*This is the seventy-eighth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Stevens Point Brewery
2617 Water St
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Visit date: 10/22/16
1) How many different beers?
14 available that day, many over multiple brands.
2) How long operational?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
German immigrants came to area for industry, now owned by Milwaukee businessmen.
35 states, 6 countries.
5) What sets you apart?
Focus on WI ingredients, employee-friendly company.
6) How did you get your name?
Always been in same location in Stevens Point.
Stevens Point Brewery has been operating in its namesake town for 160 years: let that sink in for a second. They served their beer to Union soldiers. There are multiple countries in the world younger than Point.
And age isn’t their defining trait: besides being the 5th oldest privately-owned brewery in the USofA, they’re also in the top 50 for production output. A trip into their unassuming little white brewery tells the tale.
Stroll past the iconic Point-head Man to find the entrance into the small gift shop. You better have a reservation for their limited tours or come back tomorrow (our 11am Saturday tour was sold out ahead of time).
The gift shop was a good opportunity to pick up some Point swag and take a look at the 4 different house brands: Point, James Page (JP), Whole Hog, and Ciderboys.
There’s no taproom (their pubs are in Milwaukee), but a crisp Lincoln gets you the tour and 3 samples at a bar on the brewing floor.
Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
“Smells like pumpkin pie, tastes like Thanksgiving.”
Malty but light, with lingering burnt caramel notes.
SPA Session Pale Ale
Right to the nose with fresh orange peel and light hops.
Poundable with a dry tongue.
Very difficult to pin down: a slow berry release.
JP’s Casper Nitro White Stout
Wow, this is dessert in a glass. Vanilla bean, coffee; like a creamy mocha.
Onyx Black Ale
No smell, deceives the solid malty taste.
Beyond the Pale IPA
Super fresh, nosy.
Drop Dead Blonde
Honey notes, bubbly.
“Soooo it’s a mimosa” with a little bit of apple.
Whole Hog Espresso Stout
All coffee all day.
Our guide, Nathan, was young and admittedly new to the company, but he gushed over the local and employee-focused company. Point’s warehouse full of contract-brews made for other national brands is due in part to their impressive brewing setup, but also likely impacted by their family business atmosphere.
With equal parts brewing history and quality beer 160-years tested, Stevens Point Brewery is…well…on-point. (I had to).