*This is the third post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
105 Navarino St
Algoma, WI 54201
Visit date: 07/16/14
1) How many different beers?
6 on tap, 30 released in total
2) How long open?
July 2013 (opened by Von Stiehl winery next door)
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Re-opening the Ahnapee brewery that closed in 1886 (open 1868), current owners are descendants of old brewmaster
Beer brewed in old creamery 4 miles off-site. Batches are 14-barrel.
5) What sets you apart?
Actual on-site history, great location on river/lake, recipe from 1800s (Long Goodbye)
Rolling past the imposing brick winery next door, we were on the lookout for a larger brewery. Instead we found a literal garage with a big Ahnapee Brewery banner on the door and a beautiful old car out front. We were intrigued.
Ahnapee Brewery (Facebook) is in the small town of Algoma, right on the Ahnapee River a few blocks from where it meets Lake Michigan. It’s a small space, but feels homey rather than cramped. We were the only two there when we arrived, though our guide behind the bar was helpful and friendly and eventually some locals wandered in. $2 per tasting glass, and that day they had 6 of their beers on tap.
This Cider is made with 100% locally-grown apples and is much drier than you’d expect, which lends itself to be more drinkable with just a tinge of sweet. One of the more full-bodied ciders I’ve had.
A Munich Helles, the Long Goodbye is made to be similar to what the original Ahnapee Brewery would’ve made. It’s refreshing, but a bit weak for me for anything other than lounging on the porch.
Their go at an Amber Ale is solid, with the right balance of malt and hops and a hint of caramel.
Mushroom Brown Ale:
The most interesting of the batch, this Brown Ale is brewed with a variety of different mushrooms. The taste isn’t overpowering, but the shrooms definitely add a creamy, earthy tang to the beer.
So good I bought a growler of it to go. It’s a German Lager, and goes down smoother than the malty heaviness would let on.
Chocolate Milk Stout:
Better than your average Stout; think a chocolaty Guinness.
Ahnapee Brewery is an inviting space full of people just as approachable as their beer. Don’t be fooled by the small-town nature of the place, though; these brews are finely-crafted and truly good.