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Category Archives: The Oshkosh Beer Garden

A Beer Holiday

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BY LEE REIHERZER This time of year, a visit to any beer aisle worth exploring confirms that we’ve reclaimed yet another piece of our beer heritage. You’ll see that winter and holiday seasonal brews have returned and en masse. Once the highlight of the year for beer lovers, the custom of drinking beer specially prepared for the holidays and cold ... Read More »

Oblio’s and the Crafting of Oshkosh

Oblio’s, circa 1902 and today

BY LEE REIHERZER It’s not yet noon and Mark Schultz and Todd Cummings are standing behind their 78-year-old bar inside Oblio’s Lounge in Oshkosh. The tavern is closed and the lights are off, but the room is flooded with sunlight that streams through large windows facing Main Street. Schultz and Cummings are preparing for the day ahead, just as they ... Read More »

Hop Side of the Moon

Chris Holman in the Hop Yard at Nami Moon Farms

By Lee Reiherzer In 1846, a New York hop farmer named Silas Allen loaded his family into a wagon and set out for Wisconsin. Among the items they carried was a barrel of hop roots. When their journey ended, the Allen family established one of East Central Wisconsin’s first hop farms in what is now Allenville, a community just north ... Read More »

Summer Delights for Wisconsinites

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By Lee Reiherzer   Summer has finally arrived in Wisconsin. It’s the time of year when we reach for beers that are lighter in body and brighter in flavor. That needn’t mean resorting to insipid light lagers with temperature-sensitive labels that change colors when the beer is frigid enough to be palatable. Small breweries across Wisconsin are creating a wide ... Read More »

Kirby at the Crossroads

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By Lee Reiherzer You know it’s going to get interesting when Kirby Nelson starts channeling Frank Zappa. “There’s this great Zappa quote,” Nelson says. “‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is impossible.’” Lately, it seems, he’s been living by those words. After more than 25 years as brewmaster at Capital Brewery, Nelson left the company in 2012 to help launch ... Read More »

Oshkosh and the Second Rise of IPA

India Pale Ales from Wisconsin breweries

By Lee Reiherzer India Pale Ale, or IPA for short, is a brew that few beer enthusiasts remain neutral about. The bitter, aromatic ale tends to divide drinkers into two camps. Some love the style for the bold, complex flavors that brewers are able to create by spicing their beer with whopping doses of hops. Others shun these ales, describing ... Read More »

The Winds of Change at O’so

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BY LEE REIHERZER Have a discussion with Marc Butera about his brewery and you’ll notice there’s a word that visits the conversation again and again: Fun. Butera is obviously having it. Talk to him about the taproom that he operates in conjunction with O’so Brewing in Plover and you’ll find out what Butera’s idea of fun is all about. “We ... Read More »

Lee Beverage: Bringing the Beer for 80 Years

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By Lee Reiherzer At the entrance to the Lee Beverage Company of Wisconsin is a large, timeworn weather vane depicting King Gambrinus, the patron saint of beer. It’s an appropriate greeter for a company whose business is distributing beer, but it also signifies something deeper. The piece is representative of the company’s long history and involvement with beer in Oshkosh. ... Read More »

New Beer Resolutions

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By Lee Reiherzer The beer scene in Oshkosh has never been better. In 2013, beer drinkers here saw a steady increase in draught lines dedicated to craft beer, wider selection on the retail side, and more beer events and festivals featuring quality beer than at any other time. Considering what a few of our local purveyors of beer have in ... Read More »

Brewing A Small-Scale Revolution

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By Lee Reiherzer A nervous jitter has bubbled up in the world of craft beer. With the rapid increase in new breweries has come rising speculation that it’s all too good to last. There are now more than 2,500 breweries operating in the United States. That’s up from the low point of 1983 when the brewery count had dipped to ... Read More »

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