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Wisconsin Top Breweries
While the large breweries that made Wisconsin famous have mostly disappeared, you will find many new innovative craft brewers who have keep the Badger State in the center of the beer universe. By blending traditional European brewing techniques with local ingredients and skills that have been passed down from generations, these brewers have created some of the most highly regarded beers in the world.
Southeast - Milwaukee
The Greater Milwaukee area, by far, has the most concentration of breweries in the state. Once known as the “brewery capital of the world,” today the city is home to many successful microbreweries and brew pubs, including the Lakefront Brewery, Sprecher Brewing, and Big Bay Brewing Company.
Miller Brewing Company
One of the largest breweries in the country opened its doors in Milwaukee in 1855. The Miller Brewing Company is most famous for its original cold-filtered packaged draft beer, Miller Genuine Draft. Take some time to take a tour of the unique Miller Valley, which encompasses a visit to the Miller Caves and possibly a meeting of the ghost if its founder, Frederick John Miller.
Big Bay Brewing
Opened in 2010, the Big Bay Brewing Company is found in Shorewood, a northern suburb of Milwaukee. Although Big Bay is fairly new to the scene, it's absolutely become a prominent member of Milwaukee's brewing scene. Visitors are encouraged to stop by Big Bay's taste room and enjoy a tour of Big Bay Brewing Company Tasting Room. Big Bay products are served throughout Wisconsin, and even into Minneapolis.
Historic Pabst Brewery
Established in 1844, Historic Pabst Brewery was once the site where world-famous Pabst Blue Ribbon beer was brewered. Today, the Milwaukee landmark is a museum, pub, and tourism staple for visitors of the Brew City.
After closing its doors in 1997, the brewery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Specific portions of the brewery complex have been renovated for use by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and other local businesses.
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Set just north of downtown Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewing is a popular brewery, founded in 1987. The brewery gets its namesake from neighboring the Milwaukee River in the Beerline B neighborhood. Lakefront offers Milwaukee visitors a renowned brewery tour – featuring craft beer tastings throughout and views of the fan-favorite Big-Ass Silo.
Other on-site attractions include the Palm Garden – a large banquet hall open for private events, and the Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall. Lakefront also features a prominent presence at Summerfest – an annual festival held at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee.
While Milwaukee has a lot of breweries to explore, the rest of Wisconsin also has a lot beloved brewing companies to explore. Sand Creek Brewing Co. is one of these breweries that has certainly made a name for itself. Located in Black River Falls, Sand Creek is Wisconsin's third largest microbrewery. They are known for producing over 30 different beers, including fine craft-brewed ales and lagers. The brewery offers free tours on Fridays where you can stop in the taproom for a cold Badger Porter or Sand Creek Cranberry Ale.
A few of the lesser known microbreweries have recently boomed onto the scene are becoming quite popular throughout the state. These might be worth a visit during your travels to Wisconsin. Check out some of these favorites, including MobCraft in Milwaukee, Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh, Alt Brew in Madison, and The Brewing Projekt in Eau Claire.
Sand Creek Brewing Co.
Formally Pioneer Brewing, Sand Creek Brewing Co. is one of the many beloved brewing companies in southern Wisconsin. Open since 1995, Sand Creek is found in Black River Falls, where after merging with Pioneer Brewing, became one of the most popular brewers in the region.
Visitors of the brewery will certainly enjoy taking a Friday brew tour, available for free from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. While on the tour, check out this history brewery building, which dates back to the mid 1800s, and stop in the taproom for a cold Badger Porter or Sand Creek Cranberry Ale.
Sprecher Brewing Company
Founded in 1958 by Randal Sprecher, the Sprecher Brewery is set in downtown Milwaukee, and is just one of a wide range of Milwaukee breweries. Make the drive in from nearby Mequon or West Milwaukee and enjoy one of the almost daily tours offered.
Winners of the 2007 Bronze Medal for their Piper's Scotch Ale and the Silver Medal for their Dopplebock, all at the Australian International Beer Festival. Make the trip into Milwaukee from southern Wisconsin and check out a tour, where you can sample some of Sprecher Brewery's finest – from the Sprecher Black Bavarian to the Sprecher Stout.