The Beer Barons of Geneva Lake

You may know of Conrad Seipp and his 1888 summer cottage on Geneva Lake…Black Point Estate and Gardens.  After four generations enjoyed their summers on Geneva Lake, the family donated the property to the State of Wisconsin; it’s open for tours hosted by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Black Point Estate
Black Point Estate

The Seipp family is not the only Geneva Lake family that is connected to beer (just the one open for tours!)  To learn more about the “beer legacy” of Geneva Lake, join the Black Point staff for a beer tasting tour of the lake and Black Point Estate on July 20 or August 17th—go to the events page on blackpointestate.org for details.

Seipp was the largest brewer in Chicago for 30 years…and the largest in the U.S. for one year (1873) with many popular brands (Salvator, Columbia, Hollander, Pale Ale, etc.) 

 

Conrad Seipp
Conrad Seipp

The Seipp family was associated with at least three estates on the lake…the Lindens on the south shore is owned by the Madlener side of the family…and related to the Blatz family.

 

A son-in-law, Theis Lefens had an estate on the south shore, too.  He was Secretary and Treasurer of Seipp’s Brewery, and president of the United States Brewers’ Association in 1889-90.

The first establishment connected to Chicago beer was the Pishcotaqua Hotel on the north shore, near Williams Bay and Knollwood. The hotel pre-dated the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island by 7 years, and was of the same luxurious style, built as a temperance hotel…but unsuccessful for the first few years, until John Cook bought it.  He was the owner of the Union Brewing Company in Chicago. The remaining building is now known as Ara Glen.

The complex known as Forest Glen, and Villa Palatina (near Fontana), was owned by two Chicago brewers:  George Weiss sold his estate to Edward Uihlein in 1899. Edward operated the Chicago branch for Schlitz.  Fire destroyed the house in 1922, and the area was subdivided.

The Fairlawn mansion still exists…it was in the Wacker family until 1975.  Charles Wacker and his father were in the malting and brewing business. Known for Wacker Drive, Charles was instrumental in implementing Burnham’s Chicago Plan…which gave us Chicago’s lakefront parks, Soldier Field, Shedd Aquarium, etc.

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Conrad Seipp Brewing Company in Chicago, IL

 

Ceylon Court, renamed for the Maytag family when they purchased the property has another beer connection.  Fritz Maytag, often called the father of craft brewing, bought Anchor Steam Brewing in San Francisco in 1965.  His grandfather was the last Maytag to own property on Geneva Lake.

So Seipp was the largest brewer on the lake at one time…but there are connections to Blatz, Schlitz, and Anchor Steam beer as well as connections with Wacker and John Cook.  Join Black Point staff on July 20 or August 17 to learn more of the beer story of Geneva Lake…and sample some great beers while you tour Black Point Estate and Gardens!

By Michael Rehberg

 

Walworth County: Food Festival Heaven

What’s a summer in Wisconsin without meat on the grill, corn on the cob, and a cold beer in hand? It’s no secret that food has the power to bring people together whether it be a backyard BBQ or the Largest BBQ Festival in the state of Wisconsin. Walworth County is home to several summertime food festivals that will fulfill your foodie fantasies.

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Elkhorn Ribfest | Elkhorn, WI | Thursday, July 11 – Sunday, July 14, 2019

Part competition and part festival, Elkhorn Ribfest is a 4 day long barbecue lover’s dream. The Walworth County Fairgrounds hosts this enormous event that features world renowned BBQ professionals. These ribbers are competing for the title of Grand Champion and festival-goers even have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite! Once you’ve had your fill of mouth watering ribs, there’s still plenty of festival left to enjoy! You can take a stroll around artisan village and enjoy carnival rides. Not to mention, there’s no shortage of live entertainment. The festival features artists such as Bella Cain, Too White Crew, Cherry Pie, Hairbanger’s Ball and more. Free admission and free parking make this a fun, affordable event for all!

5d192c6eae920.imageSteak Cookout | Elkhorn, WI | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

If you’re still hungry for more after Elkhorn Ribfest, the annual Steak Cookout at the Walworth County Fairgrounds shortly follows. Stop by for a delicious steak or burger hot off the grill from 4-7 pm and don’t forget to check out the bake sale! This event supports the Walworth County Junior Beef Members.

