Got a tip from a local to check this place out and wow are we glad we did! The best part is this is off the beaten path with no massive Dells-esque signs pointing the way. You need to hunt it out yourself and I hope it stays that way.
Words really don't do justice to just how friendly the folks of Port Huron Brewing are and the quality of the beer they're brewing. We're homebrewers and this is a fantastic example of scaling up. They're currently distributing local to the Dells area as well as to a handful of bars in Madison, if I remember correctly.
Took a Friday 6pm brewery tour (free!) from the owner and Brewmaster, Tanner. Did a great job explaining the process and equipment for the uninitiated. He was super open to questions and just wonderfully personable and passionate about his operation.
They might not do free samples during the tour but at $4 for a sampler after a free tour, this place is a steal and a half! There's no food but they do supply pretzels and popcorn for tasting. This is strictly a brewing operation with a gorgeous tap room and good on them for keeping it that way.
They currently brew 4 beers (there are 2 additional seasonals in the fall/winter) -- Honey Blonde, Hefeweizen, Amber Alt, and Porter. These are all excellent examples of their respective styles. The Honey Blonde is an easy drinking blonde ale with a hint of honey. The Hefeweizen is deliciously cloudy and full of banana and spice aromas and flavors. The Amber Alt has a great balance of hoppy bitterness and smooth amber ale style with an extra something I couldn't quite put my finger on. The Porter is all roasted notes but not overly smokey which was just perfect for me since I don't normally like porters.
The Engine House Tap Room is beautiful and they sell the usual shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pint glasses, and growlers. This is quality beer and you're doing yourself a disservice to leave empty handed. The other great thing about the tap room? It's clearly full of locals. The owner was working the bar and seemed to know everyone. While we were there a city councilman was bellied up to the bar having a pint and the owner got a chance to talk to him about what he needed to do to get permits in place for a tent for their big Oktoberfest release party. It's THAT kind of place despite being a bit off the beaten track for tourists.
This is the kind of place you want to sit down, have a couple beers, talk about good beer with local folks and talk about your homebrew setup with the owner (that's how he started and he clearly still loves it and is a bit wistful for those halcyon days).
Great beer and greater people. Get thee to Port Huron Brewing!
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