When you’re from Wisconsin, beer is a part of life. I’m by no means an alcoholic, but I will down a good beer on the weekends. So, naturally, knowing I’m not alone when thirsting for a tasty concoction of hops, barley, wheat or malt, I crave a lively atmosphere to sip, chug or slam my beer. And that’s what Copper State Brewing Company is, a good place to get a beer…oh, and quite a bit more.
I’ve googled the moniker ‘Copper State’, because my brows raise at the mention. I was unaware that, along with titles such as ‘The Badger State’, ‘America’s Dairyland’ and ‘The Cheese State’, ‘Copper State’ was actually a name that referred to Wisconsin. This particular label was inspired by the copper mines in the northern half of the state. Oh well, live and learn. I do like the brewery’s title, because it shows a little digging…no pun intended, was involved when naming this fun spot.
So, on with my drinking expedition at Copper State Brewing Co.…
It’s a balmy November night in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That’s right, I said balmy, like sixty degrees balmy. That might not seem very warm to those in milder climates, but in Northern Wisconsin it’s a tropical heat wave.
Because of that, we’re going to find someplace to drink…we’re not off to get drunk, I’d just like one good amber. And Copper State Brewing Company has the best amber in town, as far as I’m concerned. So, we head towards the heart of the City. Our destination lies just beyond the Fox River, in an area known as the Broadway District.
I’ve heard, yet can’t confirm, that this place was once a smokehouse. When I say smokehouse, I mean one of those places that smoked savory cuts of protein. Whether it was or wasn’t, I can’t be totally sure. I’ll tell you what I do know; this two story brick building is a serious throwback industrial setting. Their taproom, or gastropub, or coffee bar…yes the place boasts all those features, has some hardcore grit blended into their ambiance. Yet, I feel a sense of true class here. How do they do it? I’m not sure. It’s just a good mix of modern elements, an authentically barebones rugged structure and repurposed antiques that really creates a unique feel.
When we stroll in on this beautiful autumn night, the place, including a fun blacktopped patio, is packed with people. As we cross the threshold of the building, I feel the buzz of this nearly filled establishment. Despite being almost full, we find a spot at the bar.
We order two ambers known as ‘Good and Ruddy’. We also peruse the menu. It’s filled with interesting appetizers, woodfired pizzas, burgers and steaks. Their prices are a bit much, so we stick with our beers- which happen to be five dollars a pint.
We drink our beers, soak up the ambiance and delight in the selection of brews. When I say ‘delight in’, I don’t mean we suck them down. What I do mean is that we enjoy the creativity that went into labeling these beers. My hope is that the creativity goes further than the name, and that these are excellent choices to drink as well.
I count seventeen different brews. Among the eclectic variety are Silent Canary(IPA), Pure Dead Brilliant(Scottish Ale), Swift as Molasses(Stout), One Cent(Wheat beer)…I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.
When we leave, I feel a sense of release. Not that the weather, and the outdoor activities I indulged in this warm week, didn’t create some of that. But it was nice to get out and just enjoy an excellent atmosphere, coupled with some great alcoholic beverages. Of the many breweries, gastro pubs and bars in the area, I think Copper State maybe the best. Although, the Depot across the street is hard to beat for ambiance, there’s something personal here-and the bar is pretty cozy. It actually makes me long for a frigid winter night, when I can sip an ‘Up Nort’r’ (local Wisconsin slang made into a beer moniker) at their bar.