Wisconsin brewers on the map
By Lucy Saunders
A Taster's Guide to Wisconsin, a colorful, new map highlights destinations
for beer, wine and specialty cheeses across the state. With help from the
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection, the small Wisconsin Brewers Guild and Wisconsin Winery
Association put together a map to pleasurable points of interest.
symbols of cheese wheels, pints and stem glasses, the map helps people find
places to sample Wisconsin's world-class cheeses, craft breweries and
award-winning wineries. Listings on the back of the map include phone numbers
A close up look at the map shows how rich the area around Monroe is in beer, cheese and wine.
What makes the map especially useful is information about tours and tastings.
Tourism and visitation is increasingly important to craft brewers. In
Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewery has now offers weekday tours, the Milwaukee Ale
House offers beer education seminars, and in Glendale, Sprecher Brewery
attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year.
"We offer special events, tastings and tours," says Randy Sprecher, owner of
Sprecher Brewing Co. "And with our expanded gift shop, we get visitors all
That said, there are some startling omissions - such as the Great Dane
Brewpub in Madison. "We asked all the breweries listed on the map to become
current members of the Guild to help defray the printing costs," explained
Deb Carey, president of New Glarus Brewing Co. and chief organizing force
behind the map project.
And there are some not-so-startling inclusions. Giant Miller Brewing Co. made
it onto the map, without being an actual member of the Wisconsin Brewers
Guild. Perhaps that is because its Milwaukee tourism efforts are growing, as
the April 2001 opening of the new Miller Park baseball stadium hovers on the
In October last year, Milwaukee city officials and Miller Brewing
Co. announced a public-private partnership to spend as much as $5 million to
enhance the neighborhood around the brewery. Already, about 120,000 visitors
stroll through the Miller tour and tasting room each year.
Although you can get a copy of the Taster's Guide at many Wisconsin Visitors
Centers, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism will not distribute the map by
mail. Instead, you can get a single copy free by sending a self-addressed,
stamped #10 size envelope to Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board-RBP, PO Box 1012,
LaCrosse, Wisconsin 54602.
Lucy Saunders often writes about beer, food and travel, and owns F&B
Communications, Shorewood, WI. Send questions or comments to