Stevens Point- Day 1
This past weekend I made a trip up to Stevens Point, WI. I’ll be honest, before this trip the only time I had heard of Stevens Point was in the Disney Channel show Liv & Maddie….(embarrassing I know!) Needless to say, I’ll never forget about Stevens Point now. This trip has been so much more to me than great craft beer. I have been floored by the hospitality of the people of Stevens Point. This was really the getaway that I didn’t know I needed. I was able to have fantastic conversations with many locals which really made the trip. On the other side of the coin, the Stevens Point area is home to some great breweries! I’m going to break down my trip into 3 day by day articles so that I can sufficiently cover them all without making everyone read a ton 😊
So first off, Stevens Point is about a 4-hour drive from Chicago, less if traffic cooperates! You can either take I-90 through Madison or 43 through Milwaukee. I recommend taking Madison up and Milwaukee back. That allows you to stop at some great breweries on your way up! Assuming that you would be arriving on a Friday, there are a few stops in downtown Stevens Point that you definitely have to hit! The first is Sunset Point Winery. It’s a perfect stop to appease the people in your party that don’t like beer as well as give yourself a little wine treat. The prices are fabulous with most wines being $5 for a generous pour. They also offer a tasting of 6 wines for $5. We started with a tasting and picked our favorite to get a pour of.
The first wine I want to highlight is the Pinot Noir. I’ve had a lot of Pinot Noirs, but none were as light as this one was. Its aged in French Oak barrels so it has an interesting smoky touch on the finish that goes nicely with the cherry notes. The best way I could describe it is an introductory red wine for those who want to get into them but think they are too heavy. So bring this wine to your friend that wants to like reds but thinks it will never happen because it just might happen with this wine.
Switching to the lighter side, Nova was my favorite white wine. It’s a little bit more sweet than I would normally go for, but sometimes you need a little decadence! If sweet whites are not your thing, I would recommend the Pisces Pinot Grigio. This hits more fruit notes while keeping it fairly dry and crisp.
Lastly, I want to talk about their Northern Lights series. Do you have a friend that will literally only drink Arbor Mist? Well help them step up a bit to Sunset Points Northern Lights series. They are pretty sweet and taste like they contain zero alcohol (they are 8% ABV.) Its honestly incredible how they cover up the alcohol! I tried the Tropical Storm version…it made me feel like I was on the beach (even though it was the middle of winter in Wisconsin) If you get a flight, try out one of these!
After having some fantastic wines, head to dinner at Guu’s on Main. Quite a few locals had told me about how delicious their Friday Fish Fry is, but I didn’t end up going because of a 50 minute wait for a table. Next time I go back to Steven’s Point I will definitely be having Friday Fish Fry at Guu’s!
We ended up going to Hilltop Bar & Grill and were not disappointed in the least! I had a scrumptious chicken sandwich and my husband had the fish fry. Because we’re in Wisconsin, we had to wash it down with a New Glarus Spotted Cow. It would honestly be a crime if we hadn’t!
If you want to pick up some other awesome Wisconsin beer, check out The Bottle Shop on your way out of downtown Stevens Point. They have an awesome selection of New Glarus Indigenous series and other hard to find beers. Prices are very fair and it’s always awesome to support a local business.
We finished the night at O’so Brewing, which happened to be across the parking lot from our hotel! It was nice to be able to park the car at the hotel and just walk to the brewery. Many people wrote me and recommended O’sos so of course I had to check it out! I had no idea that they had been open for 11 years! Crazy! I got a flight of 5 4oz beers and it ended up being $11.50. I kind of wish I had just got a pint because it only would have been $4.50 but hey that’s the poor student in me! Let’s rate some beers!
1. Bring Me the Disco King- Barrel Aged Sour w/ Blueberries & Ginger 5.5% ABV
I really enjoyed this one, the blueberries and ginger came together to make a lightly sweet concoction that wasn’t overly sour. It was nicely balanced and had a good body to it. Would definitely get this one again!
2. Pi- Barrel Aged Belgian Strong w/ Cherries 10% ABV
This one was a bit more on the face pucker sour side. Still not too bad but if you’re “sour sensitive” you may want to stay away from this one. Cherries always taste nice in sours in my opinion but combining with a Belgian sour base really took it to the next level.
3. Convenient Distraction- Imperial Porter w/ Coffee & Vanilla 10% ABV
I am always a big fan of coffee beers, especially when they are accompanied by vanilla. The coffee flavor tended to overtake the vanilla in this one but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It hid its ABV well, making it especially dangerous if you’re not careful!
4. Night Rain- Oatmeal Porter 6.7% ABV
I always love oatmeal porters for their smooth, creamy taste. Night rain is exactly that. I love the malty backbone with roasty and chocolate flavors in there as well.
5. Midnight Troll- Smoked Imperial Stout w/ Cocoa Nibs 10%
I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t a fan of this one. I wanted to like it because I usually really enjoy smoked stouts, but this one just didn’t hit the mark for me. The body was quite thin and the smoke just wasn’t tasting great.
Guys, this was just day one! Can you even imagine the fun that awaits you on days 2 and 3?!?! Prepare yourself!
Where should I stay?!?
Hampton Inn & Suites- Plover
Great Northern Distilling and O'so Brewing are literally in the parking lot! Yummy free breakfast and a central location between all the great breweries.
But how long is the drive?
4 hours with the typical Friday midday traffic.
What breweries should I stop at if I go through Madison?
Karben 4, Working Draft, Funk Factory Geuzeria
What breweries should I stop at if I go through Milwaukee?
Eagle Park, 1840, Mobcraft, Good City
What places are in the Wisconsin Craft Collective?
Stevens Point Brewery, Central Waters, O'so Brewing, Great Northern Distilling, Sunset Point Winery