jewedekind (37) Middleton , Wisconsin | July 26, 2005| Updated April 22, 2007
If you want an experience along with incredible beer, this is the place to go. Arrived on the hottest of July days early on a Friday afternoon. Only regular locals at the bar (one in house slippers). Bob ruled the day, telling us ribald jokes by the score, watched some golf and tried about every beer he had. The beers are unique to Bob’s crooked view of the world. Spicy. diacetyl -heavy and very unique beers. Not for everyone - but right up my alley. This place screams WISCONSIN!
visited this place spring 2003-very much a midwest bar with a brewery. I thought that the dark was over-rated, but still a strong brew. all their brews were consistant and very good. Yes, do ask about the "idiot from NY" and you will get a great story
absolutely awesome. Bob and Bonita are great, and yes, they laugh heartily at the beer geeks. Bob's mission is to brew beer that makes you have to take another sip shortly after the last. Ask Bob for some quality jokes, and he'll have you laughing heartily as well. Just a super cool little place. yes, the total eclipse is the best, but I havent had the bock yet
This place is certainly a must-stop if you're in Central-Eastern Wisconsin, somewhere around Lake Winnebago and/or Green Bay. It's a classic small-town Wisconsin bar, but instead of Miller products, you get Bob's great classic German-style lagers. The celebrated Dark is actually second in my book to the schwartzbier, Total Eclipse, but everything's pretty decent. Bob and Bonita will talk your ear off and they'll appreciate that you've heard of them from Ratebeer, even if they don't quite understand why you would care. An essential experience!
I’ve made the drive from Milwaukee to Chilton a few times now and I’ve always been pleased. The beer is fresh and enjoyable, the service excellent, and the selection better than most brewpubs. The prices are also amazing, cheaper than you pay for most macros at a bar. I also had a frozen pizza that they made in a toaster oven there that wasn’t half bad. A definite place to check out if you’re anywhere near the area.
JCapriotti (67) Milwaukee, Wisconsin | May 21, 2005| Updated December 18, 2005
This is a great hidden brewpub. There really aren’t any big beers here, but there also aren’t any bad beers. And today I got a 12-beer sampler (~2oz each) for $6.50. I was amazed! Bob Rowland, the co-owner and brewer, is a cool guy.... a little non-PC as he puts it, but also very down to earth about owning such a successful business. And, regarding Hezron’s comments about a "biker bar", this place must be on a list of bars to stop at if you are a biker. On a sunny weekend afternoon, I’m guessing this place routinely gets bombarded by bikers for an hour or two. You can see the owners go to battle stations at the first sound of the thunder, early-pouring pilseners and lagers to meet the demand. Fun stuff :)
This is a really unique place, quirky and anachronistic. If this doesn’t interest you, stop reading here. For the intrepid seekers of one-of-a-kind experiences, read on...
We made a detour here from Green Bay, en route to Door county, despite the protests of a few locals based on the overall quality of the beers (more on that later). The building itself appeared to be well over 100 years old, with a cool mural of the Calumet Brewery logo. The front door was a unique copper plated design, heavy and rustic. Brewing equipment was visible though the windows. Inside it was dark and a little divey, high ceilings and a tv above the bar playing dr. phil. If you’re a breweriana fan, the collection here is worth the visit alone. Plenty of old trays and piles of crates high above on the walls, many from the old Calumet Brewery (closed 1937) and from collection of the bar owner/brewer’s mother. She was tending the bar, and had plenty of great stories to tell, a real salt of the earth lady who cared about the place, the beer, and it’s history.
About the beer itself... let’s get the quality issues out of the way. They brew with a house yeast, and there was diacetyl in a few of the beer samples, so some of the less interesting beers tended to all run together. Don’t know if this is a tap line sanitation issue or what. However, there were a few that were solid, the Calumet Dark, Mortimer’s Ale, and "Kirby" a test batch brewed with Kirby Nelson (formerly of Capital). The root beer wasn’t bad either.
There’s something to be said for upholding local brewing history, reviving a lost brewery, and maintaining it for over 20 years in this tiny, quiet town. It’s worth a visit, especially if quirky, off-the-beaten-path places are your cup of tea.
I’ve only been there once, but it’s a cool stop if you’re in the right place in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin! They have a really cool bar area, great beers, and will talk your ear off about ’em if you’ll let ’em. I haven’t been back since Bob passed away, but I wouldn’t hesitate to stop in if I was anywhere close.
In the middle of nowhere sits a brewpub. We even drove right past it and then had to circle back. Went on a Saturday afternoon and were nearly the only people in the place until a wedding party in between events showed up. Like Jason, I did the sampler, and it came with 12 beers (I think.) Overall, very tasty. Nothing was particularly mind blowing, but it’s good to have done the experience. If you’re even in the area (how many times do you pass through Chilton?), I’d say hit this place. Classic.