Afton Leather’s owners, Jim and Donna, are active members of the local biking community and use their time off the hog to proffer a selection of fine leather apparel and other unique products that complement the motorcycling lifestyle. Browse the 1,400-square-foot shop for a selection of bike-themed T-shirts ($20/1, $25/2). Or, fight back against wind, glare, and drag-racing gnats with speed-friendly sunglasses ($10–$25). Female bikers can warm windblown necks with a women’s scarf ($10), and all riders rebelling against the oppressive tyranny of sleeves can suit up in a vest ($45+).
American Sky Beer by Hudson Brewing Company was established by Greg and Molly Harris in 2012. The line reflects a military reverence, whose flagship beers pay homage to US aviation during World War II and appeal to microbrew and mainstream fans alike. Their flagship beers – a mainstay at establishments in western Wisconsin – include the blonde ale Tailgunner Gold, smooth and malty Amber Salute, and robust citra-hopped USA-IPA.
The military and aviation theme can also be seen through the black-framed photographs of past and current veterans which decorate one corner of The Hangar—their taproom. Complementing this decor is a U-shaped bar, made of riveted aluminum and looking as though it's been stripped right off a plane. This sense of architectural spectacle is more than mere theatrics; for every picture the microbrewery receives, it donates $2 to Fisher House Foundation, which provides low-cost and free housing to the families of veterans receiving medical treatment.
Along with American Sky Beer's mainstays, beer-tenders serve pints of weekly-rotating specialties, such as Black IPA, Coffee Stout, and Cream Ale. Keeping revelers in full revel, events such as beer and bacon Sundays, happy hour Thursdays with complimentary meat and cheese samplings, and Firkin Fridays complement live local music featured on Saturdays. The Hangar is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4-8 p.m., Saturdays from 2-8 p.m. with live music beginning at 5 p.m., and Sundays from 12-4 p.m.
After years of introducing kids to bowmanship through the National Archery in the Schools Program, or NASP, Ryan Slate founded High Five Archery in 2008, continuing their mission to share their passion for outdoor sporting with their fellow families. Just as William Tell and his son Johnny teamed up to pierce the nation's apple trees, John oversees High Five's indoor shooting range where compound bows launch practice arrows at targets in a safe environment. During private or group lessons, students improve their skills under the tutelage of instructors certified by NASP. Elsewhere in the store, a pro shop equips marksmen with brand-name bows, arrows, and accessories alongside a stock of seasonal bait and the latest fishing gear, replacing outdated methods such as lures made to look like cans of Crystal Pepsi.
Situated in a red-brick edifice on a cozy corner, The Valley Bookseller gives book lovers hospitable environs and heaping amounts of literature. Text-ravenous eyes can feast on the store's beefed-up inventory, which stocks lockers of bestsellers such as The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest ($27.95 for hardcover) and 61 Hours ($28.00 for hardcover) among an already meaty collection of fiction and non-fiction favorites. Wander the written words of a favorite author, decode directions to hidden treasure in the works of Norman Mailer, or get helpful life lessons from sleazy Hollywood agents in the books of Jackie Collins. If a particular manuscript beckons but doesn't appear in-stock at the store, The Valley Bookseller will order the book at no additional cost, with the order usually arriving within a week.