*This is the one-hundred and third post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Turtle Stack Brewery
125 2nd St South
La Crosse WI, 54601
Visit date: 04/01/17
1) How many different beers?
They currently have 7 on tap, their goal is to have 9.
2) How long operational?
Around 2 years.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Biologist homebrewer-turned-pro wanted more freedom with his own brewery.
On tap around the greater La Crosse area.
5) What sets you apart?
“We’re all really community-focused.”
6) How did you get your name?
“Unique, regional feel”: La Crosse area has a lot of turtles, but it was also inspired by Yertle the Turtle.
Waking up early on a sleepy Saturday, we started our day with a trip to the top of Granddad Bluff for a picturesque overlook of all of La Crosse. Minutes later we were down the cliff face and walking into Turtle Stack Brewery, where the view was equally enticing.
The look is “coffee house-chic”, but the feel is decidedly more “corner pub”. Even this early beer drinking crowd (and it did fill up quickly) seemed happy to mingle and eager to get a hand around a cold glass.
Turtle Stack was in the process of transitioning to their summer brewing lineup. They blamed their less-than-full tap list on their growing popularity:
“It’s a unique balance of making and then running out of beer.” – Eric (employee)
SMaSH Golden Ale
Light and fluffy to start, but blindsides you with a hop finish.
European Pale Lager
Easy-drinking pale with hidden raspberry notes.
Makes it feel like spring. A poundable beer with slight hops.
Old in style (natch): musky. Drink it on Granddad Bluff.
Your baseline IPA: hop-forward, flowery, light.
Roasty and toasty. More full-bodied than the average Brown.
Foreign Extra Stout
Like a boozy coffee or cappuccino. Lighter body than expected.
“Consistency and quality control are really difficult, but important to our beer.”
Though the focus on quality beer is evident in talking with employees and tasting the goods, our new friend Eric stressed how important it is to put that same care and work into the community surrounding Turtle Stack.
“We’re small, so we can’t always write checks. But we can and do donate our time and our products to causes in our community.”
Being a small outfit, though, doesn’t seem to have deterred Turtle Stack Brewery from making bold beers and having a big impact on the greater La Crosse family they’ve been welcomed into.