The quaint town of Mount Horeb. (pop. 7,011), just 20 miles west of Madison, is the kind where a high school barbershop quartet entertains visitors at a Thursday afternoon farmers market. Where residents and visitors alike pile into the local brewpub on a Saturday afternoon, decked in red to cheer on the Badgers. Where the historical society museum boasts a collection of artifacts and exhibits that would be impressive for a town twice its size. Where Main St. is lined with historic buildings now filled with trendy shops, restaurants, a winery, and scattered throughout, more than 30 troll statues and other troll references have led the community to embrace the title of “Troll Capital of the World.”
The Grumpy Troll Brew Pub is a family-oriented brewery, restaurant, and pizzeria located at 105 S. 2nd Street and is housed in a historic building on the corner of South Second Street and Front Street that was originally built in 1916 by the Mount Horeb Creamery and Cheese Company on the former site of the Herman Dahie Ice House, the building was transformed into a restaurant and brewery in 1998. Originally called the Mount Horeb Pub and Brewery, it became The Grumpy Troll Brew Pub in 2000.
The brewpub is the kind of place where strangers order a Trollfest lager; an Under the Bridge Reuben sandwich; or the specialty pizza at the bar and end up deep in conversation with others. The pub’s brewmaster, Mark “The Captain” Duchow came to The Mount Horeb Pub and Brewery in 1998 and stayed until 2001. Starting as a keg washer, he worked his way to Assistant Brewmaster and then Head Brewmaster of the highly-respected Water Street Brewery in Milwaukee. A native of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Duchow is a graduate of America’s oldest brewing school, the Siebel Institute of Technology. In 2006, Mark returned to the Grumpy Troll. He is now Brewmaster at Sweet Mullets Brewery and Pub in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
In 2006, Mount Horeb native Doug Welshinger, a former Army helicopter pilot and airline pilot for Northwestern Airlines, bought the Grumpy Troll and reopened it on St. Patrick’s Day.
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!