Breweries, History

Our Visit to SW Wisconsin


My wife and I made a Saturday trip to some historic locations. I had heard of Stonefield Historic Site in Cassville, Wisconsin, but I was never able to make it down that way to check it out. The museum is very intriguing! It features the Governor Nelson Dewey Home and Farmstead, Wisconsin Agricultural Museum, and the Farming Village.


The first leg of our tour took us to the agricultural building. The exhibits featured different aspects of Wisconsin’s agriculture history-wheat, dairy, cranberries, farm mechanization. My ultimate favorite part of the building was the display of  two Allis-Chalmers tractors. The first, a model 10-18 painted a dark green color the company used before the 1929 introduction of Persian Orange.

The second, an Allis-Chalmers model U was the FIRST farm tractor with factory equipped rubber tires. This was an important achievement in farm mechanization. This tractor is a must see for every Allis-Chalmers enthusiast. However, one thing I would recommend the museum doing is emphasizing some history of notable Wisconsin based farm machinery manufacturers. International Harvester was a prominent theme but not based in Wisconsin. There was little about the J.I. Case Company or the Allis-Chalmers Manfacturing Company; both companies were headquartered in Wisconsin.

After the agriculture building, we  made our way to replica, turn-of-the-century farming village, Stonefield. This replica village had all the businesses and services available to citizens of that era. This part of the museum reminded me of my hometown, Markesan, from that period. The museum has a really great way of showing visitors what rural towns were like in the past.

Our second stop was the Potosi Brewing Company in Potosi,Wisconsin. The old brewery opened in 1852, closed in 1972, and reopened in 2008. It is an amazing place to visit for history, beer, and a place to eat. It’s a must see for every beer/beer history enthusiast. It also happens to be the home of the National Brewery Museum.


Our first stop on the tour was the beer cave dug into the side of the hill, which is accessible from inside the brewery. We made our way to the 3rd floor where we got a sneak peek of the brewing process at the brewery. Then we made our way down to the memorabilia part of the tour. There are 2 floors packed with just about everything brewery/beer related. Crates, bottle, posters, trays, and antique brewery equipment pack the walls and display cases.

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 After the tour, we made our way down to the Potosi Brew Pub. With your tour you received a free 8 oz beer. If you bought a pint glass from the gift shop then you received a free pint of beer. We got samples of Good Old Potosi, Cave Ale, and Pumpkin Ale. All of which were very refreshing. The food was awesome and reasonably priced. I would recommend it to everyone.


After our visit, we had one more photo opportunity. Potosi Brewery is not only the home of the Nation Brewery Museum but also the world’s biggest cone-top beer can! We had to have our picture with it.


If you are in this area of Wisconsin these places are worth a visit. Not only will you learn some interesting history, you will be supporting some worthwhile organizations.

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