Midwest Features Syndicate is partnering with the Department of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to help students gain work experience and build a writing portfolio. This week’s author is Jessica Zemlicka of Ripon, a senior majoring in journalism with a public relations emphasis.
She chose to spotlight breweries “to celebrate the experiences they each offer to their visitors. Beer is a big part of Wisconsin’s history and it’s nice to see how Wisconsinites are marking their own path in that history.”
By JESSICA ZEMLICKA
Beer is a Wisconsin staple. Without it, we’d watch the Pack and snack soberly on cheese. Microbreweries are popping up in every corner of the state. The Fox Valley area is plentiful with in-house brews at local bars and eateries.
Here are 10 of the breweries making east-central Wisconsin the place for unique beers.
Ahnapee Brewery, 115 Navarino St., Algoma: Brewing under the name “Ahnapee” began in the area in 1868. More than 150 years later, head brewer Nick Calaway pays tribute to the Civil War era with signature brews such as Little Soldier, an amber ale. Calaway makes this beer and others at a former commercial dairy outside of town, but the taproom is a converted two-car garage at Von Stiehl Winery. vonstiehl.com/beers, 920-487-5208
Appleton Beer Factory, 603 W. College Ave., Appleton: The brewpub features seven microbrews, from blonde to black, and a food menu with hop-pickled eggs to ale-braised corned beef. It took about three years and 25,000 hours of work to convert the former auto shop, which opened as a brewery in 2013. The use of reclaimed materials is evident throughout the business. Each table is handcrafted with wood panels, and refinished windowpanes separate daily brewing activities from customers. appletonbeerfactory.com, 920-364-9931
Badger State Brewing Co., 990 Tony Canadeo Run, Green Bay: The first brewery near Lambeau Field opened in 2013. It houses a beer garden in addition to a taproom, which has 24 brews that are made by Badger State or another Wisconsin brewer. Bring your own food or buy bar snacks. Food trucks show up on Packer game dates. The event hall is big enough for a 400-guest wedding reception. badgerstatebrewing.com, 920-634-5687
Bare Bones Brewery, 4362 Hwy. S, Oshkosh: In the town of Oshkosh is one of the region’s newest breweries, open since May 2015. Founders Dan and Patti Dringoli encourage customers to bring their pets, and the Bare Bones logo is a nod to their own pitbull. Head brewer R.J. Nordlund makes year-round, seasonal and “one-off” types of beer. A one-off experiment may or may not be duplicated; an example is the watermelon wheat brew called I Want Her Melons. barebonesbrewery.us, 920-744-8045
Fox River Brewing Company, 1591 Arboretum Dr., Oshkosh, and 4301 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton: The business opened in 1995 on the Fox River shoreline in Oshkosh and later expanded to Fox River Mall in Appleton. Both serve a wide range of food, and menus are not identical. Some brewery products, such as Blu Bobber Blueberry Ale, are on tap throughout the Fox Valley. foxriverbrewing.com, 920-232-2337, 920-991-0000
Hinterland, 313 Dousman St., Green Bay: Brewing started in 1995 in an old cheese factory outside of Green Bay. Michelle and Bill Tressler expanded the brewery to its current location, but the business will quadruple in size when it moves to Green Bay’s Titletown District across from Lambeau Field. Hinterland brews 23 beers, and seven of those are available year-round, including Packerland Pilsner. The restaurant serves wood-fired pizzas to steaks and duck. hinterlandbeer.com, 920-438-8050
Knuth Brewing Company, 221 Watson St., Ripon: Located downtown, this family-owned brewery offers six handcrafted beers and a menu featuring wood-fired pizzas. David and Marie Knuth started the brewery after David began homebrewing. The beer he produces uses local and natural ingredients. His signature brews include Blue Eyed Blonde Ale and Red House Ale. knuthbrewingcompany.com, 920-748-5188
Lion’s Tail Brewing Co., 116 S. Commercial St., Neenah: In the center of downtown is a brewery that uses locally sourced hops, yeast, malt and grain. On tap are seven in-house brews, plus other microbrews, particularly regional specialties. Lion’s Tail offers a BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) option, which means carry-ins and deliveries from your favorite Neenah eatery are allowed. lionstailbrewing.com, 920-843-3020
Stillmank Brewing Co., 215 N. Henry St., Green Bay: Stillmank was founded in 2011 and is best known for its Wisco Disco, brewed with a small amount of milk sugar and designed to be paired with cheese. The brewery is truly Wisconsin because everything from ingredients to brewing equipment come from the Badger State. To discover the newest brews, visit the taproom. stillmankbrewing.com, 920-785-2337
Stone Cellar Brewpub, 1004 S. Olde Oneida St., Appleton: This 150-year-old business is the oldest, continually running brewpub in the state. It features seven regular in-house beers, 12 rotating seasonals and 10 gourmet sodas made with pure cane sugar. On the food menu are sandwiches to venison stroganoff. The chef favors ingredients from local farms and businesses whose practices are certified as humane. stonecellarbrewpub.com, 920-731-3322
Craft beer is the star at these Wisconsin winter events.
Bockfest, Middleton: The 20th annual event at Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 25 celebrates the release of Platinum Blonde Doppelbock and is rich with music. Admission: $20. capitalbrewery.com, 608-826-1092
Belle City Brewfest, Racine: Expect taps from at least 40 brewers from 1-5 p.m. March 4 at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. Add music and a homebrew competition. Admission: $25 in advance. racinebeerfest.com, 262-636-9229
Hops and Props, Oshkosh: Lively music, food stations and suds from 85-plus breweries fill AirVenture Museum, 3000 Poberezny Rd., from 6:30-11 p.m. March 4. Proceeds raise money for Experimental Aircraft Association education and preservation projects. Admission: $75 in advance ($65 for EAA members). Advance tickets for a 4:30 p.m. beer-themed dinner are $125. eaa.org/hopsprops, 920-426-4800
Gray’s Blarney Bash, Janesville: Expect Busted Knuckle, an Irish-style ale, on tap at Gray’s Brewing Company, 2424 W. Court St., during a St. Pat’s party with Celtic music and food, plus contests in keg throwing, kilt wearing and jigging. Free admission; 4-11:30 p.m. March 17, 12:30-11:30 p.m. March 18. graybrewing.com, 608-752-3552