A toast to the Tribute Taphouse
Marc O'Brien (left) and Bill Summers (right) welcoming everyone to enjoy their craft brews and more!
For three years, Eagle River has enjoyed being home to a local brewery - Tribute Taphouse. The owners, Bill Summers and Marc O’Brien, offer several unique craft beers, some of which are available at different times of the year.
The seed for opening the local brewery began in 2005 at the first Great Northern Beer Festival that Bill, his wife and others, began. It was at the Festival that several men decided to start a home brew club that was launched in 2007. Among the club members was Marc O’Brien, Bill’s future business partner.
A couple of years later, Bill approached Marc and asked if he would like to join him in starting a brewery. Soon, they began to accumulate brewing necessities starting with equipment from a Plover brewery, O’so and then items found Craigslist. Tribute Taphouse opened for business in June 2012. They didn’t have their brewing license yet, but featured craft brews from around Wisconsin.
In October the license was approved and Marc began brewing their first beer in November. On December 8, Old Eagle Chocolate Porter was first served, marking their annual anniversary date.
Summers said there are five beers that are served year ‘round and each beer’s name is steeped in Eagle River and Northwoods lore. There is the Old Eagle Chocolate Porter that was named for the steamboat that initially was used as transportation for the loggers, then as transportation from the railroad to the resorts and finally as an excursion boats before its demise.
There is also the 28 Lake Lager, a German dortmunder beer, named in honor of the 28 lakes that comprise the Eagle River Chain.
Next is the Blueberry Train Wheat Ale that was named after the train that transported blueberries from Conover to Chicago.
There is nothing scary about the Ghost Lights Amber Lager that was named fort he Paulding Lights.
Then there is the Barefoot Charlie IPA, named for a colorful resident of Land O’ Lakes who legend has he put shoes on for the first time at the age of three and never wore shoes again.
Bill says there are also seasonal brew selections that can vary from time to time. Among these are Mele Kalikimaka Coconut Porter, FInn’s Irish Red, White Legs Jalapeño Wheat ( the flavor of Jalapeño without the heat), Summerkamp Beer (Belgian Whitbier) and many more.
To learn more about the beers current being served and the fun things Summers and O’Brien have happening at the Taphouse, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-Brewing-Co/307053012669805?fref=ts.
The Taphouse is open Tuesday through Saturdays from 3:00 PM until 9:00 PM and is located at 1106 N. Bluebird in Eagle River, in front of Union Airport. Summers said their hours are designed to make sure they do not compete with establishments they sell to and thereby give patrons the full experience of enjoying the brews at restaurants and pubs.
Their beers are available at the following locations:
O’Brien’s Pub - Eagle River
BBT’s - Eagle River
Eagle Waters Resort - Eagle River
Eagle River Country Club - Eagle River
Twelve Pines Restaurant & Bar - Eagle River
Blue Heron Supper Club & Lounge - Eagle River
Lake Forest Golf Club - Eagle River
Pirate’s Hideaway - Eagle River
Club 45 Sports Bar & Grill - Conover
Buckatabon Lodge - Conover
Broken Arrow - Conover
Dublin Sports Bar & Grill - Phelps
Thunderbird Bar & Grill - St. Germain
The Bear’s Den - St. Germain
Black Forest Pub & Grille - Three Lakes
Lindy’s Hideaway - Three Lakes
Pine Isle Sports Bar & Grill - Three Lakes
Bonnie’s Lakeside - Three Lakes
Vinchi’s Hillside Inn - Sayner
Aqualand Alehouse - Boulder Junction
Pitlik’s Sand Beach Resort - Sugar Camp
Four Points Pub & Grill - Sugar Camp
Twilight Supper Club - Land O' Lakes
64 ounce Growlers of their beers are also available at:
Trig’s Cellar 70 in Eagle River
Lincoln Street Liquor, Rhinelander
Paul’s Pump and Pantry, Eagle river
Their Blueberry Train Wheat Ale can be found in 25 ounce amber plastic bottles in a four-pack. Also look for the 22 ounce specialty beers when available.