.theniceash.com They had a great selection of beers on tap. I began with a pint of "Fat Tire" from New Belgium brewing and followed it up with a pint of Lagunita's Pale Ale.
Day #2 - Thursday
Late in the morning, we headed west toward Madison, WI. On the way, we stopped by a micro brewery in Lake Mills called Tyranena. Unfortunately, they do not open until 4pm so we decided to move on and try to hit it on our way back. After an hour or two on the road, we finally reached our first brewery....New Glarus, home of my favorite beer, Spotted Cow www.newglarusbrewing.com. The brewery was very impressive. We went on the self guided tour and then stopped by the gift shop for our 3 samples. I tried the Wisconsin Belgium Red" which boasts that it has over a pound of cherries in every bottle, a lager style beer called "Two Women", and their nut brown ale called "Fat Squirrel". After browsing the gift shop, it was time to head into Madison.
Our final beer stop of day 2 was a small brewery called "Capital Brewery in Middleton, WI www.capital-brewery.com. We stopped by the gift shop and learned that they did not have a tour but they did have a beer garden which was just about to open so we adjourned there to meet our bartender, Tiffany. I started with a pint of their American Lager which is called "Supper Club". Then, at Tiffany's advice, I tried a pint of their Hefeweizen, a refreshing wheat beer with a light fruity flavor and an aroma of clove and banana.
Day #3 - Friday
We headed north from Madison to a place called Stevens Point. It is the home of the fifth oldest continually operated brewery in the United States, Stevens Point Brewery www.pointbeer.com. A great tour with plenty of samples in the tasting room. I started with their Point Special Lager, moved onto their "Drop Dead Blonde Ale", sampled the Raspberry Saison, and finished with their Octoberfest.
Next, we headed east to a small town called Amherst. In the middle of an office park, we located Central Waters Brewing www.centralwaters.com. This brewery features a tap room located right in the middle of their brewery. The place was packed, I had a pint of their Irish Red Ale which was outstanding.
We finished our evening with a quick drink at a restaurant/pub called the Tilted Kilt www.tiltedkilt.com . In addition to the scenery, I enjoyed a Central Waters Mudpuppy Porter.
Day#4 - Saturday
We logged quite a bit of time on the road Saturday as we headed to our northernmost destination, Leinenkugels in Chippewa Falls. www.lenie.com The tour is free and includes 3 free samples in the Lenie's Lodge. The thing I like best about Leinenkugels beer is the ability to blend the flavors. My first sample was a combination of their Creamy Dark and their Berry Weiss (called a Black Bear). Next I had a combination of their Octoberfest with their Red Lager (called a submarine...get it?) I finished with a sample of their Octoberfest.
After leaving Lenie's we started our long drive back to Brad's house. As luck would have it, fate put us in Lake Mills just after 4pm so we were able to stop by Tyranena www.tyranena.com . Brad and I split their sampler in the tasting room; nine 4oz samples of their various beers and 1 sample of their root beer. Since Brad was driving, he had the root beer and 4 beer samples. Leaving 5 of the 4oz samples for me. My samples were, Stone Tepee Pale Ale, Bitter Woman IPA, Chief Blackhawk Porter, Hop Whore, and my personal favorite, Scurvy IPA which featured bitter hops balanced by orange zest.
Day#5 - Sunday
Being a Sunday in Wisconsin, we were required by law to watch the Packers game. Prior to kickoff, Brad learned that Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee http://www.sprecherbrewery.com had a Sunday tour we could hit before kick off. We were glad we did. Great tour with 3 good sized samples. I had their Black Bavarian, Hefeweiss, and Dopple Bock. We headed back to Brad's just in time for the game.
Day#6 - Monday
I said goodbye to my gracious host and his wonderful wife and headed home. During our 5 day excursion, we visited 7 breweries and 2 pubs. I sampled 24 different beers and got to spend some quality time with a great friend. Be sure to check out the photos from this journey in my photos section.