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608 Brewing Company

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

La Crosse, WI

 
 

For those of you not local to Wisconsin, the numbers “608” have significance of being a telephone area code that runs all the way from the State Capitol up to La Crosse. There’s even a “608” day celebrated every spring in Madison that emphasizes local shopping within the city. One of our servers at a restaurant in La Crosse says that the downtown area of La Crosse strives to promote local businesses so it would seem as though “608” can easily be understood as a local place.


The brewery is pretty unassuming from the outside. A small parking lot, low-slung building, and a raised concrete patio greet you when you drive up. While it doesn’t have the best view (overlooking the parking lot), it has picnic tables and a few high tops with TWINKLE LIGHTS! The outdoor space is clean and crisp just like the tasting room.

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Travel Alcohol Blogger- 608 Brewing- Exterior of Building
Photo Credit: 608 Brewing Company Facebook Page

The concrete floors with long wood tables creates a friendly, clean area for guests to enjoy their beer. The bar has white subway tile for a backsplash with matching tappers. A big highlight for us (corny, we know) is a Touch Tunes. Sometimes just being able to tap in the song you want for a certain vibe, especially to cut through the pumping mess of house and dubstep music. 608 Brewing welcomes carry in food so you can stay and enjoy their beer longer. We aren’t quite sure where we stand on this. It works great in some breweries and allows it to remain clean, beer-focused, and dog-friendly. Other times, we really wish places had something to snack or even something substantial after those first flights go down easy. We saw quite a few families bring in pizza while sipping on beer. They also have 1840 beer to go (based out of Milwaukee, WI).



We mention cleanliness a couple of times as it is a big deal for 608, made apparent by both the staff and the practices exhibited while we were there.. They are very COVID-19 conscious, with 1 entrance to the bar and signs on tables to show if they have been cleaned or not. This attention to detail is always appreciated.


To our surprise and pleasure, all beer is made and packaged on-site. This makes 608 a local brewery in production and definitely our kind of space! This would be a fun one to sit and talk with the owners as it looks like a group of friends opened the brewery from what we could glean. It would be interesting to learn what got them to the point of wanting to open their own space.


For $14 we got 4 large pours of beer, check out this cute flight.

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Travel Alcohol Blogger- 608 Brewing- Beer Flight

Rype- Fruit Basket (6.7% ABV)- Pictured here second to the right. Rype is a fruited sour, cabernet colored and contains Blueberry, Cherry, and Strawberry. We found this beer to be so sour that you lose a lot of the notes of the fruit which is a shame because we love sours. In our opinion though, just like any beer, there needs to be a balance. A little too overpowering, but we’d be willing to give it a second try.


Rype- Barney Blood (5.5% ABV)- Pictured farthest to the right. Notwithstanding what you’d need to do to that poor dinosaur and the clear psychological issues associated with then drinking his blood we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this beer tasted like a tall glass of home-made raspberry jam. While the name is unnecessarily edgy this really was a decent brew. At the same time being sweet, fruity, and just a little tart this one struck a balance for the most part. Would I want to slam four of these on a hot day? Probably not. A cool winter’s day with snow outside? Absolutely. This is a beer we could easily see paired with a dessert in a very complimenting manner.


Hype Machine- Blackberry Peach Cobbler (~8% ABV)- Pictured second from the Left. You want to know what we don’t like our beer to taste like a liquid can of? Blackberry peach cobbler. In stark contrast to the hint of pastry in the next beer this one was too heavy-handed. Tart and bready there was definitely blackberry as it first hits your palate and then some heavy buttered crust. One of us totally missed out on any taste of peach but the other did. Your mileage may vary. It was also interesting that this beer started sour and then ended on the sweet end of the spectrum. In all this one was a miss, ambitious, but a miss.


Jolly Shocker Pops: Strawberry Cream (7% ABV)- Pictured farthest to the left. Holding this glass up to take a sip smells like strawberries and cream on a hot summer picnic. While this one wasn’t our favorite, man did they nail the flavor. There were even hints of some puff pastry in there which is a pretty rare thing that we’ve only seen one or two beers accomplish well without being so sweet it turns your stomach. This one is worth a taste.


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Travel Alochol Blogger- 608 Brewing- To go 4 packs stacks on a whiskey barrel outside
Photo Credit: 608 Brewing Company Facebook Page

Overall the space was the HGTV of breweries, and the beer, on the whole, was decent. We are pretty big fans of sours and they had several on top. We get pretty spoiled being in the same city as Funk Factory Geuzeria, and it’s tough to look at others objectively when home sets the bar so high. While these flavors perhaps were not our favorites, the brewers managed to nail the flavors they wanted which takes skill. We would recommend you stop here if in the La Crosse area.


Until next time, keep on crusin’, don’t stop boozin’.


To learn more about 608 Brewing, please visit their website at: www.608brewingcompany.com or Instagram: @608brewco or Facebook: @608BrewingCompany

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