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Potosi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Potosi Brewing CompanyPotosi Brewing Company

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 22
Beer Ratings: 640
Beer Avg: 3.81

Taps: 8 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

16 Ratings
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 5.57%
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

209 South Main Street
Potosi, Wisconsin, 53820
United States
phone: (608) 763-4002

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @potosibrewingco

Notes:
Site of the National Brewery Museum.

(Place added by: SurgeonGeneral on 06-01-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by smspangler:
Photo of smspangler
smspangler

Wisconsin

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Finding your way to the Potosi Brewing Company is a snap. Just follow the classy PBC banners unflappingly attached to just about every telephone pole and lamp post for miles around. Not only do they give you the turns and reassurance that you're getting closer to 209 South Main St. (aka State Road 133, Wisconsin's Great River Road), they gave the reasons four late June 2009 visit: Beer, Food, Museum.

Established in 1852, the Potosi Brewing Company closed its doors in 1972. They reopened in July 2008, thanks to the Potosi Brewing Foundation, the community's 501(c)(3) nonprofit that restored the historic landmark to reconnect with part of its heritage and develop a destination of historic and educational interest to help sustain the viability of the Mississippi River town in southwest Wisconsin, population 711.

Modern cream brick additions flank the original two-story limestone brewery and its wood-framed third story. Straight back from the front door is the cave the founders dug into the limestone hillside to keep their brew cool. It now displays historic hand-operated bottling and kegging tools behind its glass wall and door. To reach it you pass through the Great River Road Interpretive Center. It doubles as the restaurant waiting room, and a trim oak obelisk neatly organizes computer kiosks and brochure racks.

Opposite of the restaurant is the free transportation museum that shows how PBC received barley and hops by water, rail, and road, and distributed its brews by horse-drawn wagon, train, and truck. Next to the computer quiz that sees if you're paying attention to the exhibits is the back half of a flawless turquoise 1957 Plymouth. Its open trunk is filled with period lagniappe salesmen used in making PBC the state's fifth largest brewery.

Before an early dinner, my wife and I explored the upper two floors, home to the National Brewery Museum and Library, a collaborative effort between PBC and the National Breweriana Association. (The $7 admission includes a 10-ounce brew or root beer.) We roamed among thousands of items, from cans, bottles, and trays, to tapper beer balls, neon, and antique brewery tools (like a beer keg croze) for nearly three hours. Watching classic 1950s beer commercials and other presentations were welcome sit downs.

In preserving and presenting the heritage of American brewing, what the museum makes clear is how much of our local identify and character we've lost with the breweries like Zolleres, Dahlkes, and Badger Certified Beer, 64-ounce bottles of Picnic Beer, and an important facet of every town's personality--the common beer hall. Carrying on are the craft brewer and brewpub.

In what was the third-floor hops room is PBC's 15-barrel mash/lauter tun and brew kettle. The fermentation tanks are on the main floor, to the right of bar, just past the window in the floor where brewery's sustaining spring gushes. I tried three of the five PBC brews. A devout stout and ale drinker, I passed on Good Old Potosi, a "light bodied and refreshing brew" with a "soft effervescent character," and Potosi Radler, a mixture of Good Old Potosi and lemonade.

Potosi Pure Malt Cave Ale is described as an amber pure malt and hop brew with a more assertive flavor profile. I found it full-bodied and creamy with a nice finish reminiscent of an English pale ale. The Holiday Bock went well with my excellent dinner burger. PBC calls it a "robust beer" that will "satisfy the demand for a dark and bracing brew in the tradition of a noble porter, stout, or bock beer." Okay, maybe, if it had a heartier body and a tad less sweetness.

I saved the Snake Hollow IPA for dessert. Its moniker comes from Potosi's original name, and PBC said "this sturdy ale will satisfy...hopheads," and I'll agree and put it toward the bottom of my Top 10 IPAs. Just to make sure, I had a second, and my wife said she'd drive. She shared a sip of her Princess Potosa Root Beer, which was hearty and smooth, and a bite of her dinner special, bluegill, which she declared "delicious" and I found tasteless...maybe because my tongue was embraced by the IPA's hoppy hug.

If you collect brewpub glasses, get your PBC pint in the bar. For the same gift shop price, $6.99, you get a free fill; after that is $3.25 a pint. The restaurant recommends reservations, and that seems wise. We sat down in an almost empty restaurant just before 5 p.m. on Friday; by 5:30 all but one or two of the tables was filled. Looking out the window at the Potosi Bottling Works across the street (now a craft store), I savored my final sips of IPA. Yes, the trip was more than worth the drive from Wisconsin's east coast.

