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The Badger State

Many consider Owens Brewery in Milwaukee to be the start of Wisconsin’s brewing history, opening in 1840. Milwaukee was quite the hot spot for Wisconsin breweries, partially due to the vast German population the immigrated there. Other reasons were the accessibility to the Milwaukee River and the caves that could be used to store barrels of beer.

By the 1860s, there were around 200 Wisconsin breweries, of course this large number was largely due to the fact that Wisconsin is home to Miller Brewing, Pabst Brewing, Valentin Blatz Brewing, Joseph Schlitz Brewing, G. Heileman Brewing, and A. Gettelman Brewing. These big name breweries took off far before Prohibition began, and lasted independently well through the 1970s.

Of course these big name breweries have done a lot for the brewing world, especially in Wisconsin, but there is so much more to the beer history than just these big name corporations. Wisconsin’s oldest, still existing brewery, Minhas Brewing, is located in Monroe and first opened its doors in 1845. Of course the ownership has rotated several times, as has the name, but its incredible how many years the brewery has existed.

For all that wonder...How many breweries are in Wisconsin today?

The answer is just over 200 with about 205 Wisconsin breweries in total. Since the year 1985, these Wisconsin brewers and Wisconsin craft breweries have brought in nearly 300 GABF (Great American Beer Festival) medals.

It’s also become more and more common to open dog friendly breweries in Wisconsin, where pet owners can enjoy some of the best Wisconsin beer, without the guilt of leaving their pup at home!

Have you ever heard of the Wisconsin beer cow? If not, you better know before you visit! The Wisconsin beer cow is legendary to those from Wisconsin, and even notorious to many beer fans outside of the state. The spotted Wisconsin beer cow represents New Glarus Brewing Company, not only as a figure, but also the name of their most popular beer.

Another common question people have is: what time can you buy beer in Wisconsin?

The answer depends on the license type a business possesses, therefore, an alcohol licensed business can sell beer between 6 a.m. and midnight seven days a week, while retailers have to stop selling at 9 p.m.

With so many incredible Wisconsin beers, we have found the top brewers to visit are: 3 Sheeps Brewing, Central Waters Brewing, Funk Factory Guezeria, Karben4 Brewing, Lakefront Brewing, New Glarus Brewing, O’so Brewing, and Tyranena Brewing.

We have had the pleasure of featuring some of the best craft beer from Wisconsin from some of the state's most popular craft beer breweries, including:

Potosi Brewing Company
Ale Asylum
Hinterland Brewery
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Hamburg Brewing Company

We are always looking for new Wisconsin craft beer and breweries to add to our monthly craft beer club shipments, and hope to have more in the near future. Cheers!

Wisconsin Breweries