There are two specific words, when used in conjunction with each other, whether displayed in an invitation or advertised on a sign, will immediately turn our heads and cause us to most emphatically exclaim: “Yes, please!”

Those two words?

“Free” and “beer”


And thus, on our first big excursion from our house-sit in Wisconsin, we toured the Leinenkugel Brewery in nearby Chippewa Falls. Founded in 1867, it is the seventh oldest brewery in the US and is a family business still run by the Leinenkugels (who were originally from Bavaria). Not only do they have entertaining brewery tours that are full of good information (but refreshingly brief), they also provide a great atmosphere for taste-testing their wares, and offer a generous array of samples for free.

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Our favourites from this bunch are: Creamy Dark and Classic Amber (Pete); Sunset Wheat and Berry Weiss (moi).


And, as if this wasn’t enough to satisfy our appetites for brew (is it ever enough, really?), new friends Andy and Becki joined us from Milwaukee, and they came bearing gifts. Being proud supporters of their home state (and of its boozy treasures), they were anxious to ensure that we would become fans as well, and thus gave us a mix-and-match case of local beers. Given that Wisconsin has approximately 65 breweries in the state (ranking 9th in the number of breweries per capita in the US), this was still just a small taste, but an impressively diverse and delicious one.


We *may have* indulged in a few in a public park, which *may have* been illegal.

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Not only does this beer have the best name, Fatty Boomblatty, but as a Belgian white beer, it was one of my favourites.

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The array we took home. More favourites: Central Waters Mudpuppy Porter and Capital Brewery Island Wheat Ale.

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With less than two months left to go, we’ve got a ways to go before we can consider us completely “beermersed” in the pride of Wisconsin, but we are off to a good start.



While visiting the brewery in Chippewa Falls, we stayed at the lovely Oaklawn Inn in nearby Menomonie. It is a 124 year old restored farmhouse with important historical ties to the area. We loved it for the many charming details and very gracious hostess! To read our entire review, please click here.


31 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • December 3 2012

    LOVE Leinenkugel!

    • December 4 2012

      We are becoming quite fond as well! They’ve got a great array of brews.

  • CSA
    December 3 2012

    Sorry, I did not read even a single word of it. I just love your photographs πŸ˜‰
    CSA recently posted..Weekly Photography Challenge – FOOD!!!

    • December 4 2012

      Haha! Glad that you are at least enjoying one part of it!

  • December 3 2012

    I’m all for anything beer related and most breweries etc have some amazing history behind them as well. So you get refreshment and history all in one sitting.
    Chris recently posted..My First Visit To America – Space Coast

    • December 4 2012

      Refreshment and history in one sitting – that combination is a pretty damn good one.

  • December 3 2012

    Mmmm…. beeeeeeer!
    Okay – we seriously need to meet up in the real world and go on a beertastic flavour adventure. πŸ˜‰
    Cam @ Traveling Canucks recently posted..Baby Travel Tips from Keryn Means of ‘Walking on Travels’

    • December 4 2012

      Name the time and place! πŸ™‚

  • Gillian @OneGiantStep
    December 3 2012

    Beeeerrrr!! Looks like a pretty good haul!

    • December 4 2012

      Alberta has such slim pickings for craft beer, I kind of expected the same here. But we are getting SPOILED. πŸ™‚

  • Mom
    December 4 2012

    I’m always intrigued with the names people come up with. I wonder if there’s a history behind each of them.

    • December 4 2012

      I’d be worried to find out the history behind “Fatty Boombalatty”. πŸ™‚

  • December 4 2012

    If you come in North of France or in Belgium, you would be very happy. Those are other lands of beer !
    Julien recently posted..The history of Louvre Lens

    • December 6 2012

      We have spent time in Belgium, and drank a lot of beer in Germany! We *love* the beer over there, but have been pleasantly surprised with what we’ve found here as well.

  • December 5 2012

    Welcome to where I grew up! The Leinie’s brewery is less than a half hour from my childhood home. We love to visit for beer tastings when we visit my parents place. They have seasonal brews that are worth snatching up if you like them.

    • December 6 2012

      They have a very excellent Vanilla Porter out right now that I love!

  • December 5 2012

    This is day one of being teetotal for a month and the first thing I read when I log onto SU is this post – is it a sign that I will fail drastically?!
    Natalie recently posted..8 Things I Love about City Breaks in Istanbul

  • December 5 2012

    I dont drink alcohol. On one of the bottles I could notice something like Bombay?
    Have a nice day πŸ™‚
    Arti recently posted..Driving Through Nara, An Ancient Town of Japan

  • Loving the craft beer movement! That was a huge selection to choose from. So far I’m not the biggest fan of Belgian beer but I may need to try a few more. . . and maybe being in Belgium would help πŸ™‚

    • December 6 2012

      I think I can truly say I fell in love with beer in Belgium (I’ve enjoyed beer most of my life, but not like that)!

  • Andy
    December 5 2012

    Hey guys – great post! Though I suppose we’re a little biased about that πŸ˜‰ It was tons of fun hanging out, sharing beers, and enjoying that beautiful view! And thanks SO MUCH for the shoutout πŸ™‚

    You might be interested to know that many breweries around here (I know Lakefront for sure…) follow Reinheitsgebot. Also, first certified gluten-free and first certified organic beers in the nation. Beers for everyone! πŸ˜€

    • December 6 2012

      Wisconsin continues to surprise! Thanks to you guys for indulging us in your state’s treasures!

  • Wisconsin has lots of breweries. Check out as many as you can and report back to us πŸ™‚
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..The Brooklyn Bridge in Photos

    • December 8 2012

      Ah shucks! That sounds like a tough job. We’ll do our best.

  • December 10 2012

    Sounds great and I LOVE the photos!

    • Pete
      December 11 2012

      Thanks Susan, we love beer πŸ™‚

  • December 11 2012

    Great photos. There sure are a lot of great independent breweries in the states.
    andrew recently posted..UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tanzania

  • Ali
    December 16 2012

    People generally think the US has bad beer, but the good stuff that comes from local microbreweries just doesn’t make it out of the country, or even out of the state sometimes. Glad you’re enjoying Wisconsin!
    Ali recently posted..Evaluating Transportation Options

    • December 17 2012

      US beer (the *big* stuff that all the commercials are about) IS bad. We just have to go searching a little harder to find the good stuff. Which does make it taste better in the end, anyways. πŸ™‚

  • December 17 2012

    Am German, not a beer fiend (I know, shame on me), but this post has got my mouth watering… I want to try them all, too!! In fact, I don’t even have to try the “Fatty Boombalatty” to be impressed – how can anything with a name like that not taste extraordinary:)?

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