A lot of people are not aware of the fact that in addition to the local bars that are hidden treasures, there are also two breweries within the Kenosha city limits. These two breweries inside the heart of Kenosha are Public Craft Brewing Company and Rustic Road Brewery, each with its own style and taste.
The first of these gems that I learned of was Rustic Road Brewery, located on 56th Street in downtown Kenosha. The bar brews all of their beer in the open for all to see while customers can enjoy a sample or pint of what they have to offer in the tasting room. Small and quaint, this brewery is quite welcoming upon arrival. Usually a quiet place, it proves to be quite enjoyable and has a good selection. At any given time, they will have an average of about seven beers on tap. They do have a few that are more popular than others and switch between a few seasonal beers every year, but try to keep the ones in higher demand around more often. They try to keep their most popular beer, their Harvest Hazelnut, on tap as more of a year-round option. A lot of their brewers began as home-brewers, so there are a lot of different talents coming together for a selection that has something for every beer lover!
Rustic Road Brewery tries to welcome the city of Kenosha through many events that they hold year-round. Every Friday evening they have a trivia tournament where winners can earn bragging rights as well as prizes. They are also actively involved in what downtown Kenosha calls their “Second Saturday” events. Every second Saturday of the month, many local favorites in the downtown area run specials on food and drinks, and Rustic Road is no exception. On Saturday, April 11, they offered a $2 discount on all “growlers” with the purchase of a pint (a growler is a take home freshness sealer for about 3 to 4 pints worth of beer). Public Craft Brewing Company is no stranger to Second Saturdays either. They most recently had the Trolley Dogs cart at their brewery, offering attendees the chance to have a dog with their brew.
Public Craft Brewing Company, located on 58th Street, is kind of hidden, sharing a building with another business, but is definitely worth finding. With a laid-back atmosphere, this brewery provides a ton of options for things to do while you enjoy your beer. In one corner, patrons can try their hand at chess or checkers, in another there is a group of vinyl records and still yet there are multiple bookshelves with a wide array of books to choose from to keep your mind sharp as you feel your senses dulling. With their business expanding through bottling and distributing their beers, they seem to stick to a lot of the same beers year round. A few change with the season to keep things fresh.
Public Craft Brewing Company also focuses on community events, often having live music on Friday and Saturday nights for the listening enjoyment of Kenosha. They are also running a special beer for the upcoming Orson Welles ceremony that much of Kenosha is involved in. To commemorate this hometown celebrity, they are currently brewing a special beer that will premiere on Friday May 8 to honor Welles.
These two bars often work together to keep small brews alive and well within Kenosha. A lot of their beers are served on tap at the same bars, such as Ashling on the Lough and the Mike’s businesses around town. Public Craft Brewing Company loves to branch out, hoping to gain a following through the multiple places that you can enjoy their beer. Rustic Road Brewery seems to want to keep it local and within their business, as a brewer told me. They have attempted bottling before, but found that it was competing with their tasting room and did not like that. Both breweries are extremely successful and both are checking out if you haven’t already been there.
Article by Krista Skweres