Wade House: Raise a glass to Wade House’s past

CONTACT: David Simmons
(920) 526-3271

To help mark St. Patrick’s Day and toast the history and culture of taprooms, bars and brewing in Wisconsin, Wade House historic site will present a “Bottoms Up” Book Party on Saturday, March 15, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. featuring Jim Draeger, author of “Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Historic Bars and Breweries.”

The award-winning book showcases the architecture and history of 70 Wisconsin breweries and bars, including a segment about the Wade House taproom. The book party will begin with an author talk, video presentation and book signing at the new Wade House Visitor Center and conclude with a beer tasting and light appetizer sampling experience in the Wade House taproom.
During the event, participants will discover Wisconsin’s bar and brewing history. Starting with the first stagecoach taverns, author Jim Draeger will describe the evolution of the saloon, the growth of big brewing, the effects of Prohibition and the rise of theme bars and craft brewers.

In a lively presentation accompanied by many photographs, Draeger will point out how the 70 featured taverns and breweries in his book all represent diverse architectural styles, from the 1850s Wade House taproom, the Bavarian-inspired Empire Tavern (Legend Larry’s) in Sheboygan and the Art Deco inspired Diedrich’s Tavern in Chilton to the Queen Anne-style Klawun’s Saloon (Chasers) in Oshkosh and the well-known Wolski’s Tavern in Milwaukee.

Guests will see images of bars in barns and basements, and brewpubs in former ice cream factories and railroad depots, as well as hear about ice harvesting, barrel making, bar games, bar fixtures and the queen of the bootleggers.

After the author’s talk, a portion of Wisconsin Public Television’s “Bottoms Up” companion documentary will be shown. The video presentation will be followed by a book signing with the author.
Once the book signing concludes, registered guests will travel to the historic taproom of the 1850 Wade House stagecoach hotel to sample four brews crafted by 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. of Sheboygan. As part of the beer tasting, guests will also be treated to light appetizers and have a chance to play the historic bar game, “Crack Loo.”

The book talk and signing is free to the public. Preregistration is required for the beer-and-appetizer event. Cost for the beer tasting and appetizer sampling is $8 per person.
There is limited seating in the Wade House taproom so reservations will be taken on first-come, first-served basis. Please call 920-526-3271 to reserve your spot.
Wade House historic site is one of 12 Wisconsin Historical Society historic sites and museums. For more information, please call 920-526-3271 or visit www.wadehouse.org.