*This is the seventy-first post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Port Huron Brewing Company
805 Business Park Road
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Visit date: 07/30/16
1) How many different beers?
7 on tap, 13 total.
2) How long operational?
Established in 2011, brewing beer since April 2012.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Local homebrewer, worked and studied at other Wisconsin brewing mainstays.
Northwest Wisconsin in kegs and bottles.
5) What sets you apart?
Diverse crowd, drinkable beers, dedicated mug club.
6) How did you get your name?
Family’s 1917 Port Huron Steam Traction Engine.
There’s been an explosion of new breweries opening throughout the US over the last decade, and that’s primarily driven by local, family-run outfits. Port Huron Brewing Company in the Wisconsin Dells is a prime example of this model.
Passion, dedication, history, and education combined for head-brewer Tanner and the Brethorst clan in starting up PHBC back in 2011. The brewery took its name from the family’s antique 1917 Port Huron Steam Traction Engine, and Tanner brought his experiences at the famed Siebel Brewing Institute as well as stints working at three other big-time Wisconsin craft breweries.
That explains the great beer, or as Solare Brethorst put it,
“Really ’rounded beers. Drinkability is very high.”
But it’s the family-style atmosphere that makes a visit a great experience.
Whether it’s the free popcorn or pretzel rods to nosh on, the signs discouraging arguments, or the priceless tongue-in-cheek treasure that is a Flux Capacitor signed by Huey Lewis, the personal feeling is palpable. It made for a laid-back and comfortable place to try our samplers.
Fresh, clean finish in a light, golden beer.
Creamy & banana-y, with a satisfying belly-feel.
Amber Alt Bier
Malty and oaky with subtle coffee notes.
Twelve Bottom IPA
Juicy with low bitterness: and all-day IPA.
Million Dollar Smoked Maibock
Very smokey; like an easy-drinking bonfire. Drink while camping.
Hint of spice on the tongue.
Malty, smooth: a true style brew.
Solare told us that “(they) bring in quite the diverse crowd”, with the majority of their 180(!) mug club members being from out of town. Sometimes traveling to the touristy Dells can make the whole place seem fake. However, a beer and an afternoon at Port Huron Brewing Company’s Engine House Tap Room offers you that authentic feeling of family.