Photo by Katherine Harris
Hudson is an easy jump across the river, with a cute little main street that’s a bit quieter than opposite-banked Stillwater. So easy, in fact, that it’s long been a focal point in the battle for Sunday sales in liquor stores, the argument being that Wisconsin is getting our local money while we sit idly by. Well, this topic is only going to get hotter with the opening of some Hudson brewery taprooms with Sunday hours—and the evolution of Stone Tap.
This newest bar and eatery on the main street drag opened with the idea of creating a gastropub with creative but accessible nosh that paired well with great locally made craft beer. And when I say local, I mean Wisconsin local. The taps and coolers at Stone Tap are populated with beers that can’t be had across the river, notably the New Glarus brand, which seems to enjoy an almost mythical reputation among parched Minnesota beerists. Dave’s BrewFarm has delivered some serious kegs to the line, experimental and one-time wonders that shine, like the Mandarina single hop lager. You’ll find Hinterland beer from Green Bay, as well as Three Floyds from Indiana and other craft labels from beyond.
It’s a welcoming bar. The space has been stripped down to brick and warehouse elements, and it feels contemporary and cool. Service and food are not quite there, but they seem to be evolving and getting better. My burger was nicely done with a lovely bun; the grilled pork chop was a little sweet but otherwise tasty. I’d say belly up to the bar, order a meat plate or hummus and veg to fortify your constitution, and sip some of the best of what the neighbors have to offer. 517 2nd St., Hudson, Wis., 715-808-8343, stonetaphudson.com —S. M.