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Big Foot Lions Club Lobster Boil & Steak Fry | Fontana, WI | Saturday, July 27, 2019

Indulge at the biggest social event in Fontana! The fun begins at noon in Reid Park with live music and lighter fare such as hamburgers and hot dogs. Lobster and steak dinners will be served from 2-9 pm and all meals include boiled red potatoes, peas, boiled onions, buttered rolls and a dessert! Yum! There will be a children’s area set up and live entertainment from Al’s Blues Band, Mr. Myers Band and The Eddie Butts Band. Lobster dinner tickets are $38 in advance/$40 at the door and steak dinner tickets are $24 in advance/$26 at the door. All proceeds from the fundraiser go back to the public through contributions from the Lions Club. 

432-1.jpgCorn & Brat Days | Elkhorn, WI | Friday, August 2 – Saturday, August 3, 2019

Formerly known as Festival of Summer, this event kicks off a big month for corn and brats in Walworth County. Downtown Elkhorn will host artisans, vendors, bounce houses, and performances from local groups. Some of this year’s performers include the martial arts group Elkhorn Flying Dragons, Walworth County Cloggers, Toe to Toe Ballet and live music by The Amazing Farm Boys.

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Corn and Bratwurst Festival | Walworth, WI | Saturday, August 3, 2019

Join the Geneva Lake West Rotary Club for their 58th Annual Corn and Bratwurst festival! Held in Heyer Park, the fest will feature delicious roasted corn on the cob and beer brats from 11 am to 9 pm. Enjoy live entertainment all day and try your luck at the dunk tank for a chance to soak local celebrities! Tickets are $9 in advance or $13 day of.

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Corn & Brat Fest | Williams Bay, WI | Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sweet corn and Wisconsin brats…a match made in heaven. The Williams Bay Lions Club is hosting this massive, 3 day event at Edgewater Park. There will be multiple raffles and live music from The Andrew Gelles Band, Rebel Grace, Katie Mack, and the Big Al Wetzel Band. Don’t miss the fireworks show on Saturday night!

darien_cornfest_201606-1024x576.jpgDarien Cornfest | Darien, WI | Friday, September 6 – Sunday, September 8, 2019

We hope you’re still hungry for corn because these ears are FREE! The 59th Annual Darien Cornfest returns this September with live entertainment, carnival rides, a craft fair, tournaments, tractor pulls, fireworks, a parade, and more corn than you could ever dream of. This festival has it all and you won’t want to miss it. Enjoy free corn from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday & Sunday of the event!

 

Get Snow Much Savings in 2019

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From skiing to ice fishing, snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing and ice boating, Walworth County, Wisconsin is truly ‘Snow Much Fun’ in the winter season. Outside activities are not the only option. Walworth County also has plenty to do inside, including luxurious spas, unique stores, dinner theaters and shows, art galleries and two indoor waterparks.
The Walworth County Visitors Bureau has put together a free coupon book to make the winter experience even more affordable. There’s more than $500 in savings on lodging, dining, skiing, indoor activities, area attractions and more. To receive a free coupon book, contact the Walworth County Visitors Bureau at (262) 728-6000, e-mail info@visitwalworthcounty.com or go to VisitWalworthCounty.com/snow-much to order a coupon book online.

“This year’s coupon book has many great offers,” states Kathleen Seeberg, Executive Director at the Walworth County Visitors Bureau. “From family fun to a romantic getaway, Walworth County has snow much to offer in the winter. And since the coupons are valid until April 15, there’s still plenty of time to get away to the Lake Geneva area for some fun and save.”

Also, do not forget to check out the amazing Snow Much Fun experiences we are giving away each week on Facebook. Find the post of the week, and click on the link to be entered for a chance to win “Snow Much Fun” in Walworth County. Follow us on Facebook at GreaterLakeGenevaArea.

For more information about Snow Much Fun coupon book,

go to VisitWalworthCounty.com

Winter Festivals in Walworth County 2019

Winter is the best time to make memories with your friends and loved ones. The closer you are, the warmer you stay! There is no better place to come and celebrate the thrills of winter! Each community celebrates the season in their own way, but exciting activities and great ways to stay warm take place in abundance in Walworth County.


Hot ChocolateFest

Friday, January 18 – Sunday, January 20

burlington_hot chocolatefest2019Folks will be kicking off the winter celebration with a large creamy cup of hot chocolate at Burlington’s annual Hot ChocolateFest. Anything you could possibly associate with winter will be included in these three days. Break out your winter woolies to enjoy open skating on Echo Lake, ice bowling, snowman decorating contests, and broom ball. Then warm up with hot chocolate, storytelling around campfires, and a chili contest. This weekend will also include live music, a Winter Artisan Faire, and a scavenger hunt for the kids. Warm up those dancing shoes at the Old fashioned “Sock Hop”, then wrap up the weekend fun with a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday.


