Rumbling voices, floating music and breweries from A to Z crowded the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center Friday night for Taste of Wisconsin.
The Basement Brewhaus of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point hosted the annual event.
Twenty-five vendors brought their wares and 300 students and community members flocked to taste them. Beer, wine, pizza and baked goods came together in a medley of food from vendors all across the state.
Businesses as local as Polito’s Pizza and Portesi Italian Foods from Stevens Point and as far away as Door Peninsula Winery in Sturgeon Bay and Rush River Brewery from River Falls were in attendance.
Though an annual occurrence that draws students, alumni and community members from as far as North Dakota, this year’s event was the largest it has ever been.
Miles Voss, operations coordinator for Basement Brewhaus, has been coordinating the Taste of Wisconsin event for the past two years. Voss said that the event coordinators raised the ticket count from 250 to 300 and still the event is selling out.
“This year, we have 25 vendors who are actually here representing the breweries, wineries and food vendors to talk about their product. Having a representative is more insightful,” Voss said. “They get to tell great stories about the beer. They get to tell something fun behind the winery.”
Katie Minch, a returning student studying music, speech and language pathology, enjoyed this channel for communication in her first year attending Taste of Wisconsin.
“All of the vendors are really nice,” Minch said. “They’ll tell you all their stories, and I like to know the history behind each group.”
Ross Hubbard, director of sales for Ale Asylum Brewery out of Madison, was one of the
representatives at Taste of Wisconsin.
The brewery showcased five different beers at the event. Though the company is only ten years old, it is the third largest brewery in the state.
“Taste of Wisconsin gives people a chance to see something they haven’t seen or taste something they haven’t tasted or exposes them to a brewery they haven’t seen before,” Hubbard said. “I like being able to do that especially in areas where there are people who are making up their minds about what kind of beers they like.”
The casual and close-knit atmosphere of Taste of Wisconsin is one of its marking characteristics as well as its component of allowing attendees to try a wide range of new things.
“It’s always a good time putting on, and it’s always fun hosting an event where everyone just gets to expand their pallet, have a good time, drink some beer, drink some wine and eat some good food, right here on campus,” Voss said.
Minch shared in Voss’s opinion about the experience when she said the event was appealing due to the variety.
“You have the opportunity to try so many different things,” Minch said. “I like to test the waters when it comes to food and wine. I think it’s a great atmosphere.”