Craft brewing is growing across the Dairy State, with more than 125 small and independent breweries open and even more in planning. The boom in beer is fueled by tap room travelers, who love to explore the flavors of freshly fermented samples onsite at brewery tap rooms.
The chance to taste something new draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to Wisconsin breweries. Robyn Klinge of Hop Head Tours, with operations in Madison and Milwaukee, is particular about the brewery tap rooms selected for tours.
“I like a welcoming atmosphere,” Klinge says, “with a tap room that makes a statement about the brewery’s brand. I’m not big on spaces that are just makeshift walls within a warehouse. Where’s the personality?”
Design, good lighting, bars with visual appeal, convivial tour guides plus comfy seating and sociable areas for conversation are all elements that contribute to the tap room experience.
“A great tap room can even make a beer taste better,” Klinge says. Here’s to happy tap travels!
Lazy Monk Brewery’s Bier Hall offers a wide selection of their European inspired brews, with catering on weekends from local food trucks. No phone, so check the website for updates.
97 W. Madison St.
Eau Claire, WI 54702
Real Deal Brewing, a nano brewpub tucked into the Raw Deal organic, vegan and raw food café, features organic ales and guest taps from local breweries, Lucette and Rush River.
603 Broadway St S.
Menomonie, WI 54751
Titletown Brewing Co.’s new taproom is designed for gatherings of all sizes. The first level has garage doors that open to the outside, plenty of tables and branded swag displayed nicely. But, hello rooftop bar! The third floor opens to a skyline view of Green Bay’s downtown.
200 Dousman St.
Green Bay, WI 54303
O’so Brewing is expanding yet again, with a 20-acre site now mapped for building a new brewhouse with space to grow. In the meanwhile, the brewery in Plover offers a tasting room to enjoy samples of 40 beers on tap, with guest selections from Central Waters Brewing Co. and other Wisconsin breweries, as well as O’so seasonal releases such as Picnic Ants Summer Ale and Hibiscus Sour Ale.
3028 Village Park
Plover, WI 54467
The Ale Asylum’s natural stone and woodpaneled tasting room and restaurant feature inspiring and intensely flavored beer by brewmaster Dean Coffey and team. Sandwiches, salads and casual fare are served in a sophisticated space, including a private dining area for large groups.
2002 Pankratz St.
Madison, WI 53704
Next Door Brewing Co. offers a selection of yummy beers with fun names like Plumptuous (Scotch ale) and Kaleidospoke pale ale. The tasting room’s modern, clean design is relaxing, while the menu is full of comfort food like fried cheese curds, burgers, and chocolate-covered bacon and beer pie for dessert.
2439 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
Soaring above the hills of Verona are the tall glass windows framing the brewhouse of the Wisconsin Brewing Co. It’s a modern space with an old-school vibe of hospitality: bring the family, the dogs, your own food and sample stellar beer such as the Zenith Saison. No kitchen, but you can order take-out from neighboring restaurants.
1079 American Way
Verona, WI 53593
New Glarus Brewing Co. — Strictly a seasonal experience, the one-of-a-kind beer garden and outdoor patio take the place of a traditional tap room, with visiting food vendors on Saturdays through early autumn. A fabulous Oktoberfest, too!
New Glarus, WI 53574
The National Brewery Museum’s collection of brewery memoriablia, plus the Great River Road Transportation Museum anchor the Potosi Brewery, and brewery profits support both the museums and a community foundation. The tap room serves food and more than 20 rotating beer styles.
209 S. Main St.
Potosi, WI 53820
Tribute Brewing Co. tucks the tap room into the brewery warehouse, yet the vibe is welcoming, with space for games and darts, free popcorn and peanuts, plus guest taps along with their house drafts.
1106 N Bluebird Rd
Eagle River, WI 54521
Thirsty Pagan offers a splendid selection of Belgian and English-inspired beer styles, plus their own snappy riffs on classics such as the Cracked Pepper Pilsner.
1623 Broadway St.
Superior, WI 54880
At press time, more than a dozen new breweries with tap rooms are being built, from the Black Husky Brewery, City Lights Brewing Co., Like Minds Brewing Co. Mobcraft, Third Space Brewing, and more; check out the new Milwaukee Craft Brewery League on Facebook for more information.
Brenner Brewing Co.’s tasting room offers community arts and nonprofits a fantastic space for special events and tours. No food, but plenty of art in fermented form, especially the City Fox Pale Ale, plus in good weather, the garage door opens for street scenes.
706 S. 5th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Urban Harvest Brewing Co: New to the Fifth Ward, the Urban Harvest Tap Room is built around local beer, local flavors. Large windows flood the tap room with natural light, warmed by natural wood and exposed brick. Classic beer styles augmented by seasonal releases such as Blood Orange Wheat.
1024 S. 5th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Lakefront Brewery’s newly redesigned Beer Hall is stunning, with counter service for their nano-kitchen’s innovative menu. Legendary tours are now matched by tasty food and atmosphere.
1872 N Commerce St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
This article originally appeared in the 2016 fall/winter issue of Experience Wisconsin magazine. The contents of this article were checked for accuracy when it was published; however, it’s possible some of the information has changed. We recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the destinations, attractions or restaurants mentioned in this article.
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