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Gravity Box Brewing Company

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Mauston, Wisconsin

 

Crusin' Rating: C

Booze Rating: C-

 

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Gravity Box Brewing- Outside

It is wedding season for us here at Crusin' For Booze which means a lot of travel throughout our great state of Wisconsin. It also means ample opportunity for Hannah and I to do some reviewing both en route and returning from said weddings and do we try and make the most of it! Recently, I was able to attend the wedding of one of our reviewers, the Good Doctor, to his new bride up in La Crosse. Rather than drive the somewhat uneventful drive of going the entire way up on 90, Hannah and I decided to get a little adventurous and get somewhat lost in order to hit up various review spots.


Before we get into the adventures on highway 71, we stopped off at a brewery that is sort of the halfway point between La Crosse and Madison: Mauston, WI. Gravity Box Brewing Company is right on main street in historic downtown Mauston.


Housed in what appears to be what was once a retail store, Gravity Box sports an all-glass facade that opens into a wide open space that houses not only Gravity Box, but also Collin's Coffees. Coincidentally, not the only brewery we’ve reviewed that also is home to a coffee shop. Hannah and I were loving the natural light and Hannah was quick to point out the honeycomb tile - one of her favorite design choices - in the entryway. With the coffee shop to your right as you walk in. The main beer bar is off to your left, there’s a communal open space that has various tables, a couch, and some on-theme cow stools near an electric fireplace. Immediately apparent is the namesake gravity box, or part of one, that is used as a centerpiece behind the 18 seat bar. A pull-tab machine definitely had us feeling like we were heading northward and Hannah pointed out various rustic touches that only a discerning fan of HGTV would pick out. For my money, this was another brewery where you could definitely tell a female (or brewess!) had the last word in what to put on the walls. The inverse of this, we often notice - is the somewhat chaotic garage-decor we see in some other places! Hannah further noted a brick bar, highly organized merch area, and what looked like telltale signs of recent renovation.



We were greeted by two attentive ladies behind the bar who gave us recommendations for food carry out - the brewery has some simple flatbreads but you’ll have to bring in your own food if you’re looking for more substantial options. Unfortunately, most of the surrounding food options happen to be bar food and pizza so plan accordingly if you have any sort of dietary restrictions! We opted for Dairy Island, an ice cream shop that had a lot of menu items and while we had hoped to find an easy win, like one of my go to “everything is fried” spots back in Burlington or even a hidden gem like Doyle’s Dog House in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Unfortunately this was not the case and while we were no longer hungry, I think we would try our luck with one of the taverns in the future! Hannah remarked that with the coffee shop included that it would be an excellent place for some work to get done or even a little studying on a quiet day and I could easily see that as well. There was even a well lit alcove at the front of the store with chess/checkers tables to sip and play on a rainy afternoon. The Gravity Box also sports an outdoor area with some additional seating that is about the same size as the one at the Runaway Nanobrewery, which is to say: quite small.


We grabbed a flight of 4 beers for $12.00 and while there are no cocktails or wine available there are house-made sodas and seltzers for those who don’t care for beer.


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Gravity Box Brewing- Beer Flight

Hollaback Hefeweizen (4.3% ABV) - You know I am a big fan of Hefeweizens and I’ve had Hannah try enough of them by now that she’s begrudgingly learned about their profile enough to judge them. This beer poured a cloud orange-gold and smelled of bread yeast and day-old banana peel but you really had to look for it. This beer had a sort of sandy taste to it, not really dirty tasting but definitely some dry minerality and notes of an overly floured bread dough that also lead to an overly dry and grainy mouthfeel. I would skip this one.


Deez Nuts (5.6% ABV) - This one we tried mostly because of the humor in the name mixed with the fact that it was a Peanut Butter Milk Stout. This beer poured rich brown with notes of creamy peanut butter, and brown sugar, very similar to a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Starting with milk chocolate and then moving into peanut butter finish with the appropriate amount of hops, we both thought that the flavor of this beer was not as strong as it smelled and were hoping that those flavors were dialed up just a little bit.


Bodack Black IPA (6.1% ABV) - This deep black IPA, a first for us, especially since it sported a tan foam head, smelled of banana, mango, and papaya, a lot of the notes that you get from Mosaic hops. Tasting gives you roasted malt up front backed by a very freshly laid earth hop presence and some pretty high bitterness (67 IBU). We were both a little let down that there wasn’t the same tropical notes that we smelled when tasting but were glad we tried a new style. We’re assuming this one would be what Mr. Tin Fox would go for if he visited.


Thank you For Being a Friend (4.6% ABV) - It’s been a while since Hannah has had a proper Gose and when we saw that this was a collaboration with one of our favorite breweries, Hillsboro Brewing Company, we decided this was a must try. This beer poured a warm gold with very slight hint of pink. Smelling of fresh-cut watermelon, lime zest, salt, and coriander, this was a beer that easily makes your mouth water. Tasting salt and lime to start and then moving into watermelon rind with a little spice and then onto juicy watermelon flesh, finishing with a pleasant sourness and slightly grainy aftertaste this beer was an absolute delight from start to finish. Had this not been at the start of our trip with limited refrigeration available (note, you can’t fit a growler in most hotel refrigerators) we would have filled at the very least one growler to go. A solid win and a beer either of us would be happy to sip on all summer. With six months of the year down, we are looking at a contender for one of my top ten beers of the year.



All said and done, Gravity Box was a serviceable enough brewery. We weren’t really loving the beers that seemed to be original creations by the brewery itself but I will say that my opinion would totally flip depending on how much of a contribution Gravity Box had to that Gose. It may be the cynic in Hannah and I but we couldn’t help but notice that the beer we liked the most was a collab with a brewery that seems to have a solid track record for making beer or perhaps that’s just our own confirmation bias. If you are passing through on your way to La Crosse and are looking for a great Gose to sip on, I would highly recommend picking up “Thank you For Being a Friend”. Outside of that particular beer though, I would be hesitant to make a special trip out to Mauston, unless you live within 20 minutes of Gravity Box. While the Gose is good, chances are you might be better served putting the miles on your car to travel to Hillsboro Brewing Co, which is a definite must stop for us at least once a year.


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


To learn more about Gravity Box Brewing please visit their website at: www.gravityboxbrewing.com or on Facebook: @GravityBoxBrewingCo or on Instagram: @GravityBoxBrewingCompany




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