Introducing the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

Logo_FinalSome of central Wisconsin’s finest craft breweries, distilleries and wineries are joining forces to encourage visitors to sip their way through the Stevens Point area.

Five local businesses have collaborated to create the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective, an organization that highlights the unique flavor that the four craft breweries – as well as a winery and newly opened distillery – bring to the Stevens Point area.

The Central Wisconsin Craft Collective consists of Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst; Plover’s Great Northern Distilling, which had its grand opening earlier this year; Kozy Yak Brewery/Fresar Winery in Rosholt; O’so Brewing Company in Plover; and the historic Stevens Point Brewery.

And, to help spread the word about the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective, the group has launched the Craft Collective Sweepstakes, a promotion that will award one lucky winner with a trip for four to the Stevens Point area for tours and tastings at the Craft Collective locations, as well as other prizes.

A collection of unique tastes

Visitors to the Stevens Point area will find a distinct flavor to each of the members of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective, which are spread throughout Portage County.

  • Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point. Established in 1857, Point Brewery is the fourth-oldest continually operating brewery in the country and still continues to expand, having completed four expansions since 2010.
  • Central Waters Brewing Company, Amherst. Central Waters takes its commitment to the environment seriously, boasting locally sourced materials for brewing, bottling and packaging, as well as two large solar arrays.
  • O’so Brewing Company, Plover. This so-called “freestyle brewing” company is celebrating its seventh year of operation in November. Its proud Wisconsin roots are on display at the brewery’s tap room, where you can find 40 beers on tap from across the state.
  • Kozy Yak Brewery & Fresar Winery, Rosholt. The newest addition to the area’s brewery scene, Kozy Yak has been serving ales, stouts and lagers since 2012. Kozy Yak’s owners planted their first vineyard in 2003, and visitors can now reap the rewards through Fresar Winery.
  • Great Northern Distilling, Plover. Opened in 2014, Great Northern Distilling creates small-batch spirits using ingredients from within 150 miles of the distillery. Don’t miss the distillery’s Mixology Lounge, where you can sample drinks made with Great Northern’s potato vodka.

Sweepstakes awards winner with VIP experience

The Craft Collective Sweepstakes, which runs through Nov. 21, will give visitors a chance to experience the tastes of the new Central Wisconsin Craft Collective firsthand.

One grand-prize winner will receive two nights’ lodging for up to four people, as well as tours and tastings at each of the stops on the Craft Collective, transportation all weekend long, dining gift certificates, and a goodie bag filled with merchandise from each Craft Collective member.

For more information on the Stevens Point area, visit You can also find the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Kick off fall with an event-filled weekend

pointoberfestMark your calendars for these great fall events in the Stevens Point area during the weekend of Sept. 20-21!

 45th Annual Art in the Park
10am-4pm Saturday, Sept. 20
Pfiffner Pioneer Park

Visit arts and crafts vendors and enjoy children’s activities and more fun for the whole family at Art in the Park. This family-friendly event, sponsored by the Children’s Art Program and the Stevens Point Parks Department, has no admission charge.


14th Annual Woodcarving Show
9am-5pm Saturday, Sept. 20
9am-4pm Sunday, Sept. 21
Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center

For more art, check out the Wisconsin River Woodcarving Show, which is the largest in Wisconsin. This event features more than 100 artists, and this year’s show will highlight the works of carver Ron O’Kray. Demonstrations will be offered on both days, and admission is only $3 per person (children 12 and under are free).


3rd Annual Pointoberfest
4-8pm Saturday, Sept. 20
Stevens Point Brewery

Then, head to the Stevens Point Brewery for Pointoberfest, an annual celebration of great beer, German food and live music. You’ll find samples of all Point craft beers and Ciderboys hard ciders and a souvenir mug. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased online. Proceeds from the event benefit Pints for Prostates.


11th Annual Dozynki Harvest Festival
Noon-8pm Saturday, Sept. 20
Noon-6pm Sunday, Sept. 21
Moose Family Center

Finish the day with Dozynki Harvest Festival, complete with polka and Polish food. Dance the polka (competitively or just for fun), snack on a ponczka and enjoy Polish food and craft beer. Plus, hear live music from Cynor Classics and Norm Dombrowski’s Happy Notes on Saturday and Keith Stras and Polka Confetti and Benji’s Polka Pak on Sunday.

Want more fall events? Check out the full events calendar here.

Upcoming Live Jazz and Bluegrass Festivals

Riverfront Jazz Festival

Riverfront Jazz Festival

Late August is a great time to be a music lover in the Stevens Point area.

The 5th annual Bluegrass in the Pines will take place August 21-23 at Rosholt Fair Park in Rosholt. Tickets are $10 for Thursday, $15 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday. Bluegrass artists include Feller and Hill & the Bluegrass Buckaroos, Larry Gillis and Swampgrass Band, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass, The High 48s, Sloppy Joe, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, and the Fish Heads. It should be a foot-stomping good time. Camping is available on a first-come, first served basis. Learn more.

August 30-31, enjoy live jazz at the Riverfront Jazz Festival at Pfiffner Pioneer Park in downtown Stevens Point. The lineup includes John Greiner’s Swingshift Big Band, Old Style Sextet, Miguel Zenon, Ziji, Davina and the Vagabonds, and a tribute to Ray Charles featuring Woody Mankowski and the UWSP Jazz Ensemble. It’s a wonderful way to spend Labor Day weekend. Learn more.

Find a complete list of upcoming events.

A summer full of fun events

portage_county_event_imgSummer is in full swing in the Stevens Point area, and that means there are lots of fun things to see and do in the center of Wisconsin. Here are a few of our suggestions of things to enjoy in July and August.

