*This is the one-hundred and thirtieth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
1) How many different beers?
5 on tap, 35 total brewed in year one.
2) How long operational?
Since September 1, 2016.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Local, longtime homebrewing brothers needed to brew bigger.
No distribution. Currently working hard to brew enough to meet the demand in the taproom with their 2-barrel system.
5) What sets you apart?
Constantly rotating varieties, classic styles.
6) How did you get your name?
The brother-owners’ heads coming together, and the fact that a “noggin” is 4-ounces of liquor.
“We’re a garage in the woods.” – Co-owner, Kevin.
That’s not a euphemism: R’Noggin Brewing Co. is contained within four brick walls, behind two tall garage doors, surrounded by woods on three sides and I-94 on the other.
As brothers Kevin and Jeff slowly cleared out the trees hiding their new brewery, the location abutting the freeway became more conspicuous. Now, a steady stream of regulars and visitors show up daily to try the rotating taps, all five of which are uniquely served off individual kegerators.
“We’ve got customers that come in every weekend just to see what’s new on tap. We’ve got 70-80 beers in our repertoire.”
Though this particular Sunday afternoon was chilly with the garage doors closed, an increasing crowd of beer drinkers joined us at the multicolored picnic tables inside for a flight of 4-oz “noggins”.
Ana’s Bells Peach Gose
Bombards your senses with peach-tinged sourness, juiciness, and saltiness. A beer Peachie O.
Hellenistic Raspberry Wheat
Leaves your lips smacking. An older, woody raspberry taste.
At first blush this is your standard, classic IPA. But on the second taste you’ll get grapefruit and daisies.
R’Lil Secret Double IPA
If it weren’t for the slight bitterness on the back of the tongue, you’d think this darker beer were an Amber.
Pict Yer Windae Scottish Wee Heavy
Tasty alcohol level; sweet and drinkable, with very slight peat.
Though the former homebrewers may have a large number of beer recipes in their back pockets, their actual brews should be familiar to all palates.
“We’re trying to make the next great iteration of a true, classic style. We’re not going too crazy with our beers.”
That “craziness” is instead reserved for their artwork and tap room decor. It’s slightly macabre, and would be darker if the artwork weren’t so vibrant and fun. Think Nightmare Before Christmas meets a pack of Crayola crayons.
“We don’t take ourselves seriously at all. We’re brewing beer, not curing cancer.”
While Kevin and Jeff may not take themselves seriously, the quality of beer at R’Noggin Brewing Co. is serious business, and certainly worth a quick detour off the highway any day.