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.

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