It’s 2012. You’re in a bookstore, when a book cover catches your eye. Why? Because it says, “Buy this book and get free beer!” What do you do? You buy the book, of course: Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide, by Kevin Revolinski. Bill picked it up, little knowing how much that book was going to change the trajectory of
his and Jessica’s lives.
Armed with the book and Saturdays off, they started visiting craft breweries in Wisconsin, region by region. Along with tasting various beers and learning about different styles, they also went on a lot of brewery tours, where guides explained the brewing process
from start to finish.
When you go on enough of these tours, you become familiar with the process. It may even intrigue you to the point of wanting to try it on your own. In 2013, Jessica told Bill she wanted to do just that. Initially, Bill was not enthused. “I already cook for a living,” he said. “I really don’t want to do it on my days off.” Being the open-minded person that he is, he added, “I’ll help, though, and I want to name some beers.”
A few months later they popped the top off the first bottle of their first homebrew. They poured and tasted it... and they were hooked.
The hobby quickly turned into an obsession. More (LOTS more) brew days followed. Soon they found themselves sitting on about 40 cases of homebrew and Bill and Jessica’s heretofore half-joking conversations about “going pro” took a more serious turn.
Meanwhile, Bill owned and ran Ruef’s Meat Market in New Glarus, WI. While the business was thriving, Bill was ready to move on. In addition, Bill and Jessica had been vacationing in Wisconsin’s Northwoods for years and had long dreamed of moving there. When, in 2017, an opportunity arose to sell the meat market, the couple's fate was laid before them: they would move up north and open a brewery!
A perfect location was found in Manitowish Waters right on Highway 51 - the main travel artery through the Northwoods. Besides the great tourism prospects of the area, Bill and Jessica soon discovered their new home in "Mani" would provide a bonus: a friendly, welcoming town that quickly made them feel like part of the community.
Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide is now on its 4th edition and is available for purchase in the taproom. Bill and Jessica still love to tote their now dog-eared copy along on visits to other Wisconsin breweries on their rare days off. But their favorite part is on page 304 - the entry for Some Nerve Brewing Company.