10 Wisconsin beers worth the road trip

Categories: Beer

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Andrew P. Han

Wisconsin beers are finally finding their way across the border, and that's good news for neighboring Midwestern states like Minnesota. Wisconsin's strong brewing traditions have helped it cultivate one of the most active and noteworthy craft brewing scenes in the nation. Whether you're on vacation, on business, or just on a run across the state line to stock up on the best beers Wisconsin has to offer, keep an eye out for these brews.

See also:
The new Fulton brewery will bring bottling back to MN and increase distribution

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Andrew P. Han

Spotted Cow. Farmhouse Ale. 4.8% ABV. New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus, WI.

Practically the official state beer, the Spotted Cow helped make Wisconsin's mark in the early days of the craft brewing revolution and built New Glarus Brewery into one of the nation's largest craft brewers. If there's a beer that can capture the "terroir" of south central Wisconsin, this is it. Clean and sweet, it's purposely kept cloudy with an addition of yeast to the bottle. This along with a hint of popcorn brings to mind the organic, barnyard essence of the region.

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Andrew P. Han

Tommy's Porter. Porter. 5.9% ABV. Lake Louie Brewing. Arena, WI.

When Tommy Porter quit his job in the auto industry and started home brewing, he made sure the beer that would bear his name was perfect. It took him 20 batches to get it right, but boy did he get it right. Complex but drinkable, this beer is one of the finest the state has to offer. Look for notes of mocha and nut, with a hop finish and a velvety mouth feel.

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Andrew P. Han

Bedlam. Belgian IPA. 7.5% ABV Ale Asylum, Madison, WI.

"We try to showcase one hop variety" in each beer, says Ale Asylum employee Heather McGuire. In Bedlam's case it's Citra hops. This beer is big, aromatic, and fruity. We tasted pear, but you won't find actual fruit in any of the Ale Asylum beers. All that flavor is coaxed out by brew master Dean Coffey, who makes beer strictly in accordance with the German purity law of 1516, which limits brewers to four ingredients: water, yeast, hops, and malt.

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Andrew P. Han


Island Wheat. Wheat ale. 4.2% Capital Brewery. Middleton, WI.

This light-bodied wheat beer is made with grain from Washington Island, Door County, off the tip of Wisconsin's thumb. One of the early pioneers in Wisconsin's craft brewing scene, Capital operates a tap room at its brewery as well as its own restaurant in downtown Madison on State street -- right in the shadow of the Capitol. Sweet with a mellow hop finish, the beer has a superfine bubble structure that makes it a pleasure to drink.



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57 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


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boomerb5
boomerb5

Oscar's Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Sand Creek Brewing in Black River Falls is sublime. If you can find it on a nitro tap, it is even better,

Jesse James Johnson
Jesse James Johnson

I like to drink beer brewed by companies not listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Vince Martinez
Vince Martinez

Titletown dark helmet schwarzbier, Shipwrecked pumpkin ale

Devon Majerus
Devon Majerus

Looks like they only did 1 beer per brewery, and of course they would use Spotted Cow.

Kris van Osnabrugge
Kris van Osnabrugge

Jenni Eschner Landowski, John Coughlin Landowski, Mike Eschner, Laurie Taylor, Steve Taylor - a MN article about your beer.

Katie Hole
Katie Hole

I've had several of these. Not really into the porters and the stouts. I bet you could get them all at Cassanova.

Christy Haney
Christy Haney

Don't drink anymore either! But used to love it. My family is from Chippewa Falls.

Dick Ruth
Dick Ruth

New Glarus Spotted Cow, Fat Squirrel, Back 40 Bock, and many other seasonal beers.

Dick Ruth
Dick Ruth

Don't have to go to Wisconsin for that.

Dick Ruth
Dick Ruth

When we're down in South Carolina we always purchase as many cases of Yuengling as will fit in our car. When in Wisconsin it's New Glarus. Drink happy my friend. :-)

Daniel LaRose
Daniel LaRose

I like Lucette.. a buddy of mine brews it in Menomonie.

Rick Linares
Rick Linares

When they start selling Yeungling in Wisconsin I will consider going there to buy beer....

Joseph Thompson
Joseph Thompson

For shame!!!! No New Glarus Raspberry Tart or Belgian Red? Those beers are some of the highest rated beers in their style in the world!!! And their not on the list?!?!

Sue Parker
Sue Parker

New Glarus, Naked but they are all good

Teelo Tee
Teelo Tee

Derailed Ale from the Thirsty Pagan Brewing in SoupTown (Superior). Plus anything from New Glarus!

Scott Faucett
Scott Faucett

Three Sheeps from sheboygan has all great beers!!! Check them out

Tyler Lamb
Tyler Lamb

Anything by Central Waters or O'So

Amy Bohn
Amy Bohn

Public Craft in Kenosha has some great brews, too

Jason Suess
Jason Suess

Maybe a paper that's based in the twin cities should do a story on Minnesota's best beers and micro breweries....just saying!!!

Luke Rohde
Luke Rohde

New Glarus Brewing Co. Spotted Cow.

Brian Defferding
Brian Defferding

Here are my favorite Wisconsin beers: Oso Night Train Stone Arch Vanishing Vanilla Stout Lake Louie Warped Speed Scotch Ale Central Waters Satin Solitude Stout Central Waters Ouisconsing Red Ale Ale Asylum Contorter Porter Ale Asylum Madtown Nut Brown Three Sheeps Baaaaad Boy Black Wheat Ale Milwaukee Brewing Polish Moon Lakefront Eastside Dark Sprecher Black Bavarian Hinterland Luna Coffee Stout

omnipitous
omnipitous

How can this list not include Sprecher??  Always was a fan of the Black Bavarian but my recently N/A self *really likes their line of Root Beers.

Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson

Spotted cow, and Capital Brewerys Amber ale

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

they're

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