*This is the one-hundred and twenty-third post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
7 on tap, usually 10.
2) How long operational?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Homebrewers who wanted to work for themselves.
Bars in local area and Milwaukee. Canning/bottling coming soon.
5) What sets you apart?
Everything made in house by hand.
6) How did you get your name?
Grandma’s house on Rocky Reef Lane in Boulder Junction.
When we first rolled through Woodruff on the north shores of Minocqua Lake, we passed right by Rocky Reef Brewing Company and had to double-back to their front lot. While the building may be a tad unassuming, one step out of our car and we could feel the inviting draw of the taproom pull us through the white-picket gate.
Though the interior design of the taproom was crafted to give off that modern-industrial feel we’ve become accustomed to at new craft breweries, the vibe of the crowd at the bar was decidedly more “up-north watering hole”. I mean that in the best possible way.
Ping pong, shuffleboard, and giant Jenga were up for grabs, looked over by the hand-painted beer family-tree mural on the wall. We took our flights out the door to their front patio.
Touches of honey, lavender, and subtle pecan, packed into an easily poundable beer.
Up North Lakehouse Saison
Fresh wildflower front with a raspberry, blueberry, campfire back.
Very floral, very present hop beds, with an inviting mouthfeel.
A Big Red Hen Amber Ale
A sweet maltiness coats the front tastebuds, while the back catch hickory and berry.
Just Wheat It Blood Orange Wheat
Leans to a blood-orange soda; sickly-sweet, fruity.
The Outhouse Brown
Hits your Brown high notes: toasted nut, roasted marshmallow, smooth finish.
Soft Landing Belgian Dark
A unique, bold take on both dark and Belgian beers. Very enjoyable.
Owners Tyler and Christine run shop at Rocky Reef, keeping the kegs full and the space spotless:
“Everything is made in-house; everything done in back by me and my wife. We’re a small business.”
The flight-carriers are modeled after the omnipresent roadside signs in northern Wisconsin pointing to lake houses, places of interest, and of course the nearest bar. As Rocky Reef Brewing Company continues to grow and expand within their comfortable taproom, you can bet more signs will soon be pointing to Woodruff.