Between my recent blog post on local beer, wine, and distilling, and my Facebook posts and talk on the air about Madison Craft Beer Week, you're probably starting to think I'm a lush. Not so. I practice and encourage responsible sampling and enjoyment--as frequently as possible.
Last weekend Ann and I went back to my hometown, Monroe, to tour the Minhas Craft Brewery and the Minhas Micro Distillery across the street. The brewery is one of the oldest businesses in Monroe, although it's had many names over the years. I've toured it a couple of times, but the tour is more elaborate now. The Canadian couple who bought the brewery a few years ago have turned it into the 10th-largest brewery in the country in terms of capacity--not the 10th-largest craft brewery, but the 10th-largest brewery period. They've expanded the warehouse space--necessary given the amount of brewing they do, not just for their own labels, which include Huber and Rhinelander, but what they do on a contract basis for other brewers. Yet for all the beer they produce, they still have only one brew kettle---which is why they brew in three shifts, 24 hours a day, four days a week. The Micro Distillery is not doing any distilling at the moment, although they're equipped to do so. They're blending exclusively on-site right now, and making some tasty whiskey, rum, and vodka.
An hour's ride down Highway 69 to Monroe is mandatory if you enjoy local beer and spirits. To learn more about the brewery, click here. For more about the distillery, click here.