  • Celebrate Plover (July 26). Enjoy a community celebration at Lake Pacawa Park in Plover. This family-friendly festival includes a children’s parade, craft vendors, a fireworks show and more. Find more information on the event’s Facebook page.
  • 21st annual Midwest Recumbent Rally (August 8-10). Hosted by Stevens Point’s Hostel Shoppe, this annual rally attracts recumbent cyclists from across the state. Cyclists can participate in group rides, seminars, contests and more.
  • Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (August 12-14). This three-day outdoor event, held this year in Stevens Point, is the largest architectural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. More than 600 commercial and educational exhibitors will be on hand to talk about the newest and best farm technology. This year’s host family farms are Blue Top Farms and Feltz Family Farms.

Find more Stevens Point area events here.

Thank you for supporting the arts!

Stevens Point Sculpture Park (Photo: John Morser)

Stevens Point Sculpture Park (Photo: John Morser)

We have wrapped up the second year of our Celebrate the Arts campaign, and we want to thank everyone who came to the Stevens Point area, attended one of our great arts events or visited one of our galleries, museums, shops or other attractions.

We would also like to thank everyone who entered our Celebrate the Arts Spring Sweepstakes, which wrapped up last month. Congratulations to our winner, Michele D. of Madison, who will receive a $500 arts getaway that includes:

And, don’t forget: arts isn’t just a springtime activity here; we’ve got engaging attractions and events you can experience year-round. Find upcoming arts events here, or pick one of these great arts itineraries to try on your next visit to the Stevens Point area.

Don’t miss the 25th annual MREA Energy Fair!

The MREA Energy Fair will take place in the Stevens Point area June 20-22. The event is organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and presents the latest in renewable energy ideas and products.

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The fair offers more than 100 exhibitors featuring sustainable living and clean-energy products. The fair will present more than 200 workshops, including both introductory and advanced level topics in the areas of solar, wind, green building and local sustainable food. There will be green-building demos as well as innovative new vehicles on display. On top of all that, there will be entertainment, great food and locally brewed beer.

Learn more about this exciting annual event.

Enjoy the Arts Year-Round


Riverfront Jazz Festival

The many arts organizations, performers, galleries and local artists make the Stevens Point area a great place to enjoy the arts year-round.

A number of the Stevens Point area’s annual events celebrate the arts. Don’t miss the Riverfront Jazz Festival, August 30-31, the largest outdoor jazz festival in central Wisconsin. The 9th Annual Central Wisconsin Film Festival brings great movies to the region October 24-25 and November 7-8. The Hidden Studios Art Tour runs October 3-5 and showcases artists working throughout central Wisconsin. You’ll have a chance to meet artists in their studios and see them at work.

No matter when you’re visiting the Stevens Point area, you’ll find a wealth of arts offerings.

Galleries galore

By Megan Larsen

The Stevens Point area has an abundance of gallery spaces that showcase local and regional artists’ eclectic artwork.  Whether you prefer natural landscapes, modern influences or something in between, there is sure to be a gallery in the Stevens Point area that will cater to your artistic interests.

For pieces inspired by the waters of the Great Lakes region, visit the Riverfront Arts Center to view Following Flow, the latest exhibit to make an appearance in this community arts center. Running through June 1, Following Flow showcases poetry, paintings, displays, quilting, and photography inspired by the rich water resources of our region.

Scarabocchio_4To observe an art style all its own, check out the Scarabocchio Art Museum. Taking its name from the Italian word for “doodle” in Italian, the Scarabocchio Art Museum displays decorative, non-objective art alongside seasonal exhibits. The current featured exhibit is The Rhythm of Water by artist Ann Singsaas, whichruns through June 26. Ann’s artistic style focuses on works of oil and watercolor, and pieces in her exhibit will have a unifying water motif.

MaryLeeReinekingQwebsiteIf watercolors spark your interest, stop by Q Gallery in downtown Stevens Point to view Mary Lee Reineking and Friends. Watercolor pieces from more than 10 local artists will be on display through June 27. Check out this collaborative watercolor exhibit and gain perspective on how local artists are inspired by one another to create signature, attention-grabbing pieces.

To view works inspired by books, reading, and printing, stop by the Carlsten Art Gallery, located in the Noel Fine Arts Center on the UW-Stevens Point campus. Now through June 9, view My Aesthetic Confession to see Brian Borchardt artistically depict his passion for literature and typography.

TomorrowRiverGalleryFacebookFor artwork, handmade goods, locally produced crafts, and more, venture out to Tomorrow River Gallery and Gifts in Amherst. This community gallery and gift shop is home of the Hidden Studio Art Tour, which takes place each fall. Visit Tomorrow River Gallery and Gifts during their inventory reduction sale this May and come home with a high-end piece of artwork for a fraction of the original selling price.

Broaden your knowledge of regional artists, celebrate the arts, and take in the natural beauty of the Stevens Point area by stopping at one of the many local art galleries.

Don’t forget to enter the Celebrate the Arts Spring Sweepstakes!

stpButton-203x149There are two weeks left to enter the Celebrate the Arts Spring Sweepstakes. Enter today, and you could win an arts getaway to the Stevens Point area valued at $500!

The grand-prize package includes:

Entries are being accepted until Friday, May 30. Enter today!

ArtsWalk is this Friday

Mark your calendars: the annual ArtsWalk is coming to downtown Stevens Point this Friday.

artswalkArtsWalk is a collaboration between the Arts Alliance of Portage County and various downtown Stevens Point businesses. During the fun, free celebration, artists will be able to display and sell their works in storefront windows. There are also artists’ demonstrations, live music and dance.

To learn more about ArtsWalk, visit the Arts Alliance of Portage County website.