A good beer in the NFL’s smallest town is easy to find. If you’re looking for quality craft beverages, Green Bay has quite a few breweries that promote their alcoholic concoctions on site. Considering the many Green Bay beer factories, an agreeable atmosphere in which to enjoy your drink of choice shouldn’t pose a problem. It just depends on the patron to decide which is right for them.
The Hinterland, Copper State and Title Town brewing companies all offer dining along with their tasty beverages. Badger State, while not having a kitchen, does offer a food truck to accompany the many beers on tap. However, if you just want a beer in a small hometown taproom , there’s that too.
Today, I’ll recount my visits to two smaller establishments, which both seemed to have a lot of similarities, even though the ambiance maybe slightly different. Stillmank Brewery offers some fantastic beers and Noble Roots celebrates the origins of their company with a garage-like taproom. So, lets warp back to Friday, shall we.
We’re heading towards University Avenue, on Henry Street, when we find the Stillmank Brewery. It’s a small place with aluminum siding and an equally small patio in the front. When we pull into the drive, we discover the parking lot is not much larger. And when we enter, even as the taproom has quite a unique and intimate feel, it’s relatively compact.
I go to use the Unisex restroom which is locked, and patiently wait for a chance to relieve myself. But before I do, I order a brew known as Killer Bees. It’s a jalapeno blonde, and I’m cautiously optimistic. Usually the wildest ingredients leads to either delight in discovery or epic disappointment.
When I return from the bathroom, a tall pint glass in a delicious shade of yellow awaits. I sit on the stool, take a sip and survey the bar. I’m uplifted on a few levels, as I feel I’ve stumbled upon an unexpected pleasure.
First off, as I sip my beer, I take in the vibe of this very casual hang out. There’s and old Ratt CD playing overhead and a computer monitor is the only television screen I see in this place. I guess It’s not really a vibe that I sense here but a very intimate air. I scan the rudimentary shelves that hold branded bottles, cans and books on beer. I also notice that on these walls are medals Stillmank’s brews have earned.
Speaking of medal winning beers, even if Killer Bees is not one of them, I’m enthralled with this new find. The taste is great and the fact that it uses spicy peppers leaves my mouth feeling as if I’ve bit into an electric blanket, without being shocked of course. Or maybe I’m shocked at just how satisfied I am with my choice. Heidi, who I haven’t really mentioned ’til now, is also enjoying hers. Considering we haven’t even ordered Stillmank’s flagship amber ale ‘Wisco Disco’, the price at $5 a pint is more than reasonable.
Heidi asks if I want another round, which I’ll have to buy. It’s only fair because Heidi provided the finances for our first beer odyssey. Was that wording a bit over the top? Yeah, you’re probably right, I went a little overboard. Anyways, I tell her I’ll hold off here and save my turn for another establishment.
We catch University Ave and make the short jaunt to Noble Roots Brewing Company. I should mention that both of these establishments started with home brews and they worked their way up. From the kitchen to the garage and then store shelves. Along with their on site taprooms, it’s quite a climb and reassuring to see the American dream still alive and well.
We enter the small parking lot, which is not as tiny as Stillmank’s but small, and discover another aluminum sided building. This one has a taproom the same size as the other, but laid out incredibly differently. It’s still casual, but I get that ‘cookie cutter trying to be hip’ sense here. It is a bit more hip with a glass panel garage door opened to allow the early evening’s perfect temps inside. There’s also a much larger patio here.
Here, the beers are priced comparably and we both chance a pint of Mackinac Island Ambers for $5. I didn’t read the description of the beer because amber ales are usually a winner for me. I should have. The brew incorporates orange peel in the flavor. I have to say that I’m really not a fan and wished I would have chose something else. I’m not about to drink more than two beers on a night I’m driving, so I can’t speak for their other beverages. We finish them up, enjoy the lively buzz of the taproom and chat for awhile.
It’s a satisfiable early evening but it’s time to leave. A filet of Atlantic Salmon awaits in my fridge and I’m a little bit hungry.
As we leave, Heidi and I discuss our latest beer endeavor. Both establishments were nice and offer decent hometown atmospheres. If I had to choose, I’d go with Stillmank just because I prefer that intimate feel. Not to mention, I love their beers more than any other brewery in town. However, Either are great hangouts for some craft brews.