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Fox River Brewing Company

Oshkosh, Wisconsin


Crusin’ Rating:  C-

Booze Rating: D+


This week, we are checking out a brewery with a bit of a unique location - a location that we haven’t seen yet in our journeys.  Who had brewery located in a shopping mall on their 2024 bingo card?  We definitely didn’t! We’ve seen a brewery in a strip mall out at Bent Rail Brewpub and we’ve seen a distillery - Lucky Guys - in a strip mall.  But this we are checking out Fox River Brewing Company which is located in the Fox River Mall, complete with entrance right off the food court.  

HGTV Mom, Papa Perch, and the Rubber Band Man joined us for a flight and a spot of lunch at what looked to be a promisingly well lit and well-appointed brewery.  Walking into the space though is not quite what we had been picturing based on photos we saw online.  Now, I want to preface all of this by saying that nothing about the space was dirty, our food wasn’t bad, and our server wasn’t terrible.  That being said - the space felt very underwhelming.  I hesitate to say dinghy, because, as I said, it was not dirty in any way.  But - it very much reminded us of a roadside family restaurant.  There is the usual swag space which was well kept and well stocked.  We did take note that the beer fridge of to-go packs was well stocked and the beer tanks looked shiny and new up on the second story.  

The decor though was a stark reminder of being in a mall though.  As if this was just reclaimed mall space used for a brewery.  I suppose - you have to take whatever you can find spacewise.  There was really not much in the way of charm here though, nor really any personality to speak of.  There was nothing that spoke to Foxes, Rivers, or really any combination.  This was a space that was quite devoid of personality to be truthful, didn’t even have much in the way of even speaking to the beer other than the tanks overhead.  Sure, there was plenty of natural light coming in, but the walls were mostly bare, the floors were concrete - there just wasn’t much to take note of.  Even the small bar they had did not seem fully stocked.  It just did not make for a great first impression.

Our food was serviceable - I wouldn’t say good - just fine.  We did manage to get a full four samples of beer - although almost none of them were a first choice due to the taps not working.  It actually would have been easier to have the beers listed that were available instead of a sort of awkward ask for a beer - “we can’t do that one” - back and forth I did half a dozen times with our server.  

Blu Bobber (4.5% ABV) - This Blueberry ale was a rosey tan in color and noticeably completely clear - no color, at the bottom of the tasting glass and smelled ever so slightly of cooked blueberries.  Slightly tart blueberries when first tasting and fairly one note in the flavor department.  Light mouthfeel and low carbonation - this beer was fairly one-note in a mild blueberry flavor.

Red Bobber (5.8% ABV) - This Raspberry smelled of raspberry syrup - think the topper on a New York style cheesecake from a restaurant and tasted of that same syrup with added vanilla - which could almost fooled you into thinking you had sipped the melted leftovers from one of those ice cream sundae cups that they doled out in gradeschool.  Papa Perch noted that the Raspberry flavor was fairly low and only came through in the finish.  HGTV Mom though said it was a pleasant beer to drink - which counts for something coming from a non-beer drinker.

No Wake Light Lager (4.2% ABV) - This lager featured brilliant clarity and was straw yellow in color, light and well carbonated in the mouth with just a slight corn sweetness toward the finish.  It was an under 100 calorie beer and an under 100 calorie flavor profile.  I guess it’s always nice to have a hyper-locally made competitor to MGD 64.

Highland Fox Scottish Ale (6.5% ABV) - Another Scottish Ale in spring which is an odd trend we’ve been noticing lately.  This dark copper beer had medium low maltiness on the nose and tasted of bready sweetness with an overtone of caramel.  

While this place may not have made a great first impression, I did learn that this was not the original location and there is a waterfront restaurant and brewery located in nearby Oshkosh.  Since so many of the beers were out, I would like to give some of those a try at a future date, but I don’t think I will be rushing to do so after the underwhelming experience we had here.  There are quite a few brewery options in Appleton and I can’t fully recommend a trip to the mall to try the beer - I suppose if you’d like something local and are already at the mall then it might be worth a stop.  

Better luck next time!  Until then, keep on Crusin’, don’t stop boozin’!

To learn more about Fox River Brewing please visit their website at: or on Facebook: @FoxRiverBrewingCompany or on Instagram: @FRBCompany

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