5 Best Breweries and Wineries in SW Illinois!

Do you need a drink? How about a great place for a first date? Are you trying to get into the spirit of the season with autumn activities? If you are in any of these situations, you’re in the right place! Come on down to Southwestern Illinois and visit these 4 great breweries & wineries that all have something unique to offer.

Bretz Wildlife Lounge & Winery: (618) 594-8830

Inspired by the beauty and wildlife of South Africa, Bretz Wildlife Lounge has become a must-see attraction in Illinois! For starting with just 8 types of wine in 2008, this Lounge has exploded into hub of good times and even better wines. Explore the menu and try some of their in-house wines like the Kalahari Sunrise: Sweet Blush, a blend of Concord and Niagara grapes that is fruity and sweet. Bretz’s offers far more than good wine and atmosphere though, head over to their website to see the full list of activities offered!

Crooked Creek Winery: (618) 267-6792

Owners Shannon and Mindy Cooney opened Crooked Creek Winery in 2014 as a place for great wine and to admire the beauty of majestic horses. We in Clinton County love Crooked Creek Winery so much that we wrote an entire blog post about it here! Check it out to see what makes this winery so special.

Excel Bottling Co: (618) 526-7159

Come down to Excel if you want to hear a story while you sip your drink! Started in 1936, owner Edward “Lefty” Meier caught a bank robber then used his reward money to buy a used bottling machine. Now, through the 80 years they’ve been in service, Excel Bottling does more than just bottle sodas and brews! They began the brewery business in 2012, and now offer a range of brews from German-style lagers to new-age West Coast style.

Hidden Lake Winery: (618) 228-9111

If you are looking for a wine that only uses local fruits and is bottled in-house, then Hidden Lake Winery is for you. Constantly hosting new events, Hidden Lake is a great place for a extra-spooky Halloween. This year, they are hosting a Halloween Bash on 10/26, with a Mystery Beer Grab and Costume Contest- but beware! The Winery is right outside of the Silent Forest, where it’s rumored that spirits still walk the forest!


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