Man’s Best Friend Is Invited To These Local Hotspots
Bare Bones Brewery
4362 County Hwy S, Oshkosh
Bare Bones is all about the dogs, down to its dog bone tap handles and a wall mural of dogs sitting at the bar. It’s a short distance from highways 41 or 45, but it feels like you’re out in nature. An open air pavilion accommodates outdoor tippling, even in inclement weather, and additional tables spreading out in the warmer weather. The Wiouwash Trail runs right by the brewery, so you can easily venture out for a countryside dog walk.
Although they don’t serve food, they will often have food trucks around in the summer. The best way to stay updated is to follow them on Facebook. Otherwise, there are plenty of fine beers available to fill you up in the meantime.
Bare Bones’ owners, Dan and Patti Dringoli, have always had dogs. A while back he and his wife rescued a pit bull by mistake, having been told it was a mix of two other breeds. But it turned out to be a great dog and companion. Enlightened by the lesson of this unlikely adoption, Dan’s goal became to make beers that warm people up to different styles they thought they disliked. Thus, “Fear no beer.”
Bare Bones also gives back to the dogs, recently hosting events for Saving Sully Dog Rescue and Apple Valley Pit Crew.
Tandem Wine Bar
101 W Edison Ave, Appleton
Located in the flats, Tandem Wine Bar has an inviting, bohemian feel with a large overhead door that opens onto their sidewalk patio. Inside and out provides a mix of vintage furniture that feels at home in their new purpose. Several small green spaces are nearby where pups can do their business. In both directions from Tandem you will come across walking routes: North Island Trail to the north or Newberry Trail to the south. Lawe Street at the other end of the flats creates a loop you can take, or you can carry on towards the Lawrence campus via the new boardwalk.
George Koenig, the owner, says one of his joys in life is preparing and serving food, but he chose to forgo that service at Tandem so that he could fully embrace the dog culture. He even has his dog, Sal, on premise to welcome guests. “It’s important to have Sal here with me. It’s important to him. And it’s important to a lot of customers to be able to have a space for a nice glass of wine or beer and socialize and have their dogs present for that outing.”
Despite a beverage-only menu, George keeps an open invitation for carry-in food. “Feel free to bring in your home cooked meals, carryout, whatever, and enjoy it here with wine. You won’t pay the same kind of increase for a bottle as you would at a restaurant.” And you don’t have to leave your dog at home.
McFleshman’s Brewing Company
115 S. State St, Appleton
“I think it’s a really important part of community and well-being to be able to take your animals with you and enjoy these places,” says Alex Schultz, marketing director of McFleshman’s.
If you’re downtown Appleton with your dog and thirsty for a pint, McFleshman’s Brewing Company’s beer garden is a lovely oasis, replete with hanging ferns, potted plants, and sometimes even hops growing along lines overhead. Dog bowls are available with another fun feature they’ve included in the beer garden: a keg of drinking water for the dogs.
And because McFleshman’s doesn’t serve food, dogs and all are welcome to come inside and enjoy a break from the sun in the old-school English pub vibe of colorful stained glass and dark, comforting wood grain.
Back outside, the beer garden often hosts food trucks throughout the summer as well as musical acts on their outdoor stage. And if your furry one is picky, just check out their social media to make sure whoever is scheduled delivers your dog’s kind of boogie.
1649 S Webster Ave, Green Bay
“Our focus was always to be a neighborhood place. We live less than a mile away, so it is our neighborhood,” says owner and head brewer, David Malcolm. They do this by omitting TVs and offering board games or playing cards. Large tables encourage casual interactions and help it be a place where the community can gather, along with their dogs.
Malcolm named his dog after his favorite beer, Porter. He then named a beer after his dog: Good Dog Porter. The Malcolm’s adopted Porter from Happily Ever After in Green Bay and have since partnered with them whenever possible. Their most recent collaboration will come to fruition on May 14th with the launch party for Zambaldi’s beer featuring one of six winners of Oshkosh Kiwanis’ “Northeast Wisconsin’s Coolest Dog Contest”. Proceeds will go toward the six participating animal shelters.
Although they don’t serve food, Gallagher’s Pizza is right next door and will deliver your food to you at the brewery. You can have your pie, your pint, and your pooch all in one space.
Vines and Rushes
410 County Rd E, Ripon
A visit to Vines and Rushes is a bucolic experience. Their very generous patio offers an abundance of seating options, with lush perennials adding a homey feel. So, of course, the dog is coming.
Lying four miles north of Ripon, this winery has been open nearly a decade offering wines from grapes grown on site, as well as wood-fired, brick oven pizzas, salads, and appetizers. There are water spigots on the patio where you can serve your dog refreshments, and they do have some dog bowls to offer, but bringing your own is always a good idea. That’s especially true here, since guests are free to take their leashed pets for a wander around the vineyards, have a picnic, or even escape for a jaunt down the Mascoutin Valley Recreation Trail, which borders the property to the east.
Owner, Ryan Prellwitz, loves having dog visitors but also shares a word of caution to people bringing their animals anywhere. “One person’s comfort can be somebody else’s fear.” It is wise to remember, wherever we go with our dogs, we should always be considerate of other peoples’ comfort level, since we weren’t all dogs in our past life.”
313 Dodge St, Kaukauna
“We didn’t see it happening in this area, and being dog-owners ourselves, we love bringing Opie places. Even hotels are starting to allow dogs in. There’s more of a sense they are a part of the family now,” says Kyle Megna, owner of 313 Dodge.
Located in a renovated brick house at the edge of downtown Kaukauna, 313 Dodge offers cocktails and other beverages along with small plates and sandwiches. Its intention is to be a gathering place rather than a dinner destination. When the summer finally comes and the patio opens again, it will be that gathering place for dogs as well.
The patio seats 25, but the driveway has become an extension of the patio, seating an additional 60. There is also a bit of grassy hillside available on one end of the building for those who don’t mind to picnic. A water jug and stack of dog bowls is a fixture on the patio. Once hydrated, you can also hop on the Konkapot Creek Trail and head south through town and then onwards, taking the CE trail. That is, for the really ambitious, or carted along dogs.
A couple years ago 313 Dodge added a walk up window on the patio, which Megna says actually proved to be a good fit for dog owners, who now don’t have to leave their dogs to order inside. Stop by this summer and you may meet Opie, their 14 year old mixed shepherd, who likes hanging on the patio when the weather’s just right.