Nestled along the Fox River where it meets the body of water with the same name, Green Bay is known for football, beer, and brats. Unfortunately, most folks think of Miller Lite when it comes to the beer, but thankfully there are several craft breweries fighting this image. As I mentioned in the last article, I bleed Packer green and gold, so Green Bay is more than just another stop on my travels. I have been blessed to attend several games at Lambeau Field, and now I’ve located several breweries to go tailgating at! I have only been to three of the Green Bay breweries, so to round out this article, I will include 3 Sheeps, which is located a little over 60 miles to the south in Sheboygan. No more stalling, here’s who we are hitting:
- Titletown Brewing Co., Green Bay
- Stillmank Brewing Co., Green Bay
- Hinterland Brewery, Green Bay
- 3 Sheeps Brewing Co., Sheboygan
For you non-football fans, Green Bay’s nickname is Titletown, thanks to the league leading 13 titles the Packers have won. Titletown is another incredible building, as it is a former railway depot that dates back to 1899, and is on the National Register of Historic Places (pictured on right). They also now have a larger facility (pictured on left) across the street that hosts most of the brewing, as well as an expansive taproom. I would suggest stopping by both locations, as they are not only close by, but provide incredibly different atmospheres. The depot serves delicious food, and the décor is reminiscent of older times. Meanwhile, the new brewhouse has a more modern feel, with high ceilings and a long bar taking up one wall. A large statue depicting a Green Bay Packer player that formerly sat outside the old Packer Hall of Fame now resides in front of the depot.
There were several great beers offered at Titletown, with many names tying into Green Bay history, Packers and otherwise. 400 Honey Ale, named for the now defunct Peninsula 400 passenger service, is brewed with local honey, which leads to a slightly sweet taste. Dark Helmet Schwartzbier and Johnny Blood Red both have football connotations, and I was especially fond of the black German lager, who while full-bodied, has fairly low ABV and IBU numbers. All three of the beers above are core brews at Titletown, but my favorite was Ned Flanders Sour Brown (of course, a sour, I know), and another seasonal option to note was a Dubbel by the name of Mediator.
Titletown carries the city’s nickname, and represents it well. Now that they have expanded, there is even more to enjoy, and I would certainly include this as a stop if you are in the Green Bay area. Another little fun fact, they have the coolest coasters, as they are shaped like footballs!
Yum. That’s what I have to say about Stillmank. Just delicious beer. Founder, and Wisconsinite, Brad Stillmank started brewing his now go-to beer, Wisco Disco (an ESB ale), through contract brewing at Milwaukee Brewing Co. Then in 2014, Stillmank officially opened its own location in Green Bay, and now has made a name for themselves. The taproom has a laid back feel, with a small bar, exposed ceiling beams, and adequate seating. It also has access to the brewery itself through a small garage door, which really opens up the whole area. I actually visited during their 3-year anniversary party, so it was packed, both in the taproom and outside.
The beer is the real talking point at Stillmank. For starters, they make my all-time favorite porter, Perky Porter, which is so smooth and silky, your taste buds won’t know what hit them. Stillmank is one of the few places I have visited that I thoroughly enjoyed each beer I tasted. To this point, Awesome Sauce is one of the best fruit beers I’ve had. Brewed with Montmorency cherry and apple cider juice, this is a sweet and easy-drinking beer. Wisco Disco is the best-know option, and with a complex, yet balanced body, it is easy to see why. Whether you like hoppier beers, or lean more towards maltier options, Wisco Disco is a good choice. For a lighter option, order a Tailgater, a light blonde ale with a crisp finish.
You can’t go wrong ordering any beer at Stillmank. While they are still relatively new to the scene, they are sending out delicious beers to the masses. I also had the pleasure of talking with Brad and his wife Erin, and really enjoyed discussing the brewery with them.
So I’ll start off by saying I owe Hinterland Brewing another visit. Unknowingly, I stopped by on the last day at their old location, which is about a block away from Titletown Brewing. Now, they have an impressive facility located right by Lambeau Field, making it even easier to tailgate prior to football games. Below are pictures of the old location (top), and the new digs (bottom). The old location was a renovated meat-packing warehouse, and while they clearly needed to expand, this place did have a cool feel, with some higher end furnishing offsetting the raw and antiquated building’s exposed bricks and hook receptacles from its previous life.
Good beer is of course the reason why Hinterland needed a larger brewery. I had several of their beers before visiting, so I knew some of my favorites, including the tart Berliner Weisse, and refreshing Cheery Wheat, although both are seasonal options. I of course have drank Packerland Pilsner, as the name alone sold me, and this is a beer that can be drank anytime. Simcoe is the name of the game with their IPA, and citrus notes shine through. Two beers I would like to sample in the future are the Luna Coffee Stout, and Evergreen, a session IPA.
As I said at the start, Hinterland recently went through a major change, and I certainly want to visit the new place next time I’m up for a game, or just visiting the city. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the move!
Sheboygan is located on Lake Michigan, right down I-43 from Green Bay, and is home to a sole brewery, 3 Sheeps. Thankfully, 3 Sheeps more than makes up for that fact, as they brew a plethora of beers. The taproom is a large building, and after stepping through the back door (which serves as the main entrance), you come into a wide-open room. With concrete floors and long tables running perpendicular to the bar, it has a simple, industrial approach. There are also large garage doors opposite the bar which are of course opened when the weather cooperates. I personally feel they could offer more with the amount of space they have, but that will come in time I’m sure. 3 Sheeps also recently went through a rebranding process, and I love the new logo!
There are generally 17ish beers on tap here, so that gives you an idea of the diversity 3 Sheeps is going for. Probably one of the coolest beer names that belongs to one of their core IPAs got a slight tweak in the rebranding, going from Really Cool Waterslides, to simply Waterslides. I have an IPA-loving buddy who lives in Sheboygan, and this hazy and hoppy drink is one of his personal favorites. Two other popular year-round brews are the amber ale, Rebel Kent, and Cashmere Hammer, a nitro stout. Nitraberry is a wheat ale brewed with blackberries, and is my personal favorite. The tartness shines through best when you get it fresh from the tap at the brewery. They also have an extensive small-batch program, from barrel aged options to some truly unique and odd brews, such as an Imperial IPA brewed with ghost peppers, to an Imperial Black Wheat that is made with both cherries and a mix of chiles!
3 Sheeps is dishing out tasty stuff, and with Sheboygan situated at approximately the half-way point between Milwaukee and Green Bay, it is a perfect stop for those traveling between the two. Also, watch for the new beer garden at the taproom!
There are three other breweries I would someday like to visit in Green Bay. The problem is I also want to go back to each place I already went as well! Craft beer seems to be exploding in Green Bay, and 3 Sheeps is not to be missed down the road either.
Kenosha and Racine are similarly sized cities that lie in extreme Southeast Wisconsin between Milwaukee and Chicago. Between the two are 4 breweries who brew some interesting beers. We will head there next!
Current Brewery Count
67 breweries across 30 cities in 6 states. These numbers are current as of May 31st, 2017. For an up-to-date count, follow @brewerytravels on Twitter!