The Big Brew Tour

just a taste of the Best Brewmaster’s lairs in Wisconsin and Minnesota

 
New Glarus Brewing Company

STEVENS POINT, WI

Stevens Point Brewery 2617 Water St • $3 ages 12 and up, $1 ages 5-11, FREE under 5 • 344-9310 • www.pointbeer.com When you’re talkin’ beer, age is a good thing. 150-plus years into the brewing experience, Stevens Point Brewery had to muscle through the Great Depression and the Prohibition era. Fittingly, they produced soft drinks and “near-beer” drinks during that time, but now their premium root beer, black cherry cream, and orange cream sodas are just as popular. The tour guides invite you to “feel the malted barley” and “watch the yeast being ‘pitched’ into the cooling wort” during the 45-minute tour. Tours every day at 11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm.

 

GLENDALE, WI

Sprecher Brewing Company 701 W Glendale Ave • $4 adults, $3 seniors, $2 under 21 • www.sprecherbrewery.com • (414) 964-BREW • Sprecher isn’t pretending to be a German brewery. But they are the “next best thing.” Meander through the brewhouse, aging cellar, and bottling line (where you can ogle Bavarian murals), all while being peppered with facts. The tour pans out into an indoor beer garden, complete with oom-pah music. The kids can choose from up to eight sodas, while the adults have their pick of four (out of ten) draughts. A souvenir glass is complementary. Tours weekdays 4pm; Sat 1, 2, and 3pm; and Sun noon, 1, and 2pm.

2010 Wisconsin Beer Lovers Solstice Tasting Saturday June 26 • Bayshore Town Center, 5800 N. Bayshore Drive • 1-5pm • $50 per person ($90 for two) • www.welcometoglendale.comThe first event of its kind in Wisconsin, this annual festival will offer a hundred unique beers from craft breweries all over the state. Admission includes unlimited sampling and food pairings from area restaurants, plus a souvenir beer glass.

MILWAUKEE, WI

Lakefront Brewery, Inc 1872 N Commerce St • $7; includes a souvenir glass, four pours of beer and a coupon for 1 free beer at various locations • www.lakefrontbrewery.com • (414) 372-8800 • This “backwards” format to a brewery tour – offering beers before and during the educational part – represents Lakefront’s philosophy that there is a “direct correlation between attention span on beer tours and drinking beer.” Furthermore, tour guides tell jokes and go with the flow, not following a certain script. Now offering five ales, three lagers, eight seasonal brews, and one gluten free gem, this brewery has accrued quite a following. And the whole thing grew from sibling rivalry – who could make the better beer?

Miller Brewery 4000 West State St • FREE • (414) 342-1167 • www.millercoors.com One of the largest brewing sites in the nation, Miller has 150 years of brews under its growing belt. During the tour, wander through the “caves” – tunneled beer storage that is now used for displaying antique bottles and hand-made brew-tools, then view their modern brewing technology, packaging center, and distribution warehouse. To finish the visit, sit down at the Miller Inn, modeled after a Bavarian patio. Tours are generally offered Mon-Sat 10:30am-4:30pm and Sun 10:30am-2pm.


MADISON, WI

Capital Brewery 7734 Terrace Ave, Middleton, WI • (608) 836-7100 • www.capital-brewery.com • $3/person • Founded in 1984, Capital has quickly accumulated many enviable blue ribbons at the regional, national, and international level, including “No. 1 Brewery in America” in 1998. The copper kettles came from Germany and thus carry the magical spirit of the old Bavarian brewmasters. After the tour, the Bier Stube is a comfortable room in which to hang out and sample everything from the Island Wheat to the Capital Dark. Tours run each Friday at 3:30pm and each Saturday at 1:30 and 3:30pm.


NEW GLARUS, WI

New Glarus Brewing Company 2400 State Hwy 69 • FREE self guided tours, $20 guided “hard hat” tours • (608) 527-5850 • www.newglarusbrewing.comCome explore this small but mighty brewery on your own, or schedule a guided “hard hat” tour that takes you behind the scenes of Hilltop Brewery – into the brewmaster’s state of the art lair. Owned and operated by Daniel and Deb Carey, this brewery’s tour will treat your taste buds. After the hard hat comes off, (literal or figurative; we’ll let you decide which) they invite you to sample six to eight brews, from the popular Spotted Cow and Fat Squirrel to their Wisconsin Belgian Red – no joke, it contains over a pound of Door County Cherries in every large bottle. Four to five complementary cheeses are also provided.

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