Meet Pat Tracey! Pat is an Oshkosh local with so many insider tips to share with you! Come along with Pat as he explores Oshkosh's hidden gems, along with places and events that make Oshkosh unique (while getting a good laugh)! Follow along with Pat as he discovers Oshkosh -- read more here..!


53 Craft Beers on Tap

I’ve been slacking off in my beer exploration, in fact, I was in a Spotted Cow rut as deep as a tractor tire. Lucky for me, I live in Oshkosh, and so when I decided to broaden my beer horizon, I discovered that our three locally owned craft breweries routinely offer 53 unique beers on tap between them! Not only did I find amazing new beers that I absolutely love, I also met a whole bunch of cool people along the way.

Fifth Ward Brewing Company

A few blocks south of the Fox River, at 1009 S. Main St., is Fifth Ward Brewing Company and a whole lot of tasting fun! This was my introduction to fruit beers and sours, and is a must-stop on any beer adventure. I started with a cherry limeade sour–named Cherry Limefeld after Seinfeld–and I never looked back. I confidently sampled most of the sours, and I’m definitely going back for Brandy Old Fashioned Frootenany and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. I’m not yet ready to tackle a Big Willy barrel-aged Barleywine, but when I do, Fifth Ward will be my safe space. 

The laid-back taproom + beer garden vibe really fits this sunny corner on south Main. Young families, empty-nesters, UW students, are all here and create a cool community. Consider coming for the monthly Meat Raffle (1st Sunday) or Vinyl Night, or other Fifth Ward events, as reasons to visit. Next time I’m in, I plan to start with a Blackberry Haze It or Love It and see where that takes me!


Fifth Ward Brewing Company in Oshkosh WI


Bare Bones Brewery

At the top of my list for fun is a bike ride to Bare Bones Brewery, 4362 County Rd S, it’s just 4 miles from Oshkosh on the Wiouwash Trail. 

Owners Patti and Dan are dog lovers and it shows through in everything they do at Bare Bones. I even got to share dog stories with Patti while I drank a Shar-P’Haze. The locals are all super friendly, and everyone seems to know each other, and bonus, they put up with my shenanigans! 

Bare Bones leans toward traditional American brews: ambers, stouts, and lagers. I sampled everything from their Heritage Oshkosh Lager to a crazy-good Amber Ale; I loved the Nemesis brown ale. Now I’m thinking about going back for a tasty Village Pub pizza, but I’ll need to experiment a bit to find the perfect beer to accompany. Suggestions, anyone?


Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh WI


Fox River Brewing Company

I’ve been coming here for years and I love this place. For me, Fox River Brewing Company, 1501 Arboretum Drive, is an essential Oshkosh experience: sunny day, patio or Tiki Bar, watching boats on the Fox River, and drinking a Blu Bobber Blueberry Ale. Boom! 

I nearly flipped when I saw the new Blu Shandy (goodbye Summer Shandy) and it immediately went to the top of my list of ‘beer to bring home’ for those hot summer days. Meanwhile, I’m planning a tasting to compare Fox River Brewing’s 3 current IPAs: Freaky Tiki Pineapple Milkshake IPA vs. Sweater Vest Hazy vs River Night IPA (a black IPA with Simcoe + Citra). If you see me out tasting, be sure to say Hi!

Pat’s Tips

  1. Sample! If you’re new to craft brew culture, you’ll find bartenders are happy to pour samples, until you find a brew that’s perfect for you.
  2. All three breweries have awesome merch and beer-to-go. Any Oshkosh enthusiast will love craft brewery t-shirts and hats, even a six-pack or a growler!
  3. In June, Bare Bones brews their Strawberry Jalapeno beer, ‘Bitch In Heat’; according to our camera guy Brandon this is a must try 🙂
  4. Next time you’re at Fox River Brewery try a nitro beer, the Blue Boathouse is creamy with a capital C. I’ve been dreaming about it!
  5. Learn more about local brewing and beer history at Lee Reiherzer ’s awesome Oshkosh Beer blog. 

For More Information

Bare Bones Brewery | 4362 County Hwy S, Oshkosh

Fifth Ward Brewing Company | 1009 S Main St, Oshkosh

Fox River Brewing Company | 1501 Arboretum Dr, Oshkosh