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Potosi, Wisconsin & Potosi Brewing Company

potosi brewery beer garden
The fountain at Potosi Brewery outdoor Beer Garden

Potosi, WI
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Long promoting itself as the "Catfish Capital of Wisconsin" Potosi is located about 20 minutes north of Dubuque on the Wisconsin side of the River Road. Besides catfish, Potosi's attractions include St. John's Mine tours and the Grant River Recreation area, a very nice Corps of Engineering RV and tent park a few miles from town on the Mississippi. But Potosi number one attraction is the refurbishing and re-opening of its famous brewery - Potosi Brewing Company, which is also home to the National Brewery Museum and an excellent restaurant and beer garden.

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Potosi Brewery

Potosi Brewery

The brewery and beer garden.Potosi Brewery Bottling Plant


Across the street is the old bottling plant, now a gift shop.

Potosi Brewery Hospitality Room

The bar in the Hospitality Room and Restaurant is gorgeous and the price of a pint of fresh brew direct from the tanks is decent, allowing you to sample a number of their lagers and ales without breaking the bank.

Brewing Operation Potosi Brewery

The brewmeister gave us an opportunity to get a close-up view of the mashing & brewing operation with our friends Rick and Linda Remeschatis from

Go here to see all the steps in Potosi's Brewing process

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The Brewery Museums

Potosi offers two museum areas with historical and educational exhibits on beer brewing and the history of the Potosi Brewery. The one on the main floor features Potosi's history and artifacts from the original brewery.

Potosi Brewery Museum

The Potosi Brewery Museum offers a number of multi-media exhibits offering a glimpse into the brewery's history and the era when the Brewery and its brands were well known in SW Wisconsin.

Potosi Brewery Museum

The exhibits even include the one half of a 1957 Plymouth! Displays also show the role of horse-drawn wagons and river steamboats played in the transportation of beer.

Brewery Cave

For many years before modern refrigeration the beer was fermented, aged, and stored in this cave. Also on display are various antique kegging and bottling machines in use around 1900.

The National Brewery Museum

The American Breweriana Association elected to host its National Brewery Museum on two floors of the Potosi Brewery. There is a museum fee to tour the exhibits but we felt it was well worth the price of admission. A truly amazing collection of artifacts and beer memorabilia from across the country with a very good representation from Wisconsin. A number of the exhibits are traveling collections.

National Brewery Museum

One man amassed the entire collection of brewery memorabilia found in this room (both photos).

National Brewery Museum

Some brands that for me were "blasts from the past" and others disappeared before I came on the scene but were popular enough to have some pretty fancy signage.

National Brewery Museum

One-half gallon picnic bottles were popular at one time and offered by many breweries.

National Brewery MuseumThe only Wisconsin brand in this photo that survived was Leinenkugels and I found out from another exhibit that the first Leinenkugel brewery was in Sauk City and later another brother started the one that now exists in Chippewa Falls.

National Brewery Museum

As this picture illustrates the John Gund Brewery of La Crosse was quite a large operation and was in business from 1854 to 1920. The G. Heilemann Brewery (1858 - present) was another large operation in La Crosse. In fact at one time La Crosse was host 8 competing breweries.

I was not aware until visiting the museum just how many breweries, many quite impressive operations, existed in Wisconsin's past. The Germanic population was one reason but another I learned was that lack of modern refrigeration effectively limited the distribution of beer so a number of regional breweries was a necessity. I think a number folded due to prohibition and then the depression and after that technology made it possible for major brands to be widely distributed.

Dining at the Brewery
Potosi Brewery Restaurant

Our first visit to the Brewery was in June. We returned on a late October Thursday evening to dine at the restaurant. We were surprised at the size of the crowd since Potosi is a bit off the beaten track and this wasn't prime tourist season. But once we finished our meal we knew why so many people - excellent food and service.

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Travel Directions and Visitor Links

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Directions from Dubuque, Iowa
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quiltbullet Potosi Brewery
quiltbullet Potosi Chamber of Commerce
quiltbullet Cassville Chamber of Commerce
quiltbullet Stonefield State Historical Society
quiltbullet National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
quiltbullet Dubuque Motel Hotel Lodging Links
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red triaMore Things to See in and around Dubuque Iowa

More Great River Road Scenic Byway Pages

- Scenic Drive from Fulton to Galena to Prairie Du Chien
- Scenic Drive from Prairie Du Chien to LaCrosse to Winona
- Scenic Drive from Winona to Red Wing

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