This past weekend I made a trip up to Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I’ll be honest, before this trip the only time I had heard of Stevens Point was in the Disney Channel show Liv & Maddie…(embarrassing I know!) Needless to say, I’ll never forget about Stevens Point now.
So first off, Stevens Point is about a 4-hour drive from Chicago – less if traffic cooperates! You can either take I-90 through Madison or 43 through Milwaukee. I recommend taking Madison up and Milwaukee back. That allows you to stop at some great breweries on your way up.
When we got to our hotel, we realized O’so Brewing was right across the parking lot from our hotel! It was nice to be able to park the car at the hotel and just walk to the brewery. Many people wrote me and recommended O’sos, so I had to check it out! I had no idea that they had been open for 11 years! Crazy! I got a flight of five 4oz beers and it ended up being $11.50. I kind of wish I had just got a pint because it only would have been $4.50 but, hey, that’s the poor student in me!
Let’s rate some beers!
1. Bring Me the Disco King- Barrel Aged Sour w/ Blueberries & Ginger 5.5% ABV
I really enjoyed this one, the blueberries and ginger came together to make a lightly sweet concoction that wasn’t overly sour. It was nicely balanced and had a good body to it. Would definitely get this one again!
2. Pi- Barrel Aged Belgian Strong w/ Cherries 10% ABV
This one was a bit more on the face pucker sour side. Still not too bad but if you’re “sour sensitive” you may want to stay away from this one. Cherries always taste nice in sours in my opinion but combining with a Belgian sour base really took it to the next level.
3. Convenient Distraction- Imperial Porter w/ Coffee & Vanilla 10% ABV
I am always a big fan of coffee beers, especially when they are accompanied by vanilla. The coffee flavor tended to overtake the vanilla in this one but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It hid its ABV well, making it especially dangerous if you’re not careful!
4. Night Rain- Oatmeal Porter 6.7% ABV
I always love oatmeal porters for their smooth, creamy taste. Night rain is exactly that. I love the malty backbone with roasty and chocolate flavors in there as well.
5. Midnight Troll- Smoked Imperial Stout w/ Cocoa Nibs 10% ABV
I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t a fan of this one. I wanted to like it because I usually really enjoy smoked stouts, but this one just didn’t hit the mark for me. The body was quite thin and the smoke just wasn’t tasting great.
If you’re in the Chicago area and are interested in visiting Stevens Point, here are some tips:
Where should I stay?!?
Hampton Inn & Suites- Plover
Great Northern Distilling and O’so Brewing are literally in the parking lot! Yummy free breakfast and a central location between all the great breweries.
But how long is the drive?
4 hours with the typical Friday midday traffic.
What breweries should I stop at if I go through Madison?
Karben 4, Working Draft, Funk Factory Geuzeria
What breweries should I stop at if I go through Milwaukee?
Eagle Park, 1840, Mobcraft, Good City
What places are in the Wisconsin Craft Collective?
Stevens Point Brewery, Central Waters, O’so Brewing, Great Northern Distilling, Sunset Point Winery
This trip has been so much more to me than great craft beer; it was the getaway I didn’t know I needed. I have been floored by the hospitality of the people of Stevens Point. I was able to have fantastic conversations with many locals which really made the trip, and I can’t wait to visit again soon.