If you’ve been on the hunt for a new kind of craft beverage scene with big city flavors but small-town charm, then it’s time that you and your crew visit Hudson. Right off Interstate 94 in northwest Wisconsin, Hudson is a delicious hub of craft breweries, picturesque wineries and other culinary experiences special to the region.
It’s the kind of place where you want to spend a friend’s getaway, sipping white wine while live music plays. Somewhere you can spend a whole weekend exploring together. Where you can discover your new favorite spirit while spending much needed quality time with your favorite people. Read on to learn about some of the tastiest flavors in and around Hudson that are sure to hit the spot.
Belle Âme Vineyard & Wine Bar
Near Hudson, in River Falls, is a beautiful vineyard, wine bar, and event center which captures the modern aesthetics of Napa Valley. The gorgeous estate at Belle Âme Vineyard displays large windows overlooking two vineyards with more than 2,500 picturesque grape vines growing against a backdrop of iconic bluffs.
While you may feel transported to the West Coast by the Napa vibe, you are quickly reminded that you are right at home when you are met with warmth, hospitality, and delicious local wines that are true to the spirit of the region. Offering beer, wine, and light fare, Belle Âme is a great place to enjoy quality time, celebrate, capture a few selfies, and create lasting memories with your favorite people.
Cracked Barrel Winery
In the lush fields just south of Hudson, you’ll find Cracked Barrel Winery, owned by military veterans Kristen and Dan. The couple takes pride in the winery’s down-to-Earth country feel balanced with full, sophisticated flavors. Try a flight in the tasting room, a glass at the wine bar or a share a bottle on the patio for a view of the picturesque vines—whichever you choose as your favorite spot, you’re sure to discover a new favorite selection of their northern climate wines all made on site.
- Try Yoga in the Vines for a truly tranquil escape or stop by for the sip-n-shop events to browse local artist made goods.
- Bring beer-loving friends along, too—Cracked Barrel also serves up locally made brews.
Urban Olive & Vine
Downtown Hudson is home to Urban Olive & Vine, a charming bistro owned by longtime residents Carol and Chad Trainor. There, you and your crew will find treats for every taste, including a “Yappy Hour” menu just for dogs (who are allowed to join the party on the patio!). Browse unique goods made by local artists while sipping coffee, stop by for lunch Monday through Saturday for bottomless wine, and gather with friends for live music nights with delectable charcuterie plates to share.
- Tea lovers take note—Urban Olive & Vine offers over 50 varieties of looseleaf tea to please any palate.
- Check out the eclectic beer and wine menus for a crafty combination of local selections as well as international offerings.
Refreshing Local Brews
Hop & Barrel Brewing Company
Go straight to the source with a visit to Hop & Barrel Brewing Company, just two blocks from the St. Croix River. Owned by two Hudson friends, the pair has a passion for crafting delicious stouts, refreshing IPAs, lagers, sours and other selections on their rotating tap list of 16 drafts. Brewery tours are free with the purchase of any beer, and the fun doesn’t stop there—be sure to bring enough friends to face off in foosball, Skee-Ball and other arcade games in the back room.
- While Hop & Barrel doesn’t serve food, they encourage patrons to carry in their favorite local fare from local restaurants nearby.
- Popular brews include the Minnesconsin, a crisp and easy sipping Helles lager, and the Space Force Double IPA that’s malty sweet with just enough bitter notes to remind you that you are in fact drinking beer. Try a flight to sample as many flavors as possible!
Barker’s Bar and Grill
Barker’s Bar and Grill in historic downtown Hudson has been a local favorite since opening in 1988, and it’s easy to see (and taste) why. Beer lovers flock here for the wide selection of 16 draft lines feature many locally crafted brews from Hop & Barrel, Rush River, and Oliphant Brewing along with popular national brands. Come for the drinks and stay for the food, which includes the famous Barker’s French Fries that are hand cut twice a day. An in-house butcher prepares steaks, chops and burgers as well as whole turkeys that are oven roasted daily. Barker’s also keeps it local for dessert by serving up sweet specialties from the next-door St. Croix Baking Company.
- Try the fan-favorite chicken wings in a variety of flavors. And for veggie-lovers, the Nashville Hot Cauliflower is a must.
Dick’s Bar & Grill
For a true Wisconsin tavern experience, hop on over to the oldest continuously running saloon in all of Wisconsin, Dick’s Bar & Grill. Originally opened in 1855, it began as a gathering place for residents and evolved into a popular pub attracting visitors from near and far. These days, you and your favorite folks can pull up a seat at one of the three full bars for a classic Old Fashioned or tasty brew.
- For a traditional treat special to the tavern, order the Chicken & Waffles-in-a-Hubcap (that’s right, a hubcap).
Unforgettable Tasting Experiences
Casanova Liquor Caves
For a spirited selection as far as the eye can see, stop in at Historic Casanova Liquor, a family-owned bottle shop in a former 19th century brewery. While the large and carefully curated selection of locally produced beverages is outstanding, the true showstoppers of the property are the cavernous beer cooling caves dug over 140 years ago. The spaces are showcased every year at multiple events including Beer Cave Fest, Bourbon Cave Fest and Prohibition Speakeasy parties and offer a truly unique sipping atmosphere. The owners carefully choose the selection of craft beverages for each event, focusing on small, local producers.
Take A Ride on the Hudson Trolley
Having trouble choosing which delicious place to stop? Get your group together and make a day of it with a tour on the Hudson Trolley Company. Try the Wine Tasting Tour to spend quality time with friends sampling local flavors and learning the full stories behind the vines. Book a special Sunday ride to try Hudson’s best Bloody Marys with all the favorite fixings or opt for a little bit of everything with the Wine, Beer & Spirits Tasting Tour that stops at a winery, brewery and distillery. Whichever you choose, you and your friends are sure to have a blast rolling through the streets of Hudson on this charming vintage vehicle.
There’s much more to discover in Hudson—visit their website to see all the fun waiting for you and your crew in this magical Wisconsin city.