Tagged in Brewery

January 14, 2019

The 3 Beers You Must Try at Stevens Point Brewery

The Stevens Point Brewery has been in business for over 160 years. With that much experience under the belt, Point Brewery tours offer a unique look into the history of brewing and how the craft has put Stevens Point on the map.

Pro tip: they are only open for tours, there is no tasting room unless you go on a tour! The tour is $5 and you get 3, 8oz tasters and a souvenir pint glass. There are many opportunities to earn another taster coupon while on the tour so make sure you brush up on your beer/Point brewery facts before you go!

I really had a great time on the tour! Our guide knew a ton about the history of Point which is what makes this brewery so special! This is the original building where they started brewing way back in 1857, so just looking around makes for an incredible trip through time! The tasting bar has a wide range of options from craft sodas to pilot brews that you can only get there and at Point burger bars. If you want to try one of their sodas, I recommend the Diet Root Beer…it was incredible! I won’t spoil the rest of the tour, but it really is a must-do when in Stevens Point!

Let’s break down some of my favorites from the tasting room (in no particular order!)

Snow Pilot- Pistachio Nut Brown 6% ABV

This is the only one that I will talk about here that is widely available. For the rest you’ll have to make your way to Stevens Point or a Point Burger Bar! I’ll admit that I’m partial to pistachio beers, Milkstachio from HopButcher/DryHop is one of my all-time favorite beers. While this beer doesn’t have that milk factor, it packs a nice pistachio flavor. Its fairly light in body which makes it nice to have a couple by a fire with friends.

Peanut Butter Porter- Porter 5.8% ABV

This beer might have been my favorite! It is packed with peanut butter flavor, so you have to be a big fan of peanut butter to enjoy it. I’ve had a lot of beers that just fall flat on the peanut butter so this was a nice change!  I loved that it was full bodied but had a lower ABV. The low ABV was a nice contrast to other peanut butter beers I enjoy such as Ballast Point’s Peanut Butter Victory at Sea. Ballast Point comes in at 10% so I can’t have more than half a glass but the Point version is much more drinkable for me.

Whole Hog Cuppa Espresso Stout- 6.5% ABV

This is a very coffee forward beer, so if you like to drink coffee you will love it! The flavor is strong and roasty with a lighter body. I really liked that a lot of the Stevens Point Brewery beers were lower in ABV and lighter in body. It’s nice to see flavorful beers not be overly heavy or high in alcohol. If coffee isn’t your favorite thing, they have a white stout that I would equate to coffee with creamer and vanilla.

 

 

 

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December 12, 2018

From Chicago to Stevens Point: The Brewery Guide

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

Why?

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.

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November 16, 2018

A Guide to Minocqua

A GUIDE TO MINOCQUA

Minocqua is one of those special places that’s straight out of a postcard. The quaint downtown area is full of charming antique shops, local eateries, and some of the best fudge you’ll ever try.  No matter where you wander you’re never more than a couple of blocks away from the shores of Lake Minocqua and the local residents are so friendly that you’ll be shocked such a place can exist.

WHERE TO STAY IN MINOCQUA

There are many great accommodation options in the Minocqua area.  My top picks are The Waters and the cutest lakefront VBRO cabin. For other great options check out the Minocqua area website.

The Waters of Minocqua

The Waters is a resort located on the outskirts of downtown Minocqua.  The décor is north woods cabin chic. There are large fireplaces and the entire resort has a log cabin feel.  I stayed here when I visited Minocqua and loved how spacious the rooms were and the close proximity to downtown.  The Waters is family friendly and is a great place to stay for a family weekend.

Lakefront Cabin

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of this incredible cabin, Megan, at Northern Waters Distillery.  She gave us great recommendations for things to do in Minocqua and showed us pictures of her cabin that she renovated and now rents on VBRO. The cabin is large and located right on the shores of Lake Katherine.  Book Megan’s cabin for a friend’s weekend or a romantic north woods getaway.

THINGS YOU MUST SEE IN MINOCQUA

Minocqua may be small, but there is no shortage of things to do.  Here are my top recs.

Gaslight Antiques and Collectables

On the hunt for a vintage treasure? Get lost in Gaslight Antiques.  Gaslight is a huge space filled with everything from fine china to stuffed bears to vintage hats & Packers gear (would you expect anything less in Wisconsin).  You can easily spend a few hours in here. We found the most incredible vintage bags and hats…my only regret was not having enough space in my suitcase to bring home more great finds.

