The short(y) story of Rhinelander Brewing

A seven-ounce beer helped put Rhinelander on the map. The Rhinelander Brewing Company, maker of the Rhinelander Shorty, is still going strong decades after it first started quenching peoples thirst in Hodag Country. The company recently opened a new brewery downtown, and its an attraction you wont want to miss.

The legacy

The Rhinelander Brewing Company has a long history—in 1882, nine years before the Hodag was first officially spotted, Otto Hilgermann and Henry Danne were crafting the first Rhinelander Beer in the Northwoods. The company faced a few challenges over the years. The brewery burned down in 1897, but was rebuilt only to be shuttered for a bigger disaster—Prohibition. The company reopened in 1933 only to close again in 1967 for financial reasons. The brewery’s assets were purchased by the Joseph Huber Brewing Company, and Rhinelander beer was brewed for years in Monroe. In 2009, Jyoti Auluck acquired the Rhinelander Brewing assets and began an effort to bring the Rhinelander Brewery home to Rhinelander. The brewery recently cut the ribbon on a new brewing facility and taproom in downtown Rhinelander.

The Shorty

Great things often come in small packages, which is perhaps why the seven-ounce Rhinelander Shorty has been so beloved in the Northwoods. The classically refreshing beer, sold in a stubby little bottle, was so popular in the 1940s that one of Rhinelander’s baseball teams was called the Rhinelander Shorties. The beer is a crisp and refreshing light lager with an ABV of about 5 percent. It’s the perfect beverage—and the perfect size—to enjoy while out fishing, sitting on the beach or relaxing after some time on the trails.

The full lineup

Rhinelander Brewing Company offers beer lovers plenty of refreshing options, including Shorties, sold in 8 packs and 24-packs, and some great craft beers on tap at their taphouse: Mystical Traditional Ale (7% ABV), Chocolate Bunny Stout (5.5% ABV), Imperial Jack Double IPA (8.5% ABV) and Thumper American IPA (6.8% ABV).

Visiting the Rhinelander Brewery

Taste the pride of Rhinelander and see where the magic happens. The new Rhinelander Brewery Taproom is located in downtown Rhinelander at 43 S. Brown St. You’ll find 10 craft beers on tap and a gift and retail shop with growlers, cans and bottles, including the famous Rhinelander Shorty. Tours and tastings are available. See the hours here. The brewery is walking distance from downtown hotels and restaurants—check the brewery out yourself or bring a group of beer lovers to Rhinelander. Just save room in the car for some Shorties!


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Note: The Rhinelander Area is open, and all visitors are welcome. Please travel safely and responsibly. Some businesses and events may have modified hours or procedures; please contact businesses or event organizers directly for specific information.

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