Here in Wisconsin, we love beer. Maybe it’s due to the German heritage of so many of our residents or maybe it’s because winters are long and we need to stay warm and occupied. Whatever the reason, there are now more than 200 different breweries and brewpubs in our great state. Though it would be an awesome goal to visit them all, that’s probably nigh on impossible. And there are plenty of big name spots that most any Wisconsin beer drinker has been to and toured. This road trip isn’t about those places, either. This is a trip that takes you to a few areas of the state with high concentrations of breweries that may be a little less well-known. Some of these spots are small and virtually unknown to anyone but locals. Some have bigger name brews, but you’ve probably never been to their tap room. You could set up a pretty amazing brewery road trip most anywhere in Wisconsin, but this one in the central part of the state takes you to some pretty amazing spots and you’re going to want to start planning right away!
Get ready to hit the road!
Select a designated driver and then get ready to hit the road. This Wisconsin Brewery Trail takes you from Verona to Plover to sample some local brews you've probably never had before. Click
to get the interactive map for this road trip.
1. Wisconsin Brewing Company — Verona
This is what happens when a guy with a ton of brewing experience heads on out on his own and builds the brewery of all our dreams. They have gorgeous outdoor space and a display on the wall shows that everything is sourced from Wisconsin. The beers are interesting and you'll find yourself wanting to spend all day here. Located at 1079 American Way, Verona, WI 53593.
2. Ale Asylum — Madison
There's a dark vibe to this place that just kind of works. Inside is still welcoming and the beers push some boundaries. Located at 2002 Pankratz St., Madison, WI 53704.
3. Karben 4 — Madison
I mean, the packaging for one of their most popular beers features a cat riding a unicorn in front of a rainbow, if that gives you any indication of how not-too-serious these folks are. They make seriously good beer, but they also, you know, get to make beer for a living and aren't too stuffy about it. They make some of my favorite beers in the state and are consistently coming up with new and interesting flavors. Located at 3698 Kinsman Blvd., Madison, WI 53704.
4. Knuth Brewing Company — Ripon
This place was started by a home brewer with restaurant experience who saw the potential for a community-based, local spot for folks who love good food and good beer. It's small batch, but when you're only making a few beers, they have to be excellent to keep people coming back. Located at 221 Watson St., Ripon, WI 54971.
5. Fox River Brewing — Oshkosh
This spot has rebranded a few times, but the gorgeous waterfront location in what used to be a fine-dining atmosphere hasn't changed. There's high ceilings, a ton of space, a gorgeous view and of course some very tasty beers. You'll find them bottled in local stores, but it's well worth heading here for the fresh draft experience. It's a really fun and beautiful spot and the food's pretty awesome, as well. Plus, I love a place who takes the extra step like putting a few fresh blueberries in a pint of their blueberry ale. Located at 1501 Arboretum Dr., Oshkosh, WI 54901.
6. Bare Bones Brewery — Oshkosh
The name is a bit of a riff on their philosophy and also an homage to their pooches. These folks focus on making really great beer and sort of think the rest takes care of itself. They're located on a bike path, so especially in warmer months you'll see tons of bikes and folks enjoying the great outdoor space. You'll also find the patio very dog-friendly. Basically, this former cheesemaker who also loves beer took it a bit bigger and has invited everyone over for a drink. It's a great vibe. Located at 4362 County Hwy. S, Oshkosh, WI 54904.
7. Appleton Beer Factory — Appleton
The owner here used to work for Budweiser, but the beer here is anything but mainstream. Located in a former auto garage, these folks nailed the industrial chic theme and their big tasting room is vibrant and welcoming. They have an indoor communal beer garden that promotes just hanging out and enjoying a few with friends. Located at 603 W College Ave., Appleton, WI 54914.
8. Central Waters Brewing — Amherst
Many folks have tried the beer, but few have made the pilgrimage to Amherst where the brewers say the perfect water helps them make fabulous beer. What these guys do really well is aging and those beers pack a punch but come with so much flavor. This big complex is a bit of a Wisconsin beer-lovers Mecca and you have to check it out. Located at 351 Allen St., Amherst, WI 54406.
9. O'so Brewing — Plover
One of the state's fastest growing breweries, they usually have 20 beers on tap. These folks love a sour, which makes the tastings here rather unique and why it's worth heading to. Plus, their big new tasting room is pretty awesome. Located at 3028 Village Park, Plover, WI 54467.
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