Winterfest
  Town of Delavan

Saturday, January 19, 11:30 am – 5 pm

town of delavan winterfestOn the shore of frozen Delavan Lake, the Community Park pavilion will resonate with the sounds of hot jazz from the Elkhorn, Big Foot and Delavan-Darien High School Jazz Bands at the Town of Delavan’s Winterfest. Food and drinks will be available to satisfy you while you purchase your 50/50 raffle tickets to help support the Delavan-Darien Arts Booster Club and the Friends of the Park. Locals and visitors alike will be excited about the door prizes; this is your chance to win season boat passes or two season non-resident passes. Make sure you take advantage of the Free Fishing Day, also on January 19th, on all state lakes and streams! Details for Winterfest and the DNR’s Free Fishing Day can be found on the Walworth County Visitors Bureau’s events calendar.


Winterfest Lake Geneva

Saturday, January 26 – Sunday, February 3

vlg_snowsculptingevenphotoFor nine days, Winterfest takes over the city and the shore line of Geneva Lake in downtown Lake Geneva. Walking down Wrigley Drive you will see the infamous sculptures created for the U.S. Snow Sculpting Competition and the Ice Castles decorating the shoreline. Throughout the city, you will find a plethora of events that make up this elaborate winter celebration. Events include, but are not limited to: Hovercraft Experiences, Dinner & Dance Party, Human Dog Sled races, Souper Family Fun Night, a Food and Wine Pairing, The Supper Club Experience, Kids’ Snow Sculpting Lessons, the Winterfest Showcase, Cocoa Crawl, Chilly Jiggers Ice Fishing Derby, Helicopter Rides, the Polar Bar, Chili Cook-Off, Live Music, and Candlelight Hike. Details for all of these events can be found on the Walworth County Visitors Bureau’s events calendar.


Winter Carnival

Saturday, February 2, 10 am – 5 pm

Winter Carnival Grand Geneva.jpgGrand Geneva’s Winter Carnival hosts skiing, snowboarding and fun snow activities for the whole family to enjoy! If you have got the skills, take part in their Ski Boarder Cross and Rail Jam competitions or just enjoy the festivities all over The Mountain Top. If you’re not a skier, relax in the Beer Tent and let the kids tackle free activities made just for them. The festivities will conclude with a beautiful fireworks display and the Torch Light Hillside Parade at 8:30 pm.


Day In The Bay

Saturday, February 2, 10 am – 5 pm
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Come chill out on the other side of the lake for Day in the Bay! Pick up a passport at the Barrett Memorial Library and collect your stamps as you visit Williams Bay businesses for the chance to win free raffle prizes. There will be free children’s activities at Privatos Restaurant from noon to 3 pm, with a children’s raffle at 3:30 pm.

Sky Circus On Ice
Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 17

skycircus web adSky Circus on Ice hosts professional kite teams from around the world to showcase their skills during this winter festival on the shore of Delavan Lake. You can only truly enjoy the awe and wonder in person. Expert snow sculptors and ice carvers will also demonstrate their skills along the shore of Lake Lawn Resort and the historic brick street in downtown Delavan.

 

Delavan Train Show
Saturday, March 9 & Sunday, March 10

Facebook Event Cover Photo 2.jpgDelavan hosts one of the largest train shows in the Midwest, featuring operating layouts in multiple scales. See some of the most exciting layouts from the ‘big’ shows as well as beautiful local layouts. This is a big train show with all the comforts of the small town atmosphere. Located in the center of historic downtown Delavan. This family-friendly event has loads of fun and free admission for all!

Maple Fest 
Sunday, March 17, 7:30 am – 3 pm
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A stack of hot cakes is just not complete without a layer of maple syrup over the top! On March 17, Covenant Harbor will be serving an all-you-care-to-eat pancake breakfast and selling all sorts of maple deliciousness at Maple Fest. This festival will show all the things Covenant Harbor has to offer; explore the grounds, learn more about the family activities available, and enjoy a maple syrup tour, and much more.

 

For more detailed information about these festivals,

visit our events calendar at VisitWalworthCounty.com.

 

 

The countdown begins! 31 Days of Halloween 🎃

October is here, and I could not be more excited to share all the Halloween activities that are happening all over Walworth County! There are so many things to share, that some of our 31 days are double, toil and trouble; so keep your eyes peeled 👀. Creepy haunts, costume parties, along with autumn activities are popping up all over to get you in the Halloween spirit.

