Our biggest industry in Wisconsin is tourism. One of the reasons is because a bunch of people come to Green Bay every year for Green Bay Packer games. Downtown Green Bay is an area usually missed by football tourists, but if you’re also a craft beer lover, you should make the quick drive over. One of the treasures downtown is Hinterland Brewery. Hinterland Brewery also distributes locally, so it’s a great thing to pick up and bring home.
First – if you’re thinking of having dinner here, be prepared to pay a little more. If you’re super hungry for a good bear and a big greasy cheeseburger, this isn’t the place. They have a lot of reasonably portioned, well crafted, locally grown food. So if you want to go somewhere where you’re sure to try some new, creatively put together food, this is the spot for you.
But I am more concerned with the beer.
True to form, I started out with their Pale Ale – the go to beer at Hinterland. It tastes and smells grainy & floral toned hops. I loved this one because the texture was really unique. I felt like I could feel the grain on my tongue when I was drinking it & it gave my beer a really fresh edge. The Pale Ale is a medium weight & is a great start to the night at 5.3% ABV.
Another staple at Hinterland is their Luna Stout. This stout is medium weight and goes down super smooth. This is a perfect fit if you’re a creamy coffee lover. If you don’t like coffee – don’t get this. Like most stout – this comes best after dinner, but you honestly could have it any time.
By far & away in my mind, the best year- round- beer at Hinterland is their Amber Ale. First I should point out that a lot of times when you go to a brew pub & order “The Amber,” you’re getting a lager. This is ale. In a nutshell, ales are more flavorful because they are brewed differently and often use more ingredients. So this Amber is heavier than you might expect and has a strong roasty – piney flavor, & even has a hint of a sweet after taste. This is a must have if you’re in Green Bay.
I want to mention quick just two seasonal beers. First is the Cherry Wheat. If you’re overwhelmed by the ales and stouts are a dark, scary thing to you, the cherry wheat can be a safe space. It’s a clean, crisp, wheat beer that doesn’t overdo it – and obviously have hints of sour Door County Cherry. Door County Cherries are famous here – and they make just about cherry everything up there. If you’re in Wisconsin for a while and making your way to Door County – you’ll know Shipwrecked in Egg Harbor also makes cherry wheat. Hinterland’s is better.
In honor of the 40-50 degree difference between the weather now, and this time last year I want to mention the Winterland seasonal. The winterland is medium weight with a full malty flavor – but what makes it special is the tart juniper berry aftertaste. It’s a great beer for the end of your night.
I should also mention if you’re coming here with non-beer lovers, there’s a good selection of wine & scotch here too – so everyone should have a great time!
The last thing to point out is that the staff here is good. They know their beer, and they know their menu. They’ll be able to walk you through your beer and food choices successfully. They’re also smart. I haven’t had a trip to hinterland without having a conversation with the staff about current events, and NPR radio show, or how Green Bay is working to rebuild its downtown area. Overall – I’d rate this place a 9/10 on the awesome scale. Hope you all can make a trip here after the next Packer game!
Things to Google Before You Go:
Science Friday on NPR (just for conversation with the nice host)
Hagemeister Park Green Bay (the park – and the restaurant)
Kavarna Coffee (a great place nearby)
Duck Heart (because yea… it’s on the menu)
More Info on Hinterland:
About the beer: http://www.hinterlandbeer.com/Beer.html
Follow on Twitter: @hinterlandbeer