It’s always a good time in Wisconsin to spend the day surrounded by friends with a craft beer in hand. But there’s something about autumn that makes moments like that more golden. Sipping something that’s been handcrafted with care surrounded by gorgeous changing trees is extra special, and Wisconsin does it best. Here, we’re always down to celebrate and the fall season is filled with festivals dedicated to cracking a cold one in the crisp autumn air. Raise a glass to good times at one of these six beer and wine festivals this fall.
No, that’s not the beer talking — there really is a troll strolling around this beer festival that features 30 brewers and over 100 craft microbrews and ciders. Jorgen the Troll is Mount Horeb’s mascot, and he makes special appearances here, along with live music acts, food carts and beer. If you’re feeling extra strong, compete in the Steinholding (Masskrugstemmen, in German) contest in which competitors hold a full one-liter beer stein out in front of them with a straight arm for as long as possible. Most competitors struggle to make it past three minutes, but the current world record is an impressive 21 minutes and 17 seconds. For a more relaxed competition, use Troll Gold tokens to vote for your favorite brew of them all.
Ready for a mind-boggling amount of beers to sample? This can’t-miss event is held on the shores of Lake Michigan, and it features nearly 75 brewers and more than 300 craft beers, ciders and hard seltzers to taste test with friends. One admission ticket gets you all the beer samples you can (safely) drink and a souvenir pint glass. Local restaurants sling food, and there’s unforgettable live music featured every year.
Celebrate fall and its bounty at this family-friendly celebration. Not only are Cedarburg-based Cedar Creek Winery’s wines the centerpiece of this fest, but great food awaits in the festival’s food court with barbecue, gyros, seafood, noodles and good old American cuisine, like brats and cheese curds. Plus, peruse the farmers’ market, join the grape stomping contest or sip a beer in the beer garden by Cedarburg’s own Fermentorium, a brewery and tasting room.
Walk the bourbon trail, experience wine country and try hundreds of craft beers at this fall festival in Green Bay. What was once the Northern Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival, Craftoberfest has rebranded and expanded to include a variety of wine and spirits alongside featured breweries and their craft beers. Activities include live polka music, axe-throwing, a best beard competition and photobooth for making delicious memories.
Kick off the autumn season and Rusk County’s fall festival by sampling delicious wine, beer, and cheese while live music plays and the Flambeau River comes alive with surrounding fall color. After celebrating Friday night, continue the fun at the festival with guided hikes of the stunning Felsenmeer and Gundy's Canyon, a scarecrow parade, or by riding the chairlift up Christie Mountain for a spectacular view of the vivid Northwoods in fall.
A list of beer festivals in Wisconsin can’t be complete without the longest running Oktoberfest in the Midwest. This spirited 4-day celebration of Wisconsin’s German heritage has music, food, friends, fireworks and 2 different parades. But if you’re most interested in the beer, don’t miss the festival’s Craft Beer Night. Enjoy samples from over 40 breweries and get to know the brewers themselves. Don’t forget to wear your fanciest lederhosen!