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1. Com enjoy a weekend of thrills & chills at Halloween Happenings at Scenic Ridge Campground – Oct 5-7, 12-14 OR Hear the Singing Pumpkins at their patch in Edgewater Park – Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27

2. Party with the whole family at Scare on the SquarePearce'sMaze2018  East Troy’s First Fridays event – Oct 5 OR Get lost in the Corn Maze at Pearce’s Farm Stand – Oct 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28

3. Take part in a Victorian funeral at Black Point Estate’s When Angels Carried Them Away : Death and Mourning in the Victorian Era – Oct 5-6, Oct 12-13 OR Hear the historic gossip of Lake Geneva during Sordid & Scandalous: A Walking Tour of Lake Geneva – Oct 6, 13, 20

4. Hear tales and see spirits of the past at The Fuzzy Pig’s Shockwave Haunts – Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 OR Find the local haunts during Whitewater’s Spirit Tour – Oct 12-13

5. Enter the two realms of Dr. S. Cary’s Scream Park – Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, Nov. 2-3 OR Get spooked on Scenic Ridge Campground’s Haunted Trail – Oct 6 & 13

6. Find the Grand Geneva ghosts on the Haunted Hayride at Dan Patch Stables – Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27

7. Don’t let a ghost sneak up behind you during the Lake Geneva Ghost Walks – Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27

8. Help solve whodunit at the Murder Mystery Dinner at the Baker House – Oct 13, 20, 27

9. See the creation of a Dia de los Muertos altar at Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda Presentation at Aram Public Library – Oct 17

10. The veil is thin between this world and the next at Old World Wisconsin’s Halloween Legends & Lore – Oct 19-20, 26-27

11. Have the wits scared out of you at Walk of Terror on the Square – Oct 19, 20, 26, 27, 31 & a Kid Friendly version on Oct 31Scare on the Sqaure 2018.jpg

12. Run or walk through the Trick or Treat stations at Miles for SMILES – Oct 20

13. Join the “cold-blooded creatures” on the Eco-Halloween Hike at Richard Bong State Recreation Area – Oct 20

14. Make your own Dia La Muertas Sugar Skull Mask at Studio Winery – Oct 21Studio_Sugar Skull Mask.jpg

15. Meet the creatures of the night at the House in the Wood’s Halloween in the Woods – Oct 24

16. Witness the classic monster story, Frankenstein at the Young Auditorium – Oct 24

17. Bring your little costumed ghouls to uptown Whitewater for Ghouls Night Out – Oct 25

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18. Spooky spirits and wicked brews under one large tent at Lake Lawn Resort’s Boos & Brews Halloween Bash   – Oct 26-27

19. Join us for a walk of fun at Kishwauketoe Nature Conservatory – the non-scary Enchanted Forest or a little later the Spooky Walk – Oct 26 OR Oodles of candy, pumpkin decorating & more at Delavan’s Spooktacular – Oct 26

20. Costume contests, spooky spirit, & harvest ales at The Ridge Hotel’s Costumes & Cocktails – Oct 26 OR Play a game, race a pumpkin, or shop a craft fair at Williams Bay’s Boo In The Bay – Oct 26-27

21. Enjoy a fall festival at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours’ Pumpkin Drop & Fall Festival  – Oct 27-28
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22. The little ghosts & goblins will be taking over downtown Burlington during Spooky City – Oct 27 OR Head to downtown Elkhorn for Scare on the Square – Oct 27

23. Come to a family-friendly fall celebration at The Cove’s COVEtoberfest – Oct 27

24. Dress up to haunt the halls of Maxwell Mansion’s Halloweenfest: Maxwell Costume Party – Oct 27

25. Trick or Treat the Town of Lyons and then head to the Halloween Bonfire – Oct 27

Image Courtesy of TripAdvisor26. Celebrate Timber Ridge’s Bruce The Moose’s Spooktacular Halloween Birthday Party – Oct 28 OR Bring your little monsters to the Town of Delavan’s Halloween Party – Oct 28

27. Trick or Treat – Town of Delavan, Town of Geneva, Lake Geneva AND Trick or Treat on Our Main Street at the Geneva Lake Museum – Oct 28

28.  Get lots of treats at the Darien Public Library’s Halloween Party for Kids – Oct 29

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29. Ice cream, music & fun games (if you wear your best costume) to Ready, Set, Boo! in Whitewater – Oct 31

30. Miniature ghosts, goblins, and witches emerge for Delavan’s Goblin Walk to the Legion’s Haunted House – Oct 31 OR Trick or Treat at the Aram Public Library – Oct 31

31. Trick or Treat – Bloomfield, Burlington, Darien, Delavan, East Troy, Elkhorn, Fontana, Genoa City, Sharon, Town of Sugar Creek, Town of Troy, Walworth, Whitewater, Williams Bay – Oct 31

For more Halloween fun, check out the Events Calendar!

