By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Sep 20, 2009 at 10:26 AM

If you haven't taken a tour of a brewery, you haven't become a full-fledged Wisconsinite.

There are breweries throughout the state, from large national companies to smaller craft brewers. Jim Lundstrom recently profiled five "historically important" breweries in an article on the state Department of Tourism Web site. They are:

Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee
400 W. State St., (414) 931-2337, (800) 944-5483
The mother ship of seven large brewing operations run by the country's second largest brewer. Free tours; three Miller samples included. Tours offered 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Popular attraction: Former lagering cave with Miller's Girl in the Moon dangling from the ceiling.  

New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus
2400 State Hwy. 69, (608) 527-5850
A jewel among microbreweries. A new 75,000-sq. ft. brewery will open in fall 2007. Free self-guided audio tours; three samples for $3.50. Tours offered 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Popular attraction: Small-scale but world-class brewery. 

City Brewery, La Crosse
1111 3rd St. South, (608) 785-4283
City Brewery has found its niche producing a line of beers and contract brews for a wide variety of beverage markets. Admission is $1, including two samples. Tours schedule varies by month. Popular attraction: The world's largest six-pack. 

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls
124 E. Elm St., (888) 534-6437
Leinenkugel's is the seventh oldest brewery in the nation and one of the most modern. Free, including two samples. Tours offered 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday. Popular attraction: The Leinie Lodge, a cozy hospitality room and gift shop that opened in 2003.

Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point
2617 Water St., (800) 369-4911
The folks at Stevens Point Brewery have cleaned house for the brewery's 150th anniversary in 2007. $3, including commemorative sample glass and unlimited beer samples (within a time limit). Tours offered June to August, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Saturday; September to May, 11 a.m., Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Saturday. Popular attraction: Super-friendly brewery workers. 

Lundstrom has done a good job with these five, but this writer has just a couple more:

Capital Brewery, Middleton

Capital Brewery was founded on March 14, 1984. Located in a former egg processing plant building, Capital Brewery produced its first brew in the spring of 1986.

Much of the brewing equipment currently used in the brewery, including the two copper brewing kettles, came from the Hoxter Brewery in Germany. At the heart of the operation is an excellent refrigeration system that enables the brewery to produce extremely high quality lager beers, prompting many to refer to Capital Brewery as the finest lager brewery in America. This opinion is supported by the fact that Capital Brewery was named the No.1 Brewery in America at the 1998 Beverage Testing Institute's World Beer Championships in Chicago.

Tours are conducted on Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. For groups of fewer than 15 people, there's no need to call ahead. If you are bringing a group of 15 or more, however, please call ahead of time at (608) 836-7100,

Gray's Brewing, Janesville

The Gray's Brewing Company is a fifth generation family business that began in 1856. With 140 years of operation, Gray's Brewing Company is proud to be the nation's oldest family owned beverage company. The microbrewery also prides itself on its flavorful line of beers, root beer and cream soda.

Tours are offered on the first and third Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. and by appointment. Call (608) 752-3552 or go to for more information.

Of course, right in Milwaukee, you have Sprecher and Lakefront that produce wonderful beer. Sprecher generally has tours of its Glendale Avenue brewery available throughout the year on Fridays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. They also have Sunday tours at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Call (414) 964-7837 for exact times as they may change slightly from week to week. Web site is:

Lakefront's tour schedule varies. You can find out the latest at

There are also dozens of brew pubs in the Milwaukee area and throughout the state, which produce good beer often served right on location and many also conduct tours., and other web sites offer directories for such places.