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Grumpy Troll Brewery, Restaurant and Pizzeria

Grumpy Troll Brewing Co.

105 S 2nd Street, Mt Horeb, WI 53572
(608) 437-2739
First Visited: December 28, 2018

Mount Horeb Creamery and Cheese Company built a creamery in 1916, and later added another building to manufacture Swiss cheese. Starting in 1945, Ryser Brothers Cheese Company operated the plant for more that forty years. After it closed, the building remained vacant until Pat Proposom, a former brewer at Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin, and his wife Gail purchased it in 1996 and undertook a two-year remodeling project and opened Mount Horeb Pub & Brewery. They sold it two years later to a group of local businessmen who wanted to make sure the city still had a destination restaurant.

After additional remodeling in 2000, the brewpub opened its doors in September 2000 as The Grumpy Troll, taking its name from the “Troll Capital of the World” a designation that Mount Horeb received in the 1970s. The town is known for its Scandinavian heritage and folklore, including the mythical creatures known as trolls.

The Grumpy Troll Brewing Co. is more than just a brewpub; it’s a place where strangers find themselves engrossed in conversations while savoring a Trollfest lager, devouring an Under the Bridge Reuben sandwich, or relishing the specialty pizza at the bar. Mark “The Captain” Duchow, the pub’s brewmaster, played a pivotal role in shaping its brewing legacy. 

He joined The Mount Horeb Pub and Brewery in 1998, starting as a keg washer and steadily progressing to Assistant Brewmaster and eventually Head Brewmaster at the esteemed Water Street Brewery in Milwaukee. Originally from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Duchow honed his brewing skills at the renowned Siebel Institute of Technology, America’s oldest brewing school. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the Grumpy Troll in 2006. However, as of my knowledge cutoff in 2021, Duchow has moved on to become the Brewmaster at Sweet Mullets Brewery and Pub in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

In 2006, Doug Welshinger, a Mount Horeb native with a background as an Army helicopter pilot and former airline pilot for Northwestern Airlines, took over the reins of the Grumpy Troll. He acquired the brewpub and reopened it on St. Patrick’s Day, infusing new life into this beloved establishment.

Although the brewpub has been through multiple ownership changes and multiple brewmasters, but has maintained a solid reputation for both food and beer. It is a very rare brewpub that considers its flagship to be a Russian imperial stout, as was the case for many years with Spetsnaz Stout. In recent years, Grumpy Troll has added some sour beers. Grumpy Troll was also among the first Wisconsin brewpubs to develop a relationship with local homebrewers. Winners of the Grumpy Troll Challenge (co-sponsored by the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild) were given the opportunity to brew their beer at Grumpy Troll.

One of the key attractions of the Grumpy Troll Brewing Co. is its selection of handcrafted beers. The brewpub offers a wide variety of styles, ranging from classic ales and lagers to unique seasonal brews and experimental creations. Each beer is brewed on-site using traditional brewing techniques and high-quality ingredients.

In addition to their beers, the Grumpy Troll also gained a reputation for its delicious food menu. They offer a range of pub-style dishes with a focus on locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. From burgers and sandwiches to pizzas and hearty entrees, there is something to satisfy every palate.

Over the years, the Grumpy Troll has continued to expand and evolve. They have added outdoor seating areas, hosted special events, and even expanded their brewing capacity to keep up with the growing demand for their beers.

The brewpub has received numerous accolades for its beers, including awards at regional and national brewing competitions. It has also become a popular destination for beer enthusiasts and tourists visiting the Mount Horeb area.

In 2006, Doug Welshinger, a Mount Horeb native with a background as an Army helicopter pilot and former airline pilot for Northwestern Airlines, took over the reins of the Grumpy Troll. He acquired the brewpub and reopened it on St. Patrick’s Day, infusing new life into this beloved establishment.

The bold and creative, award-winning ales and lagers brewed on-site bring locals and travelers from afar. They keep coming back again and again for the delicious food and The Grumpy atmosphere!

Beers Tried

Boreas Imperial Stout

Stout – Imperial / Double

9% ABV

55 IBU

Rating: 3.81

We brew our imperial stout with 13 varieties of barley malt. This combination of malt creates a rich and flavor dark brew.

BIG Hopper

Strong Ale – American

5.7% ABV

35 IBU

Rating: 3.64

Hazy golden ale that features a wonderful hoppy aroma,rich malty character and a pleasing finish.

Hoppa Loppa

IPA – American

6.6% ABV

66 IBU

Rating: 3.65

Brewed with Pacific Northwest barley and blended with Columbus, Cascade, Northern Brewer, and Amarillo hops.


IPA – Imperial / Double

8.2% ABV

88 IBU

Rating: 3.59

Our Imperial IPA is all English malted barley rigorously hopped with Styrian Golding, Fuggles & East Kent Golding hops.

Lokal Brygge

Pilsner – Czech / Bohemian

5.8% ABV

33 IBU

Rating: 3.54

Czech stlye pilsner, brewed with fine Bohemian Barley malt and Saaz hops.

Captain Fred

Lager – Pale

5% ABV

18 IBU

Rating: 3.29

A true American lager; well balanced, crisp, clean and very refreshing with a hint of hop flavor and aroma at the finish.

Harvest Moon Ale

Specialty Grain

5% ABV

Rating: 3.48

Brewed to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Made with Minnesota grown Wild Rice and Six Row barley. We add a select blend of US and European hops

Trailside Wheat

Wheat Beer – Hefeweizen

5.2% ABV

12 IBU

Rating: 3.57

Our Hefeweizen has a very appealing fruity flavor and aroma resembling banana, sweet apple and pear.

Hey Now Brown Cow

Brown Ale – English

4.8% ABV

24 IBU

Rating: 3.61

Mild and malty English Style Brown Ale.

Erik The Red

Red Ale – American Amber / Red

5.9% ABV

30 IBU

Rating: 3.56

A malty amber ale brewer with a wide variety of barley malt and choice American and German hops.


Farmhouse Ale – Saison

5.4% ABV

14 IBU

Rating: 3.42

A Farmhouse Ale powered by the sun. Rich local honey from a local farm is added at the finish.


Stout – Foreign / Export

5.6% ABV

50 IBU

Rating: 3.63

Our special smooth stout has inviting flavors resembling coffee, chocolate, and the warm appeal of roasted malts.

Hummingbird Ale

Honey Beer

5.2% ABV

26 IBU

Rating: 3.51

Brewed with Golden Promise malt, Fuggles and Golding hops and rich local honey.


Pilsner – German

5% ABV

36 IBU

Rating: 3.33

Bavarian malts and Noble hops (Splat, Hallertau, Tettnang and Saaz)

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