Wisconsin Beer Guide Informs and Educates
Self-professed “amateur beer snob and born-again ale drinker with a writing habit” Kevin Revolinski explores the latter aspect of the Badger State in “Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide” (Thunder Bay Press, 2010).
The travel guide actually is an updated version of his “The Wisconsin Beer Guide: A Travel Companion,” released in 2006 under another publisher’s imprint.
Though peppered with corny jokes and the occasional groan-inducing pun (“pils-grimage”?), the book provides a valuable primer on Wisconsin’s beer history and heritage, some basic background information for the beer-tasting newbie, and helpful lists of beer festivals and tours, as well as a glossary of beer terms.
But the meat of the book is what makes it an essential tool for any traveler taking a Wisconsin Road Trip for Beer. Dividing the state into six zones, Revolinski lists the breweries in each, from a tiny brewery at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to the mega-brewing operation of MillerCoors in Milwaukee.
Each entry lists several points about each brewery including:
- Brewmaster: The guy or gal in charge of making the beer.
- Staple beers: Brews that are on tap year-round.
- Rotating beer: Seasonals and others offered only at certain times of the year.
- Stumbling distance: Cool stuff within walking distance of the brewery – essential information for a Road Trip for Beer.
Another category I’ll discuss outside of the bullet points. It’s called “Special Offer” and you’ll need the book to take advantage of it. Many of the breweries in the book take part in this promotion. At the back of “Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide” is a list of the breweries, with a line for a signature next to it. Bring the book into participating breweries, show the barkeep that the signature line is blank, and you’ll get whatever special offer that brewery has agreed to extend and yes, sometimes it’s a free beer. Other offers include discounts on beer, merchandise or food.
The “Beer Buzz” section of each brewery’s pages gives background on the brewery, local history, short bios on the brewery or just humorous anecdotes of something that happened to the author while he was there.
“When I took on this project back in 2006, I didn’t even like beer,” Revolinski writes in the introduction.
This makes for a refreshing approach to a book like this, as we share the author’s discoveries of not only the beer community of a state, but the joy that comes from sipping a finely crafted brew.
“Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide” is available on Amazon.com.