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Top in Hops: Small(ish) Breweries in Wisconsin’s Beerland

We know America’s beerland – Wisconsin – has the some of the best breweries, but we wanted to feature a handful that stand out as truly un-brew-lievable. So, we asked beer fans to nominate their top 20 breweries to reveal Wisconsin’s favorite craft brewery in each region of the state. These local breweries took home top marks for their creative, flavorful beers. Here are the nominees...

Northeast

Tribute Brewing Company in Eagle River

Tribute took home a prestigious award from the Great American Beer Festival in 2018, when their White Legs Jalapeno Wheat Ale won gold in the Chili Beer division. A new batch of this seasonal brew is released every spring.

Sawmill Brewing Company in Merrill

Sawmill Brewing Company honors its Northern Wisconsin roots in everything from its ingredients, many of which are locally sourced, to its location: The brewery occupies what was once Merrill’s 1940’s Department of Natural Resources Headquarters building,

Pigeon River Brewing Company in Marion

In addition to a variety of ales, porters, shandies and more, Pigeon River Brewing Company also brews their own variety of root beer.

Stubborn Brothers Brewery in Shawano

Supporting Wisconsin farmers through their business is a driving force for Erik and Aaron, the brothers behind Stubborn Brothers Brewery. With a background in the dairy industry, the brothers source both their malt and hops from local farmers.

Central Waters Brewing Co. in Amherst

Central Waters is committed to being one of the most environmentally sustainable breweries in the nation. Among a range of green practices, they brew every beer they make using solar-heated water.

 

Southeast

Barrel 41 Brewing Company in Neenah

Barrel 41 has made a name for itself in part due to their creative, funky flavors – brews like Cookie Dough Spoon, Cinnamon Roll Crunch and Live Laugh Lovender, brewed with lavender grown in Door County.

Cercis Brewing Company in Columbus

Cercis’ roots in Columbus, Wisconsin shine through in both its brews (like the Blooming Tree Hazy IPA) and name – Cercis is the genus of the redbud tree, and Columbus is known as Redbud City.

Racine Brewing Company in Racine

Enjoy a grown-up version of a childhood favorite at Racine Brewing Company, where you can order a beer float made with any of their craft brews.

Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh

Bare Bones pays tribute to their hometown with the Oshkosh Lager: Crisp, refreshing, and brewed in the same style as the classic, pale lagers that made Oshkosh famous for its beer.

Fox River Brewing Company in Appleton

In addition to producing a full lineup of fantastic craft beers, Fox River has jumped into the hard seltzer world with White Bobber: a cherry apple seltzer, whose name nods to one of their most popular beers, the fruity Blu Bobber.

Fifth Ward Brewery in Oshkosh

Hop lovers, this one’s for you: Try one of Fifth Ward’s year-round favorites, 842 Pale. During the final whirlpool stage, it gets a last-minute batch of hops added in for extra crisp, citrusy flavor.

 

Northwest

Earth Rider Brewery in Superior

Earth Rider proudly brews beer with water sourced from Lake Superior (and we think that’s pretty Great!)

Amery Ale Works in Amery

Good things come to those who travel off the beaten path, and that’s exactly where you’ll find Amery Ale Works – Their taproom/barn is located down a gravel path between two residential driveways, surrounded by Wisconsin’s woods. Look for the sign!  

Adventure Club Brewing in Bayfield

Venture up to Bayfield for a craft brew or two at Adventure Club, the northernmost brewery in Wisconsin!

The Brewing Projekt in Eau Claire

The Brewing Projeckt is all about creating innovative, interesting brews – Order one of their “pilot” or “projeckt” beers to be one of the first to taste new flavors that are still being tested, including their most out-there, so-wild-it-just-might-work ideas.

 

Southwest

608 Brewing Company in La Crosse

With a constantly rotating tap list and to-go selection, you never quite know what you’ll find at 608…and that’s part of the fun! Some of their recent quirky flavors include Jolly Shocker Pop: Caramel Apple and Alphaburst, a hazy IPA.

Driftless Brewing Company in Soldiers Grove

In both the name and taste of their beers, Driftless Brewing seeks to reflect the abundance of the Driftless region it calls home. Experience it with a pint of one of their standards, like the Rolling Ground IPA or Cow Cult Milk Stout.

Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse

By the people, for the people: Time your visit to enjoy a glass of Pearl Street’s “Community Harvest” Ale, released annually and made from hops donated from local, backyard growers in the La Crosse area.

Sand Creek Brewing Company in Black River Falls

Sand Creek is one of Wisconsin’s only breweries producing their own line of hard lemonades in addition to craft brews. Try the lemon or lime variety or, from July to December, the cranberry, made with fresh Wisconsin cranberry juice.

Potosi Brewing Company in Potosi

Originally founded in 1852, the Potosi Brewing Company operated for over 100 years before closing its doors in 1972. It has since been re-founded on its original site, bringing craft beer back to Main Street, Potosi. It also houses the ABA’s National Brewery Museum, showcasing a fascinating collection of historic beer bottles, cans, advertising materials and more.

Wisconsin is home to over two hundred craft breweries – find one near you by browsing our directory!

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