Brewing has been a Wisconsin tradition since before statehood.  Records of Wisconsin breweries date back to the 1830s. The growth of breweries in Wisconsin is often linked to the early settlements of German immigrants in the state.  The knowledge of German brewing techniques, a craving for German-style lagers from the “old country”, and an extreme desire to maintain their cultural identity added to their desire to  brew Wisconsin craft beer.

According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the number of Wisconsin breweries grew steadily into the late 19th century with 160 Wisconsin breweries operating by the Civil War and more that 300 by the 1890s.  After the repeal of Prohibition, large-scale industrial production of beer changed the landscape of brewing in Wisconsin.

The Brewers Association, recently released 2014 data on U.S. craft brewing growth. For the first-time ever, craft beer reached double-digit (11 percent) volume share of the marketplace.  In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18 percent rise in production volume.  Retail dollar value was estimated at $19.6 billion representing 19.3 percent market share. Craft brewers are small brewers. The hallmark of Wisconsin craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.

Wisconsin brew pubs are continually growing in popularity. The majority of Wisconsin brew pubs combine the efforts of a microbrewery with the concept of a traditional English pub or "public house".  Brew masters work within the confines of a pub-style restaurant in order to provide customers with unique beers on tap at these Wisconsin brew pubs. It can be challenging to distinguish Wisconsin brew pubs from local microbreweries, but many times the name of the establishment will provide a clue.  You will find most Wisconsin brew pubs and microbreweries represented at annual Wisconsin craft beer and wine festivals.

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Wisconsin brew pubs are continually growing in popularity. The majority of brew pubs in Wisconsin combine the efforts of a microbrewery or craft brewery with the concept of a traditional English pub or "public house". Brew masters work within the confines of a pub-style restaurant in order to provide customers with unique beers on tap. It can be challenging to distinguish brew pubs in Wisconsin from local microbreweries, but many times the name of the establishment will provide a clue. You will find most brew pubs in Wisconsin and microbreweries represented at annual Wisconsin craft beer and wine festivals.

Wisconsin Brew Pubs by Region