With St. Patrick's Day moving closer, the area has a number of ways to get into the Irish feeling.
There is nothing that says St. Patrick’s Day quite like corned beef and cabbage with beer.
Hillsboro Brewing Company, 206 E. Madison Street, Hillsboro is continuing their tradition of serving a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 14. Owned by Hillsboro residents Snapper and Kim Verbsky, the 28,000 square foot Hillsboro Brewing Company sits in a 106-year-old former factory.
For the third year running, the brewery will serve corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and a dinner roll for $12.
“It’s a traditional dinner,” said Taylor Larson, Hillboro Brewing Company Director. “We always do it on the Saturday whenever St. Patty’s Day falls on, so the most people can get out and enjoy it.”
Of course, it would not be a St. Patrick’s Day celebration without beer, so Hillsboro Brewing Company is running three dollar specials on Irish as Feck pints of beer all day long.
“It’s our Irish Amber, it’s a special beer,” Larson said. “It is 5.7 % ABV and 30.2 IBU, and a caramel malt sweetness and low bitterness make this traditional Irish Red a true crowd pleaser.”
For those who want to celebrate in style, Hillsboro Brewing Company is offering Irish as Feck Hillsboro Brewing Company t-shirts for $15.
“The turnout is great,” Larson said. “But no reservations are necessary.”
Besides the Irish as Feck Irish Red, Hillsboro Brewing Company serves 21 beers brewed at the brewery either in cans or on tap. New this year is a golf simulator, available for rent by the hour for $30 for up to four people at a time.
For more information on Hillsboro Brewing Company visit hillsborobrewingcompany.com.
Corner Pub turns Irish
The Corner Pub in Reedsburg will have a traditional Irish meal to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
In addition to its regular menu of burgers and sandwiches, the Corner Pub will run its corn beef and cabbage special for three days at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 14, March 15 and March 17.
Corner Pub Owner Pete Peterson said he cooked 300 pounds of corn beef for last year’s special and had about 10 pounds left by the end of the weekend. This year, he plans to make the same amount of corn beef.
The meal consists of a serving of corn beef, cabbage, carrots, rutabaga, bread and a cake dessert for $13, Peterson said. The corn beef is cooked tender, something the establishment is known for with the meal, Peterson said.
“It’s plenty to eat,” Peterson said.
Server Jana Helm, whose worked at the Corner Pub for six years, said the meal is served to customers fast since all the components are made ahead of time. All that needs to be done is slice the corn beef and scoop the vegetables. She described the meal as “amazing” because of its flavor and tender taste.
“Pete makes up all kinds of awesome desserts to go with it,” Helm said.
Peterson said the Corner Pub will have ten of its homebrewed beers on tap, including a specialty Coffee Cream beer on tap for the weekend, its Cream Ale infused with coffee, for $5. He said it’s a lighter fare beer to compliment a meal.
“People love it,” Peterson said of the specialty beer. Coors Light green beer will also be on tap, Peterson said.
Keyboardist John Beth and Dennis Schulte will perform live music at the establishment from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 14 and March 17, Peterson said.
In addition to the corn beef and cabbage meal, the Corner Pub will participate in the Bar Buddies Pub Crawl March 14 to raise money for the safe ride program. While the pub crawl starts at 2 p.m., Peterson said he believes there won’t be any inference for those who want to enjoy the meal and have a nice evening out.
“Our big rush during Saturday (March 14) will be during the day and it will be winding down by the time the pub crawl people come,” Peterson said.
Seeing the sites
For the third year running, the St. Patrick’s Day Bad Decision Bar Crawl will return to the Dells on March 14, with participants climbing aboard the Wisconsin Dells Trolley for a day of themed drinking and festivities.
According to trolley owner Jeremy Ringdahl, the pub crawl started with a desire to provide a unique celebration to his customers. He took inspiration from larger city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and sought to provide his own patrons with a similar level of ingenuity.
“The thing we like to do is provide people with unique experience, something they can’t find anywhere else,” Ringdahl said. “You look at what they do in Chicago when they dye the river green, and people get out there and they let loose. That was our motivation.”
