The days are getting longer and warmer, the flowers will soon be blooming and the state’s craft brewers are ready to serve! Get a growler to go or soak up the sun on a warm brewpub patio—Wisconsin craft beer has never tasted more delicious. Here’s where to find some of the state’s best brews.
Rhinelander Brewery, Rhinelander
Did somebody say shorty? A seven-ounce beer helped put Rhinelander on the map, and you can still pick up some at the Rhinelander Brewing Company in downtown Rhinelander. The brewery dates back to 1882, and while it’s known for the stubby “shorties” it produces, it has some other delicious options on tap, too, including everything from bourbon barrel-aged maple stouts to cream ales and more. The beers take their inspiration from Rhinelander’s famous Hodag, so be sure to snap a selfie with the Hodag statue on site as you pick up some of the Northwoods’ finest ales and lagers.
Heart of The North Brewing Co., Rusk County
Just south of Ladysmith, this unique craft brewery/greenhouse is the ideal place to dream about warm summer days. Heart of The North Brewing Co. features innovative craft beers from locally sourced grains, fruits, and honey. In addition, they have wood-fired pizzas made from local organic products and a full bar. Plants in the on-site greenhouse provide a fresh backdrop to the experience—plan your garden as you sip a pint!
Blue Heron Brewpub, Marshfield
In Central Wisconsin, you’ll find a wonderful local brewpub located in a historic former dairy building. Marshfield’s Blue Heron Brewpub features a great menu that includes delicious burgers, salads and more. Wash it all down with one of the house beers—there are 10 craft beers on tap.
Aqualand Ale House, Boulder Junction
Get ready for relaxation on the patio: This charming Northwoods gastropub plans to open for the season this spring. You’ll want to head here on warm days; Aqualand has 20 craft beers on tap as well as wine and craft sodas. Enjoy wood-fired pizza, fresh sandwiches and fresh salads. The Ale House is a perfect place to relax after a spring ride—it’s close to some of the best biking trails in the region, including the Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail System, which was recently named a National Recreation Trail.
Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee
Taste, tour and relax at Lakefront Brewery. The brewery is a Milwaukee institution, known for its lively tours, which allow participants to sample the product before learning the finer points about yeast and hops. The brewery has some delicious offerings, several of which are named after Milwaukee neighborhoods, like as Riverwest Stein and East Side Dark. Try a sampler and visit each neighborhood!