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Pearl Street Brewery

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

La Crosse, WI

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Travel Alcohol Blogger- Pearl Street Brewery- Keg

Pearl Street Brewery is located in La Crosse, WI in an old warehouse. The warehouse originally held the La Crosse Footwear company, a well known brand of hiking shoes still around today (but now located in Portland, Oregon).

The overall space is much larger than we had expected, but the tasting space itself is very small. It felt that the space wasn't used efficiently and while we appreciate the aesthetic of overlooking the tanks, it's been done more less-haphazardly elsewhere. What amounts to an entire working floor of a factory only winds up with enough seating for perhaps 20 people, and yes, that's assuming no social distancing. We get the old warehouse vibe we've seen it done in Milwaukee. While it was at first charming to be looking at the tanks while drinking, in hindsight it just appears a little sloppy, as though the space remains in a permanent state of unfinished. That being said, there is plenty of natural light that pours in through the windows, even if the space is not utilized the best.

The brewery has a very hipster vibe because of the refurbished warehouse, abundance of IPAs and high craft beers. Now this isn’t a beer snob place though, it’s approachable, just hipstery. Carry-ins are welcome as Pearl Street is solely a brewery, they do not have any food or snacks of their own.

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Travel Alcohol Blogger- La Crosse Brewing- Exterior of Building

Again, we didn’t get a chance to speak with anyone about the products. The vibe of the place is for beer aficionados and locals. As tourists, we did not feel welcomed therefore we were not inclined to sit around and discuss beer with the bartender. It was more of a grab your beer and get out of my way kind of place which is kind of a bummer. Hopefully this attitude was due to the brewery being mildly busy or the pandemic. Either way, it is probably not somewhere we would go back to although it did receive high praise from many of the locals.

Pearl Street had about 14 beers on tap, 2 seltzers, and 3 wines (wine is not produced by Pearl Street). A beer flight gets you 8 samples for $12 while a wine flight gets you 3 generous pours for $8.

Sour Winter Gose- This one was out of left field. Light to medium mouthfeel, clear appearance and tasted of spruce needles and characteristic sourness, which seemed out of place. You’d expect Pine needles to be bitter, not sour. While unique, this one didn’t really work for us.

Pop Gose- Personally not a fan of the cucumber that features heavily here but the nose was floral and there were definitely esters of strawberry and honey. This one was a fresh summer salad of a beer with high carbonation and light body.

Hazy Juicy IPA- You know we are not huge fans of IPAs but we give each of them a taste. Opaque straw appearance, definitely hazy, and very hoppy. This one seemed to reach for benchmarks set by Pseudo Sue but didn’t quite hit it with its hop varieties and I was really missing the juiciness of this one, I’d say that was a bit of a misnomer in this case.

Blender Bender- A Milkshake IPA and this one did deliver in the flavor department. It wasn’t for us, but I could definitely see the appeal. This was a cloudy, creamy beer that tasted just like strawberry syrup on vanilla ice cream.

Shitty Lyte Beer-True to the name, a shitty light lager that had me wishing I was sipping on a Miller Lite, ick.

Mixed Berry Seltzer- With an ever-growing plethora of seltzers both craft and commercially made it’s a very tough market to break into. Unfortunately, this one was missing that crisp effervescence and tasted like a La Croix left popped on the table for two hours

V/O Haze- IPA with hints of orange, a small bit of vanilla, and a hint of lactose or cream, this one ended up being well balanced, a great introductory IPA.

Frontenac Gris- a mead (honey) flavored wine

Red Cherry Red- sweet cherry/raspberry wine

Marquette- served cold, slightly sour, carbonated, young wine

Overall the wines are headed in the right direction. They use local grapes but Turisimo still has some things to learn about wine. The wine tasted a little young, as if it wasn’t fermented long enough.

Marquette is one of our favorite grapes as it is generally local and can make a bold red wine with an excellent balance of tannins. Not many other grapes in our area can produce this kind of red. Personally, I would rather this wine be served at room temperature without any carbonation. There is room for improvement but being a new company, Turisimo has potential.

Beer cans and Beer Bottles

Overall this brewery seemed like a missed opportunity. With all of that space available and all of the taps we had hoped that there would be a beer or two we would really like but it was not the case. If anything, if you are already in La Crosse, you should stop in to see the space. The building oozes with history. Upgrades on parking and signage would be appreciated, but lucky for them, Google knows where it’s at (literally).

This is going to be our first instance of “just because you can make beer, doesn’t mean you can make great beer.”

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

To learn more about Pearl Street Brewery, please visit their website at: or on Instagram: @PearlStreetBrew or on Facebook: @PearlStreetBrewery

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