Thursday, February 22, 2018

Discovering Green Bay, Wisconsin

I am not a big football fan, so it seemed odd to many that I would be so anxious to explore the Packers’ Titletown, but when I had the opportunity to spend the weekend checking out this new section of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and stay at a new Kohler hotel, I was ready, willing, and able.

Titletown just opened last summer and will continue to add venues, all directly across the street from Lambeau Field. The idea is to give visitors something beyond the game to enjoy when coming to this area of town.

I took an early morning flight to Green Bay and arrived just three hours later, even with my plane change in Chicago.

My first stop was my home for the weekend and the anchor of Titletown: AAA Four Diamond Lodge Kohler.

I’ve stayed at The American Club at Kohler, Wisconsin, so I knew how luxurious this brand was, but I wasn’t quite sure until I arrived how they fit that in the football phenomenon of the Green Bay Packers.

Since my friend, Rich, wasn’t joining me wasn’t arriving until evening, I had plenty of time to find out.

I checked into my Lambeau Suite.
It was everything I expected from Kohler – spacious, well-appointed, and with a spectacular shower system.

It was also directly overlooking the famous stadium.

After freshening up, I went downstairs for a tour of the property.

I saw how they incorporated the team across the street, through color combinations, official photographs, and even memorabilia from the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in the lobby.

From the lobby you can also access a patio, where tailgating for hotel guests is encouraged on game day.

This is true throughout the hotel, including at the bar of Taverne in the Sky Restaurant, and in the larger suites, which have impressive patios overlooking Lambeau Field, which even include barbecues.

I also had a quick look at the spa I would be going to later in the day, as well as the fitness center, indoor pool, and restaurant spaces.

After the tour, I walked right next door to Hinterland Brewery, also part of Titletown.

While this brewery is not new to the area, this Titletown location includes both an expanded brewery and a farm-to-table restaurant.

The menu was tough to choose from, but I made the right decision in the Luna Stout BBQ Pork, which was flavorful and tender.

It came with a tasty kale-apple slaw and house made potato chips.

I didn’t finish the large portion because I had glanced and the dessert menu and knew I had to try something there.

I was again faced with a tough decision, I took the waitress’s recommendation and ordered the Luna Stout Peanut Butter Brownie, served with sea salt caramel ice cream.

It too was a big portion and I put half the brownie aside to take back to the hotel.

Before I left Hinterland, I took a tour of their impressive brewery. It’s quite a setup, with computerized equipment and a state-of-the-art tap system.

I saw where the beer is kegged, canned, and bottled, and some of it even barreled. (Tours are available to the public on Saturdays.)

When I arrived back to the hotel it was time for my spa treatment.

I had chosen Lavender Rain, one of the signature treatments of Lodge Kohler Spa.

It started with a lavender scrub, followed by a Vichy shower, then a scalp and facial massage, and, finally, a body oil rub.

After the treatment, I was also treated to a pedicure, before I went into the Deep Relaxation Room to rest while my toes dried.

I felt heavenly when I got back to the room and it was good that I had some time to rest before dinner.

Lodge Kohler provides complimentary local transportation, so we had them take us to the other side of Lambeau Field, where we were having dinner at 1919 Kitchen & Tap on this blustery evening.

This oversized sports bar has an impressive menu and I again asked for the server’s advice, although we knew we wanted to start with the Parmesan-Breaded Cheese Curds, which came with a buttermilk parsley dressing.

Those were fantastic, as was my Hickory Smoked Ribs, which came with beans, cornbread, coleslaw, and mac and cheese, none of which I could finish.

Rich loved the 1919 Steak Plate, choosing the center cut sirloin, with potatoes, beans, and a Chevre cheese butter.

Of course, we couldn’t leave without dessert, and decided to share two: Brandy Cheesecake and Apple Crisp. The cheesecake was good, but very sweet.

The Apple Crisp was just fantastic, with a cheese streusel and pumpkin ice cream, covered in a pumpkin caramel sauce.

After dinner we headed back to Lodge Kohler. We had much more ahead in our Titletown weekend.

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