Northern Waters Distillery

Northern Waters is the perfect place to sample local spirits and find the base for your new signature cocktail.  I personally love their coffee vodka and moonshines. One thing you will quickly discover is that in Wisconsin people take their Old Fashioneds seriously.  If there was a state cocktail it would be an Old Fashioned. I consider myself to be an Old Fashioned conniseur, and the Old Fashioned at Northern Waters Distillery is one of the best I’ve ever had.  Lucky for me the team at Northern Waters Distillery was happy to share their recipe. The only catch is that you’ll have to pick up their Maple Vanilla Moonshine to make it right!

Dan’s Minocqua Fudge

Dan’s Minocqua Fudge is a candy lover’s dream.  From the moment I stepped through the door, I felt as if I was transported back to the 1950’s.  There are bright red buckets of traditional candy’s everywhere – no Hershey bars here, homemade ice cream is available along the back wall, and there were more fudge options than I could choose from. Reader be warned – you will only be allowed to sample three fudges so choose your samples wisely.

Ann Marie’s

For cute home wares stop in Ann Marie’s.  This darling little shop is set back from the street with a garden that leads to the entrance.  Be sure to sample their house-roasted coffees.

Hike

My one regret in Minocqua was not taking advantage of all of the incredible hiking trails.  In Minocqua, there is no shortage of lakes or scenic views. For a list of hiking options, I recommend checking out the Minocqua Wisconsin website.

ATV/Snowmobile

If you’re feeling adventurous there are no shortage of ATV and Snowmobile trails around Minocqua. Especially in the winter, snowmobiling is a major mode of transit.  Trailer your own or rent an ATV or Snowmobile locally. Before you rent, I recommend researching the local laws and taking a licensing class online.

 

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN MINOCQUA

Lake Placid Inn ***cash only

Don’t let the unpretentious appearance of Lake Placid Inn scare you off.  This local breakfast favorite is so good that the owner begged me not to write about it – to keep away the tourists, but here I am.  Before you go let me set your expectations. There will likely be a wait (even if it looks slow). Be patient. Don’t forget to put your name on the board, and don’t be difficult.  If you’re looking for an egg white omelet and gluten-free toast this may not be the place for you.

The Boathouse

For lunch with a view stop by Boathouse (and order a spotted cow for me).  The Boathouse is located on the shores of Lake Minocqua at the start of the downtown area.  Their fried cheese curds are excellent and the serving sizes are generous.

Norwood Pines

Supper Clubs are a Wisconsin tradition. Now I bet you are wondering what in the world is a super club?  Supper Clubs are distinguished from a restaurant because in addition to serving food there is a social aspect. Norwood Pines was at the top of our Minocqua dinning list, but unfortunately, it was closed the weekend we visited.  This super club is known for their rustic decor, large fireplaces, and Friday night fish fry, and roasted duck. For dessert order one of Tom’s ice cream drinks (another Wisconsin classic).

Jacobi’s of Hazelhurst

In my family, we take two things very seriously: whiskey and steak.  My great grandfather (Grandpa John) was a cattle farmer and putting ketchup on your steak was considered a capital crime.  Grandpa John would love Jacobi’s. This super club makes their Old Fashioneds strong and their steak melts in your mouth (no ketchup needed).  Jacobi’s gets packed so make a reservation in advance.

Little Brown Jug

Looking for a classic Wisconsin dive bar? Little Brown Jug is everything you’re looking for and more.  Stop in here for live music, cheap drinks, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Minocqua Brewing Co

Minocqua Brewing Co is one of my favorite bars that I’ve been to in a while because of the lively atmosphere, down to earth people, and incredible live music.  We heard Feed the Dog (I’m praying they will play a show in Chicago because they were amazing live).  I cannot wait to stop here again the next time I’m in Minocqua with friends.

GETTING AROUND MINOCQUA

To get around Minocqua I drove.  To get to and from bars I used Discab (the only cab service in town).

x smack

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October 6, 2018

O’so Brewery Tours

Explore the wonderful world of fermentation! O’so Brewing welcomes you to enjoy a pint with us while touring our production facility. Our tour guides will walk you though the brewing process- literally and figuratively! All tour proceeds are donated to local charity causes. Come on down to have a beer, learn something new, and do something good for your community. Cheers!

Tours offered every Saturday through October 6, 2018 at 1pm and 2pm.

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October 6, 2018

O’so Brewery Tours

Explore the wonderful world of fermentation! O’so Brewing welcomes you to enjoy a pint with us while touring our production facility. Our tour guides will walk you though the brewing process- literally and figuratively! All tour proceeds are donated to local charity causes. Come on down to have a beer, learn something new, and do something good for your community. Cheers!

Tours offered every Saturday through October 6, 2018 at 1pm and 2pm.

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