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Potosi Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
964 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

209 S Main St
Potosi, Wisconsin, 53820
United States

(608) 763-4002 | map

Site of the National Brewery Museum.

Added by SurgeonGeneral on 06-01-2008

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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by smspangler:
Photo of smspangler
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 4,650 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of CPAles
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of SSGCujo
4.25/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Wolffy
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

What a find in the southern edge of Wisconsin a town of 685 people the beer museum is awesome the new 150 Barrel brewery is more awesome take the beer tour $11 you get a free pint glass full of beer and a one year admission to the museum and the day I was there they were more than generous with the beer on the tour very nice people that work there

 365 characters

Photo of COR8RFAN
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Awesome atmosphere with their museum on site.

45 characters

Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A hidden gem of SW Wisconsin. Visited a couple times and always enjoyed the stay. The brewery and history museum are nice to visit. The food has always been well made, along with the beer and the staff has always been super friendly. Their bar is a visual marvel; extremely well made and just beautiful to look at. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself near there.

 377 characters

Photo of Ryannel24
3.41/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Photo of Sprague67
4.86/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of 03fatboy
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Was there in 2014 summer great beer's lov them all !!

53 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of italianstallion
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

Photo of WestHam973
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of invalid665
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of FelkertheBelcher
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of equinox1
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of mhsmall84
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of hoosier222002
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of jwenzel019
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Asrugan
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of cervezango
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of LukeK
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Tconder
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of bismarksays
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 504 characters

Photo of aubzachsyd
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of jjohns23
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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Potosi Brewing Company in Potosi, WI
Brewery rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 964 ratings
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