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Brew Pub Details

Brewmaster: Ron De Bausche
Tours: Yes
Restaurant: Yes
No Smoking
Games: Darts

Minocqua Brewing Company

238 Lake Shore Drive
P.O. Box 550
Minocqua, Wisconsin  54548
(715) 356-2600
brewdude@minocquabrewingco.com

Reviewed by: xtcnxs
Monday, August 19th, 2002

The Arrival

A family vacation up north urged me to check the net for brew pubs to visit. I found this one and am glad I stopped by. Located on the lake downtown, it's easy to find at 238 Lake Shore Drive. We walked in and discovered the kitchen had just closed, but the nice hostess fired it up for me when I mentioned I was doing a beer review of their establishment. I love it already.

The Beer

All their beers are very good, I didn't have a skunky one in the bunch. I wish I would've had 2 samplers to try. The brew comes in everything from pints to kegs. Pints are 3.75 and 4.75, for 16oz. and 20oz.

Island City Honey Ale - Wow, a great beer to start my sampler. It's a very smooth drinkable brew. A light ale that is slightly sweet, and you can taste a hint of honey. They use a combination of barley, wheat, and caramel malts, along with honey and hops to brew this beer in the Northwoods.
Reviewer's Rating: 5 - Now this is beer. Would definitely drink again.

Island City Northern Wheat Ale - This beer is warming and lightly fruity. It reminds me of wine somewhat. It is light and has a clean finish. English wheat and imported hops lend to its taste. It's drinkable, but make your friend pay for the pint.
Reviewer's Rating: 4 - A decent beer. Slightly above average.

Island City Wild Rice - This lager is tasty! My notes say "very crisp and rice-ish." They add wild rice, and a slightly darker caramel malt to make this medium body beer. It was a '99 Gold Medal Winner at The Great American Beer Festival. I can see why.
Reviewer's Rating: 6 - Excellent. Order another one right away or take a growler home.

Island City Red Ale - They were out of this ale and I was looking forward to it most. Next time I guess. Their menu says: A red/amber ale, full of caramel and malt flavor. Crystal aromatic dark malts, balanced by imported "Noble" German hops make this brew a perennial favorite.
Reviewer's Rating: 5 - Now this is beer. Would definitely drink again.

Island City Pale Ale - I didn't like this with the first sip because it was citrus-y. It grew on me though. Yep, I think I like it. If you like it bitter, try it.
Reviewer's Rating: 5 - Now this is beer. Would definitely drink again.

Island City Octoberfest - I got this on my platter I think because the Red Ale was out. It had a lite cream taste and was smooth to drink.
Reviewer's Rating: 4 - A decent beer. Slightly above average.

Island City Rye Porter - Ah, this is beer. I haven't had a nasty beer all night. They are all really good. This dark ale is smooth, and has a dark roasted flavor. One of the pubs best. Great to sip on while I eat these cheese curds in front of me.
Reviewer's Rating: 6 - Excellent. Order another one right away or take a growler home.

Discussion with Ron De Bausche

I spoke with Dave De Busche who has since stepped aside to let his son Ron (age 25) take over the brewing process. He was of Irish/French-Belgium descent. He was very easy to talk to, and he gave me a free pint (Honey Ale). His goal was to keep the beer consistent batch after batch. They brew 10-12 different beers and between 350-400 barrels. Seasonally they have a Scottish Ale available.

Image Gallery

The Atmosphere

Rich, our waiter was a working mad man. He was quick with service and he was everywhere. This place looks brand new, the wood floors are nice and the windows with the lake view are where we were invited to sit. We started out with some awesome cheese curds and ranch dressing. I barely left room for the entree. My wife got the Sourdough Melt with smoked turkey, thick, crisp bacon and cheddar. Tasty! I got the Gyro with thick slices of lamb, tomato, red onion and creamy cucumber sauce. That was very good, and I couldn't finish the huge portion. I'd come here weekly if I lived up north. Prices are $6.95-$21.95 for dinner entrees.

Afterthoughts

The stand-outs are the Wild Rice, Rye Porter and Honey Ale. I'd come back for the food and beer, and maybe a tour. The friendly staff really helps you enjoy your experience at Minocqua Brewing Company. Why I didn't grab a 6pk to go, I'll never know. Doh!

Visit Minocqua Brewing Company Website

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