Sometimes all you need to turn a good day into a great day is a tasty, refreshing alcoholic beverage. Nothing beats a chilled glass of pinot grigio or a nice pilsner on a hot summer day or a stout or nice cabernet on a chilly winter night. If you’re looking for a nice watering hole around Green Lake to whet your whistle, then look no further. We have curated a list of all the best breweries and wineries in the area that will satisfy and delight your taste buds.
Knuth Brewing Company:
It all started with a gift of a home brewing kit. Years and years, and several beers later, David Knuth figured out the secret to a perfectly refreshing brew. About 15 minutes from Green Lake, located in downtown Ripon, WI, Knuth Brewing Company is serving up small-batch craft beers and tasty scratch-made pizzas. You can taste the love put into the taproom, his pizzas, and his signature beers. Try a flight, each signature beer is named after important people and places in David’s life. The Blue Eyed Blond after his loving wife, Red House Ale after their first home, and the Alexander Pilsner after his Great Grandfather.
Omega Brewing Experience:
This is small-town craft brewing at it’s finest. Located in the quaint town of Omro and only open on Friday and Saturday from 5-9pm, a stop at this small brewery is a rare experience. Steve Zink has been brewing beers at home for over 25 years and when he retired, his hobby got a little out of control (according to him) and he ended up opening a brewery. You’ll notice the unique nature of the taproom and the lack of TVs upon entering the building. All of this is intentionally designed to create a community center where you can focus on good beer, good company, and experiencing a good old time. Hence the Omega Brewing Experience.
Nestled on Lake Winnebago, Oshkosh has deep roots in the brewing scene and now has one of the best craft brewing scenes in Wisconsin. The best way to experience the best Oshkosh breweries would be to take a day and tour them all on an epic ale trail. Start at Bare Bones Brewery on the north side of town. Their innovative beers are simply refreshing, especially when enjoyed in their outdoor beer garden. Then head down Hwy 45 to Fox River Brewing’s restaurant located right on the banks of the Fox River. Sample their beer selections and enjoy a lunch of their classic pub food with a view. Mozzie on over to Fifth Ward Brewing, across the Fox River to complete your Oshkosh brewery tour. This brewery started in 1856, but sadly closed their doors in 1882, which felt like the end of the world to the area. Luckily, 130 years later, the company was resurrected by a couple of college students and has been a pillar of the brewing community ever since. Hit a couple more breweries on your way back to Green Lake to complete the perfect brewery day.
Fox Tale Brewing:
Green Lake just witnessed the grand opening of their first brewery. This unique spot doesn’t brew alcoholic beers but instead specializes in genuine craft ginger beer. Their taproom in downtown, Town Square Tap, opened its doors less than a month ago and are quite the instant hit. Serving up delicious cocktails like Moscow Mules and Shandies with their homemade ginger beer are wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. If you still want a nice cold beer, then don’t fret. Town Square tap carried both Knuth Brewing and Fifth Ward Brewing on tap! Enjoy your drink on their patio which overlooks the lake and is filled with fun lawn games like oversized Jenga, cornhole, and shuffleboard.
Vines & Rushes Winery:
Placed on an old strawberry farm in Ripon, WI, this picturesque vineyard is a lovely spot to spend a day. Visit their tasting room, open 7 days a week, and sample their reds, whites, and unique ciders. Their wines are all made with cold hardy grape varieties capable of lasting through Wisconsin’s long winters. The end product? A smooth and sippable glass of wine each with distinct notes and aromas. Come around dinner on Mondays, Fridays, or Saturdays to enjoy some specialty wood-fired pizza with your wine. Check out their event page and keep an eye out for their live music nights, book readings, farm-to-table dinners, and all sorts of great events.
Lunch Creek Vineyards & Winery
Located down a rustic country road, a couple of miles west of Neshkoro, Lunch Creek Vineyards and Winery is reminiscent of warm summer nights, berry picking days, and the smell of nature. The building is quite the sight and has so much history. Built from reclaimed wood from the barn that used to stand on the property, their tasting room is cozy, comfortable, and reminds one of home. This family-run business makes a wide variety of white and red wine, but their specialty are their fruit wines. Try their Blueberry Bliss or their Strawberry Rhubarb wines that give the perfect amount of sweetness with their distinct fruity flavors.
Rushford Meadery & Winery
Just outside the quaint town of Omro, WI lies Rushford Meadery & Winery. This humble winery is relatively new and only completed their first harvest in 2015. With that being said, their bottles were instantly popular and can be found from Oshkosh to Oklahoma. Head on over to their tasting room to try their fine mead, which is a very unique offering in the area. Sweet without being sugary, and refreshing enough to quench your thirst on a hot day.
Head to one or tour them all for an exciting day of drinking, sightseeing, and friend-making. The owners of these small craft breweries and boutique wineries are all hands-on friendly hosts that will make you feel like family the second you walk in the door.
Planning to enjoy some of Green Lake’s refreshing breweries and wineries? Book a stay at the Greenway House Bed & Breakfast, a historic retreat in the heart of beautiful Green Lake.