Much of the enjoyment Ringdahl takes from the crawls is the energy the crowds create; positive, upbeat and looking for a good time. He said he just wants his patrons to be able to forget about their lives for a few hours and just enjoy the ride.
This year, the Bad Decision crawl will hit three stops, although it was initially planned to consist of four. Ringdahl said that he and his company decided to downsize so that patrons could enjoy each of the three bars more and not feel rushed into moving along.
“People will get a little more time at each bar versus just rushing out,” Ringdahl said. “So they can really enjoy the venue.”
The tour’s first stop will venture outside the Dells, journeying to Brothers on Oak in Baraboo to partake in their St. Patrick’s Day promotions. From there, the trolley will head back to the Dells and proceed to the Grateful Shed, which is piloting a special event for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day.
Called the “Irish I Had a Beer 0.1k St. Patty’s Dash, Grateful Shed patrons and Bad Decision crawlers alike are invited to take their mug of green beer and dash all of 328 feet while attempting to not spill a drop. Participants receive a commemorative pint, a racing bib and a 0.1k sticker to celebrate their athletic achievement.
The final stop on the crawl is scheduled to be the Showboat Saloon on Broadway, at which point participants can disembark from the green-bedecked trolley for the final time and enjoy the bar’s various brews and drinks.
Ringdahl said that there are two different packages available to participants, one that includes alcohol in the ticket price and the other that does not. The alcohol ticket is available on the company’s website for $54.99 plus tax, while the non-inclusive package is $30. Each of these packages will place the crawler on a different tour.
While all of them will hit the same stops, only some will be riding on the trolley proper. According to Ringdahl, the rest of the crawls will take place on limo buses, but will still feature Irish music throughout the bus and decor to spare.
Tickets are available now at dellstrolley.com, and would-be participants are advised to buy their tickets as soon as possible before they sell out.
Feeling the music
The Sauk Prairie Library will welcome local Celtic folk act Wrannock to perform on St. Patrick’s Day, perpetuating an annual tradition for the holiday.
The trio of Mike, Lisa and Angus Mossman perform traditional Scotch-Irish folk music all around Wisconsin, but are especially in demand on and around St. Patrick’s Day. Between March 13 and March 17, Wrannock will perform in Mineral Point and Spring Green as well as Sauk Prairie, bringing their infusion of folk music and poetry to the stage.
While Mike and Lisa won’t be joined by their son Angus for this particular performance, they will be accompanied by Charlie Park, who works as an impersonator of famed Scottish poet Robert Burns. According to Jill Peters-Dagel, adult services programming librarian for Sauk Prairie, Wrannock provides a Celtic style more heavily influenced by Scottish tradition than Irish, allowing for a different spin on the typical St. Patrick’s Day performance.
“They’re actually performing a more Scottish performance this time, although they’re Celtic,” Peters-Dagel said. “They have a Robert Burns impersonator, and they are performing this particular show around the area as well.”
Burns is considered to be the national poet of Scotland, and has been called the National Bard for his contributions to poetry for the nation. His style emphasized including his diction in his writing, leading to a litany of apostrophes and alternate spellings of well-known words that would be common in Scotland.
To Americans, he is probably best known for coining the phrase “the best laid schemes of mice and men,” which appeared in his Nov. 1785 poem “To a Mouse.” In Wrannock’s show, Burns’ poetry will provide extra Scottish flair and a burst of authenticity.
According to Peters-Dagel, this show has been in the works since late last year. Wrannock has performed at the library in the past, but it’s been many years, so Peters-Dagel was eager to bring them back for St. Patrick’s Day in 2020.
The Sauk Prairie Library looks to run events for every major holiday, and have done so for St. Patrick’s day in recent years. In 2019, Milwaukee-based Irish folk singer David HB Drake performed for library patrons.
This year’s event will take place on St. Patrick’s Day itself, at 4 p.m. The event is fully open to the public, and is handicap accessible from the library’s back ramp.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.