This 5 Hour Wisconsin Road Trip Takes You To 5 Of The 10 Oldest Breweries In The Country
It is absolutely no secret that people from Wisconsin love to drink. It's one of the few things I actually like about Wisconsin. They KNOW how to have a good time. One of my favorite "maps" is the one that shows how many bars per person each state has.
Wisconsin more than doubling Illinois is very funny. Sure, Montana and North Dakota check in with higher numbers but that's because there's like 7 people living there. 2 or 3 extra bars will throw things out of wack. I've never been to either of those states but from what I've heard, the drinking there is more functional because there is literally nothing else to do, and not many people to not do things with. I still firmly believe that there is no good reason for us to have 2 Dakotas. I'm big Team Megakota.
But Wisconsin is mostly fun drinking. It can certainly be overdone, but I've never had a bad time going out in Wisconsin.
How'd they get so good at drinking? Their state was literally founded on it. Wisconsin has 5 of the 10 oldest breweries in the country. You can get to all of them from Rockford in a day. Let's take a virtual tour from youngest (154 years old) to the oldest (187 years old.)
5. Leinenkugel Brewing Company - Chippewa Falls, WI - 3HR 49MIN (253mi) Drive
Affectionately known as "Leiney's" at your favorite bar. Leinenkugel's was founded in 1867. They were bought by Miller in 1988, but still brew all their beer, even their very popular Summer Shandy, right in Chippewa Falls.
4. Stevens Point Brewery - Stevens Point, WI - 2HR 42MIN (175mi) Drive
Stevens Point wasn't available outside of Wisconsin until 1990, 133 years after they opened their doors in 1857. Their biggest seller is the Point Special Lager. I know about Stevens Point but I don't think I've actually had any of their beer.
3. Miller Brewing Company - Milwaukee, WI - 1HR 37MIN (94mi) Drive
One of the big boys. It's a race between them and my college favorite Keystone Light as to which one I've had more of. It's probably still Key Light but I might have one more the rest of my life. I'll probably have at least 1000 more Great Tasting Less Fillings before I die. Founded in 1855, it took them 120 years to figure out Miller Lite before it was released in '75.
4. Minhas Craft Brewery - Monroe, WI - 58MIN (44mi) Drive
This is the only brewery on this list that I've never heard of. Founded in 1845, Minhas spans 3 city blocks and is known for their Thunderbolt malt liquor. Sounds disgusting. I'll have to try it.
5. Pabst Brewing Company - Milwaukee, WI - 1HR 37MIN (94mi) Drive
The third oldest brewery in the country and oldest in Milwaukee, Pabst was founded in 1844. It spent most of its life being a discount beer for people that liked to buy 30-packs before the hipster trend made it a must for every bar in a major city. It also has the best slogan of any brewery on here. PBR me ASAP.
They also made this commercial, which is objectively awesome.
You can do all these in one long day. Just make sure you have a designated driver, because that will be a long one.
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