*This is the one-hundred and twenty-fifth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
7 of their own on tap.
2) How long operational?
Opened March 20, 2016, brewing that following October.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Gathering place to come and talk.
Self distributed to a few local bars.
5) What sets you apart?
6) How did you get your name?
Merrill was once home to 16 active sawmills.
Tucked away beneath towering trees, set far back from the busy main street in Merrill stands a historic old parks building, now home to the charming but bustling Sawmill Brewing Company.
This former DNR Forest Ranger Station has been sustainably remodeled, working hard to use locally-sourced and recycled woods from around the area and within the building to flesh out their vision.
We bellied-up to the bar, made of white pine harvested from trees felled by the infamous 2011 Merrill Tornado. It was a fitting place to sit and experience a whirlwind of flavors from Sawmill’s beer.
Cant’ Hook Kölsch
Buttery, lasting, and dry. Slight honey and wheat notes.
Saisons In The Sun
That lovely, fruity, sun-drenched sweetness that I love in Saisons, with a subtle alcohol burn to match.
Missing Finger Imperial Red Ale
A “warming” ABV is the initial thought, but the back end hides malt and rusty cherry.
Stammholz German Alt
Old-timey, familiar, friendly. A twist of hops is present, but mostly it’s simply smooth, woody tones.
You’ve heard of beer gardens, but Sawmill is home to more of a “beer woods”.
“Our backyard feels like a state park in the middle of town.” – Zach Kubichek, owner/operator
We joined the ongoing party outside, which included a local high school reunion. Live music, fresh wood-fired pizza, and a warming bonfire greeted us beneath the green canopy above.
“We’re looking for something to have an impact on the community and draw people in to Merrill.” – Zach
The authenticity of Sawmill Brewing Company and the welcoming people of Merrill cut through the noise of other touristy towns up North. The beer helps drown out the noise, too.