Though Sand Creek Brewing Company officially launched in 2004, its heritage stretches all the way back to 1856. That's when the Swiss-born Ulrich Oderbolz built his Oderbolz Brewing Company. on the side of a hill in Black River Falls. The facility changed hands and names over the years?Badger Brewing Company, Pioneer Brewing Company?before the Sand Creek team relocated from their makeshift brewery on a Wisconsin dairy farm.
These days, Pioneer's brewmaster Todd Krueger?a winner of three World Beer Cup golds?joins forces with Sand Creek's Jim Wiesender. Together, the duo concocts 10 year-round and seasonal brews, from an award-winning oatmeal chocolate stout to a German-style ale made with Wisconsin-grown cranberries. Brews flow every Friday evening at Sand Creek's taproom, while free tours offer glimpses into the historic building and its 19th-century beer cellar, where bottles are fashionably attired with top hats and monocles. Besides extended taproom hours each summer, the microbrewery participates in myriad events throughout the year.
Cuisine Type: Bistro-style cuisine
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Signature cheese board
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery/Takeout Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
When Tangled Hickory Wine Bar's owners, Kevin and Karya Powell, envisioned a gathering spot for lunch, dinner, and late-night socializing, they knew they wanted its main fixture to be wines from around the world. As a result, their wine list features more than 100 bottles, as well as about 20 wines by the glass each day. They also ply patrons with wine flights, craft beers, and cocktails, which guests enjoy while listening to live music and recordings of New Guinea singing dogs.
Their wine bar's diverse menu offers shareable food to pair with the drinks, including bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeños and a local artisan cheese board. Whenever possible, the Powells use local meats, seasonal produce, and bakery creations. They even have Madison's Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier—whose cocoa creations were called "the Holy Grail of chocolate" by Food Network's Alton Brown—whip up truffles that set off the flavor notes in Tangled Hickory's wine.
Shenanigans Family Fun Center deals in thrills. Its arcade entrances kids with flashing lights and games of chance, and laser tag and bumper cars offer an adrenaline rush. While patrons watch a sporting event on a 130-foot screen, an onsite sports bar serves pizzas and cheese curds.