At the end of an active summer day, you can’t beat the peace of sipping a Spotted Cow on the dock, gazing out at the sunset-colored sky reflected in the waters of the lake. But after dark, I like a little more company. For a tiny town, Boulder Junction has a delightfully varied selection of bars and pubs for cocktail hour. Some nights, a leisurely stroll to enjoy any one of them is just the thing. And other nights, we’ll designate a driver and sample the best from them all. Here are my favorite choices from my favorite night spots in town.
Aqualand Ale House
These guys serve the best craft brew selection in the area from 20 taps.
My personal favorite is the Cold Water Cream Ale. It feels light, but creamy rich and goes down EASY. I don’t usually waver from that choice, but Scott will try something new each time and this week he enjoyed the French Oak Saison.
Of course, when you’re feeling indecisive, you can always opt for a flight of 5 or 8.
Boulder Beer Bar
A short walk from the Ale House, right next to Mad Dog Jakes, is the Boulder Beer Bar. (I may have mentioned the most amazing fried cheese curds here a few hundred times) This is a cozy, classic Wisconsin bar. Despite the name, there’s a full bar to choose from and a friendly staff to serve you and generally houses a pretty festive crowd. This is a great place to stop in and strike up a conversation or watch the game on TV.
McGann’s Café and Wine Bar
Here we feel at home in a super comfortable family atmosphere. I will almost always have a glass of red wine – or two, selected from their extensive list. And of course, there’s a choice of popular mid-western beers. The real refreshment here is the company. We sit at the bar and chat with local patrons or proprietors Denny and Ellen. We’re always greeted by the resident golden retriever, who’s happy to see us every time! It’s easy to feel the love that went into the creation of this friendly place.
My final favorite for a nightcap is Headwaters restaurant. Here, I always get a Wisconsin Old Fashioned. If you’re not familiar with it, the Wisconsin version of this classic drink it’s made with Brandy instead of Bourbon and can be ordered “sweet” or “sour.” I can’t decide which I like best. The sweet version is typically washed with 7Up and has muddled orange and cherries in the bottom. The sour version comes with soda and an olive. The best thing, really, is just to alternate between the two every other night. This is Wisconsin after all!