Wisconsin is well known for its vast variety of beers. They are a leader in the micro-brew explosion and have some of the best breweries in the country. The two major factors taken into account when making this list were; 1. the beer and 2. the atmosphere. With the sheer amount of breweries in Wisconsin, the breweries who made the list are sure to be a great time!
1. New Glarus Brewery
Dylan Thompson Photography
New Glarus Brewery is an amazing place to visit just on the outskirts of New Glarus, WI. The facility is stunning with its heavy Swiss influence apparent in the chalet designed buildings. The outdoor area has an old world feel with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Walking trails, picnic tables, and a steampunk glass washer are just some of the highlights... and their beer lives up to the atmosphere. New Glarus Brewery is one of the most successful breweries in Wisconsin, and is known for its flagship beer, Spotted Cow. My personal favorite is a session beer called Moon Man. They choose to only sell in Wisconsin, which causes border town liquor stores to be bombarded with out of state clients hoping to take a few cases back home with them.
2. Wisconsin Brewing Company
Dylan Thompson Photography
This is a new brewery (2013) located in Verona, WI. The massive outdoor area, complete with outdoor bar, pond, bean bags, fire pit, and a live music stage make it a can’t miss brewery. They rotate great bands in every Friday during the summer, free of charge. Their beer selection is wonderful. My favorite is a toss-up between Yankee Buzzard and Betray-ale. The great thing about visiting the brewery is that they are constantly rotating in new trial beers for you to try, the beers flow right from the vats.
3. Lakefront Brewery
If you want to do a brewery tour, this is the tour to do. It is by far the most fun brewery tour on this list. It includes a souvenir glass, four free pints, naming of a queen, and meeting the ladies. And let's not forget the tremendous location, nestled on the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, WI. If you are looking to have a drink by the water, have no fear, the back patio is massive and right on the river. They have a really great selection of beers to choose from; my favorite is Hop Jockey, which is a great Ale.
4. Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Located in Chippewa Falls, this massive yet historic brewery is worth the drive. Being founded in 1867 means that this place is loaded with great stories and history. The tour begins and ends in the tasting room (my kind of tour), which they call the Leinie Lodge and is considered by many to be the greatest tasting room in the country. Many people are very familiar with the great selection of beers, possibly most famously their Honey Weiss (which is also my favorite).
5. Ale Asylum
Rounding out our top five is Ale Asylum, an edgy brewery sporting a new (2012) facility in Madison, WI. Their Facility is located near the airport, which is great if you are only in town for a few hours on layover. An amazing tasting room coupled with a large outdoor patio makes it a great place to drink, regardless of weather. They have an outstanding lineup of beers, including my favorite: Demento.
If you visit any of these breweries, I can promise you will not be disappointed. Wisconsin is full of amazing breweries which can’t all fit into a top 5 list.
Have a difference of opinion? I know you do! Everyone has their favorites – tell us about yours in the comments!