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Friday, September 13, 2019


Great River Road trip continues across the U.S. Highway 14 Bridge between Minnesota (right) and LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Breweries
GUEST BLOG / By Kevin Revolinski, Writer, Winona, Minnesota let’s continue south on our Great River Road craft beer expedition to cross into Wisconsin at La Crosse on the U.S. 14 Bridge that takes you right into downtown. La Crosse is a pleasant stop, with Turtle Stack Brewing in the historic downtown a block off the river, 608 Brewing, the newest addition, and Pearl Street Brewery, a brewing powerhouse in a converted shoe factory. They brew Linalool, an American-style IPA that uses Northern Discovery hops, a recently discovered Wisconsin variety. Riverboat tours are available in season from the park downtown. 

As you head south out of La Crosse, pass the former G. Heileman Brewery (now City Brewery, not open to the public) to see the world’s largest six-pack. Get a selfie with their statue of King Gambrinus, a legendary beer hero of Europe, often erroneously referred to as brewing’s patron saint.

Biggest six pack anywhere is in LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Hwy. 35 follows close along the river. The towering bluffs continue from here. You can expect eagle sightings, and a few small towns here and there looking west across the river at Minnesota, and then Iowa 5 miles south of Genoa. After Prairie du Chien, cross the Wisconsin River and at Bloomington, the Great River Road “hops” to Wisconsin 133 as it heads closer to the river again.

The next stop is a historical one and you won’t want to miss it. Potosi, Wisconsin was home to its namesake Potosi Brewing from 1852 to 1972. The maker of Good Old Potosi Beer occupied a four-story brick building just off the big river, and for years after its closing–despite being listed on the National Register of Historic Places–the property gradually deteriorated to the point where a tree actually grew out of the rooftop. But town members had a plan to bring it back to life and formed the Potosi Brewery Foundation.

Fun times at Potosi Brewing located in the southwest corner of Wisconsin along the Mississippi River.
In 2003, the American Breweriana Association was looking for a home for a proposed museum that would feature members’ collections. This town of just over 700 residents made a proposal and won, beating out Milwaukee and St. Louis. The foundation managed to raise enough money in grants and donations to fund this $7.5 million project, and in 2008, the museum, with more than 70 exhibits of historical items from breweries all across the United States, opened its doors. The Great River Road Interpretive Center and Transportation Museum also took up residence here. But most importantly, Potosi Brewing fired up its brew kettles once again.

The Potosi brewery has since added a larger production facility and distributes in bottles and cans throughout Wisconsin. The onsite restaurant serves great food and features 14 beers on tap, including some barrel-aged beers and other rare varieties.

SOURCE: is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.


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