Happy Halloween Haunting! 🎃👻👾💀👺

Harvest some fun in Walworth County!

🎶 I love you…..a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck! 🎶

Some of the fondest family memories are those made when you are romping through the patch to find the plumpest pumpkin to adorn your stoop or racing through the canopy of trees to nab a fresh, crisp apple right off the branch. With so many local orchards and farms to choose from in the Lake Geneva area, fall festivities are right around every corner.

Apple orchards celebrate picking season with cider donuts and hayrides through the orchard at their apple picking festivals. Family farms design corn mazes and display patches full of pumpkins to truly honor the beginning of fall. Explore this list for the best places to find your seasonal apples and pumpkins in Walworth County!

 

Apple Barn Orchard & Winery

W6384 Sugar Creek Road, Elkhorn

During apple season, the Apple Barn allows guests to pick their own apples on weekends only beginning in September. Check their “What’s Picking” page to find out if your favorite variety of apple is ready to pick!

Or join the jubilation on September 29-30 for the 30th annual Apple Fest! Indulge in apple cider donuts, kettlecorn, and tastings of the Apple Barn’s award-winning fruit wines. Peruse the Country Store and Bakery for donuts, cider or other treats and gifts. Craft vendors and a bounce house for the kids make a day filled with family fun and everlasting memories!

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Pumpkin season will be welcomed in October. Grab a little red wagon and pick that perfect pumpkin directly from the patch or from the beautiful selection in front of the Country Store.

The Elegant Farmer

1545 Main Street, Mukwonago
Every weekend is Harvest Fest at The Elegant Farm from September 8 to  October 21, 2018! Enjoy an old fashioned on the farm experience picking your own apples*, vintage train rides by the East Troy Electric Railroad, pony rides, hayrides, and more!   

Elegant Farmer - apple pie in a bagTasty treats are to be had at the Smilin’ Barn with make-your-own caramel apple or leave it to the award-winning Farm Kitchen Bakery, Deli & Market; grab an infamous Apple Pie Bake in a Paper bag for a slice of autumn heavenliness. Check the Elegant Farmer’s homepage every Wednesday in season to see What’s Pickin’ and plan your weekend of blue ribbon fun!
*The orchard is only open on weekends, so plan accordingly if you’re looking for pick your own.

 

Pearce’s Farm Stand

W5740 N. Walworth Road, Walworth

As Pearce’s Farm Stand continues to grow, so does their collection of seasonal produce 

(including apples), canned goods, and fall decor. Beginning in mid-September, Pearce’s Farm Stand offers free wagon rides to the pumpkin patch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 4pm. Pick from a large variety of pumpkins and gourds in their patch grown right on their farm. 7 days a week, though, you can visit their stand from the freshest produce, hay bale jumping or tackling their 12-acre corn maze!Pearce'sMaze2018

Pesche’s Greenhouse & Gift Barn

W4080 Wisconsin 50, Lake Geneva

Pesche’s Greenhouse offers a wide variety of plants, gifts, & home decor – including all of your festival fall decorations!  Pick up pumpkins of varying sizes for yard decorations or for carving. While you’re there, check out their selection of fall mums and other fall annuals & perennials.

 

Royal Oak Farm Orchard

15908 Hebron Road, Harvard

The finest apples can be found on Royal Oak’s 120 acres containing 30 varieties of apples. Enter the U-pick apple orchard or pumpkin patch by the new Harvest Barn. Purchase you entertainment tokens good for any train and carousel rides, hay ride or orchard tour. If you’re feeling adventurous conquer their Amaze n’ Apples apple tree maze! Make sure to check their schedules so you don’t miss out on a bit of fun!Copy 2.jpg

But it’s totally ok to simply enjoy their signature apple cider slushies and some cider donuts while shopping for fresh, pre-picked apples, pumpkins as well as treats and treasures in the Apple Barn, Harvest Barn or Country Market.

Mark your calendar for their 3rd Annual Great Apple Ride on October 13, to benefit the Agape House School for Girls in Walworth, WI! Doing good while enjoying good!

 

For more fall fun ideas, check out our events calendar at www.VisitWalworthCounty.com!