07-13-2009 14:26:40 | More by smspangler
More User Reviews:
Photo of bismarksays
bismarksays

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25 | $$

The best reason to go here is the museum. It is full history, both in terms of beer and advertising.
The food here is very good. Sweet potato fries with any of their burgers and you can't go wrong.
Selection can really vary day to day, both in number of different beers and in different styles. The website always seems behind, so either call or just show up and hope for the best. There is normally something for everyone though.
If you have kids, their root beer is top notch too.
Visit if you can.

06-05-2014 03:53:34 | More by bismarksays
Photo of aubzachsyd
aubzachsyd

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +9%

05-10-2014 20:58:08 | More by aubzachsyd
Photo of jjohns23
jjohns23

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +9%

02-20-2014 14:20:17 | More by jjohns23
Photo of egrace84
egrace84

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

10-20-2013 22:51:10 | More by egrace84
Photo of Josievan
Josievan

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | $$

Brewery, museum, and brewpub all under one roof! The museum contains interesting brewing memorabilia from all around the country. $5 gets you a self-guided tour and a complimentary beer. The service at the bar and gift shop were both excellent. The atmosphere was family-friendly, although my group of several single guys also felt very welcome. The brewpub has a wide variety of Potosi beers on tap, many of which have not been bottled. There was also one Capital beer on tap. A pleasant beer garden adjoins the brewpub. No one in my group ordered food. Definitely worth a stop if you're in southwestern Wisconsin!

08-17-2013 13:23:34 | More by Josievan
Photo of dethomp
dethomp

Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $

Loved it.

Pretty hard to to get there from here, but well worth it. My brief recommendation is: go there if you're within 50 miles and have some time to explore.

The population called Potosi is probably large enough to be considered a village. On my drive into the place (from the SW, I think) I quickly saw the legless water tower in the shape of a humungous Potosi Beer can. Too bad there was not a motel or campground or other way to stay overnight.

On entering the restaurant you'll first see the Beer Museum. At the first opportunity I went through the museum (free!). It's actually in a cave with a flat concrete floor. For some purpose there's a one half old classic car positioned like it's coming out of the cave wall. A bit later you'll go through a glass door into the humid part of the cave in which brewing was actually done, way back when.

Aren't many actually old breweries to visit.

Sorry, but the atmosphere and food were so great I've probably given beer rating a bit too high.

06-25-2013 20:44:48 | More by dethomp
Photo of Bowers-Brew
Bowers-Brew

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

Neat brewery with an interesting/unfortunate location. Had some troubles traveling there...

Food at the restaurant was okay, not great but still good bar food.

Bar was pretty cool and seemed to draw some regulars.

Outdoor area looked nice, but it was cool when we visited.

Museum is an interesting touch and a good way to see some beer memorabilia.

05-10-2013 22:27:35 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of jimbrinkruff
jimbrinkruff

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

My family and I were in Dubuque, Iowa for a half marathon and found this place on the internet. It was well worth the drive from Dubuque, although I must admit I wondered where we were going as it is on the outskirts of a Mississippi river town in the middle of nowhere. We arrived on the Sunday before Labor Day and were told there was a 45 minute wait because we didn't make reservations (which were recommended on Yelp) We instead decided to place our order at the bar and sit in the beer garden. My kids enjoyed wandering around the beer garden as we waited for our food. We need more beer gardens in America! The food was excellent and the beer was good too. Although the best part was the atmosphere. The museum was closed so we only saw the first floor and the gift shop. We got a growler of the Tangerine IPA and Root beer for the kids which was excellent as well and headed back for Dubuque. If we're ever in the area again (which I can't imagine why) I would definitely stop. Come and enjoy the beer and bring the kids.

09-30-2012 06:05:32 | More by jimbrinkruff
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

This place is really nice. The beer museum is geared only towards old guard macros but it is only 5 bucks plus a free beer so it isn't bad.

They have a biergarten out back which was nice if not as charming as a Bavarian one. The place apparently got an unusual spike at noon so the service was slower but they made up for it by being very friendly. The food is pretty good and the beer is very good.

There is also a nice gift shop. Maybe it is worth a stop for some people alone, for others it won't be that important. It is in the middle of nowhere after all.

08-12-2011 02:59:53 | More by crossovert
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Potosi Brewing Company in Potosi, WI
92 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.