Make no mistake; we take cheese and beer very seriously here in Wisconsin. Cheesehead hats and jokes aside, brewers and cheese producers are among the many artisans who help shape the culinary culture in our state. The Kenosha Area may be the very southeastern corner of dairyland, but we are proud to welcome travelers crossing over the Illinois border — and we greet guests with none other than cheese and beer!
Home to four breweries, several cheese shops, and dozens of restaurants with cheesy delights on their menus, the Kenosha Area offers a great highlight of the flavors of Wisconsin. You can shop for Wisconsin cheeses, curds, and spreads at Brat Stop, Mars Cheese Castle and Tenuta’s Delicatessen to bring a little bit of dairyland home with you. Or, enjoy events in our community such as the Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival, Border War Beer Fest, Kenosha Craft Beer Week, Taste of Wisconsin™, and Cheese-A-Palooza.
When it comes to brews, there are a few Kenosha favorites. We love a cold K-Town Brown from PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co. (the name just makes us smile) — it is a mild, toasty (but smooth) English brown ale. The popular Cream Ale from R’Noggin Brewing Co. is reminiscent of Cream Soda — definitely a unique brew. Hazelnut Harvest is one of the flagship beers crafted at Rustic Road Brewing Company. This light amber ale is infused with hazelnut flavor and has a subtle sweetness that is easy to enjoy anytime. At Kenosha Brewing Co. the Nitro Oatmeal Stout offers something a little bit fuller. The warm, roasted taste and nitrogen infused blend give it a bold yet creamy finish.
So what are some of the must-try cheese offerings when visiting the Kenosha Area? Here are just a few of our favorites:
MAC-N-CHEESE at Captain Mike's: Build your own mac-n-cheese combination or try the mac of the week!
SAGANAKI at Twisted Cuisine: Creamy cheese set on fire to melty perfection and served with toast points.
FRIED CHEESE CURDS at Waterfront Warehouse: made with Wisconsin American Cheese, these lightly breaded bites are fried to perfection and served with your choice of sriracha, ranch, honey mustard, or BBQ dipping sauces.
SMOKED PROVOLONE WONTON STICKS at The Garage: fried wontons wrapped around melty smoked provolone cheese are served with pineapple ranch for the ultimate snack.
QUESO BLANCO at La Fogata Mexican Grill: Gooey white cheese melted with hints of jalapeno and served with homemade tortilla chips.
WISCONSIN POT PIES from Elsie Mae's Bakery & Cannery: Take and bake these pot pies filled with locally-brewed beer, cheese, and bratwurst, available at Tenuta’s Deli!
PRETZELS WITH BEER CHEESE SAUCE at Mason's Eatery & Pub: Soft pretzel sticks with a rich beer cheese dipping sauce.
FRANCHEEZIE at Trolley Dogs: An all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with cheese sauce.
CHARMER POPCORN at Sandy's Popper: Caramel-glazed yellow cheddar popcorn!
CHARCUTERIE BOARDS at The Buzz: Enjoy sampling beers and a variety of meats and cheeses for the total package.
CHEESE SQUARES at The Spot Drive-In: similar to a cheese curd, cheese squares are larger, gooier, cubes of breaded and deep-fried cheese that you won’t want to miss out on.
GRILLED SPAM AND CHEESE at Franks Diner: In addition to their iconic breakfast Garbage Plate and Cinnamon Rolls, this diner serves up amazing lunch specials with some fun throw back twists like the Spam and Cheese.
That is just the start of the cheese and beer tour in Kenosha. Sampling and pairing these Wisconsin vices is definitely a fun way to have a little culinary adventure.