Everything I Love about Wisconsin in ONE Place!

I’ve noticed our cheese adventures have slowed down a bit this summer.  Why? Maybe we’ve been busy doing other fun summer things…maybe we’re more drawn to cheese during cold, winter months.  Anyway, I was thrilled nonetheless when we visited Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet this past weekend on our way back from camping. They are located right off the highway in DeForest, Wisconsin.  You can’t miss the mouse on top of the roof nor the massive bovine!

The GIANT cow welcomed us so nicely!  We all know that giant Wisconsin cows make the best cheese!

Giant cow outside of Ehlenbachs Cheese

The Cheese Chalet is all kitsch, but so much fun! Daddy O. posed in front of it, knowing the drill from our other cheese adventures!

Front of Ehlenbachs Cheese Chalet

The store is amazing – very spacious and full of everything I love about Wisconsin: cheese, local micro-brewery beer, wine, and even some chocolate! The selection of curds and cheese was vast and impressive!

Ehlenbachs Cheese Chalet

So much to love about this store!

We are currently devouring the Peppercorn Ranch Cheese Curds and have a 6 Year Old Cheddar waiting for us in the fridge. Other kinds of curd flavors were garlic & dill, horseradish, marbled, basic yellow, and I think some sort of cajun too.  YUM!  Some of the cheeses flavors we noticed were caraway swiss, hot pepper cheese, pizza cheese, horseradish cheese, garlic cheese, baked cheese, and the traditional flavors of colby, monterey jack, brick, swiss, gouda and MORE.

Outside of the building, they had this mural of Wisconsin, which I love! We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful state with so many state parks, lakes, Door County cherries, cheese factories everywhere, Milwaukee breweries (okay AND New Glarus, Madison, and Chippewa Falls microbrews), and the beloved Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and our favorite of all three the University of Wisconsin Badgers!

mural of Wisconsin

As I looked at the map, I was reminded of all the cool places I would like to visit with my sweet family.  We had just enjoyed camping in the Dells, but there’s so much more to explore in this great state!

Thanks for following along as I write about it all on Go Mama O.!  Enjoy the remnants of summertime!

Only in Wisconsin? Family Trip to a Beer Garden

As I mentioned in my post “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” we dig Oktoberfest beer, so when my sister-in-law suggested we check out one local beer garden, we couldn’t refuse. Since the beer garden – or Bier Garten auf Deutsch – is in a park and next to a kid’s playground, we decided to make it a family picnic.

We broke out the big beer glass I bought from Oktoberfest more than ten years ago.  Here’s Daddy O. showing his excitement!

Holding beer stein

At the bier garten, I split a half-liter with my sister-in-law, and Daddy O. opted for a full liter of dark beer.  Apparently it is shipped from Hofbrauhaus Munich, and it was quite good.  We also shared a big pretzel (complete with three cheese blend spread), bratwurst, quark (type of cheese), fruit, and sandwiches for the kids. It was so fun to dine and drink on a beautiful, autumn day!

Bier Garten sign

Isn’t this the best sign?

After lunch, the kids played on the playground, leaving Daddy O. to finish his liter while sitting on a park bench.  A polka band with an amazing tuba player and authentic German beer hall songs made our afternoon outing even more perfect.  I think it’s impossible NOT to be happy when you hear a polka (but maybe that’s just me?)!

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Initially, we felt a little crazy for bringing our kids to a beer garden, but it really was a lovely day!  Living in Wisconsin, adults can bring their underage children to bars, so why not a beer garden too?! Cheers / Prost!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

My husband will sing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” this time every year.  So what’s he celebrating?

Getting into the Christmas spirit WAY too early? Nope.

Happy about our kids going to school? Not yet…next year for our oldest

Just a musical guy? Not so much.

The source of his joy: Oktoberfest seasonal beers!

Our favorite beer comes from Capital Brewery based in Madison, Wisconsin. They make a delicious Oktoberfest variety that is only available for a limited time.  During the Packer game, we enjoyed brats and Oktoberfest beer…oh yeah, and some cheese with our salad.  At least the food and beverage were enjoyable, as I can’t say the same about the end of the game.  Here I am posing with the best beer:

Oktoberfest beer Prost

I went to the REAL Oktoberfest in Munich over ten year ago.  I took a side trip to Munich one early morning to hit the Oktoberfest grounds before taking a train to visit a friend who was part of my high school German exchange program.  Though it was early, there were still plenty dedicated beer drinkers there!  I explored the various beer halls and found one to drink ein’ Mass in.  I was incredibly impressed with the beer maids ability to carry so many of huge beers all at the same time.  I also enjoyed the festive music!  After downing one beer, I was done.  I simply walked to the train station and had a nap before meeting my friend.

Oktoberfest 2002

Enjoy the Oktoberfest beer while you can!  Prost!