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Tastings and beer gatherings in Madison

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by lunarbrew, Mar 16, 2013.

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  1. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    Maybe I'm really bad at searching this stuff out, but I'm having trouble finding beer advocates in Madison. I mean, don't get me wrong, people in this city love their beer. But I've lived here for about 7 months now and haven't come across many advocates, tastings, rare taps, bottles, etc... Any ideas on where to look?
  2. slaneja

    slaneja Aficionado (175) Belgium Mar 26, 2010

    When Great Taste gets close, there will be a good amount of rare taps, takeovers, etc... Same thing goes with Madison Craft Beer week which is coming up in May. Every now and again bars will have random tap takeovers, I know that Brasserie V is doing a small one now with stuff from the bruery (not sure if 5 taps is really a takeover though). Craftsmans out in Middleton seems to do them semi-frequently.
  3. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    Beats me, I know of a couple BAs here but I haven't gotten a chance to get together to do anything. Been pretty busy with work stuff, plus I mostly already drink with non-BA friends. But yeah, there's the occasional post that one of us would put up about bottles becoming available or something interesting being tapped.

    Speaking of which, there have been good stuff getting tapped here and there- I'd use social networks to follow different places. Malt House, Brasserie V, etc. Brickhouse tapped Black Note and BCBS like a month ago and Alchemy had that Night of the Barrels event that included BCBS and BA Night Train. It's out there.

    I proposed in a different thread that maybe we should have a Madison-centric thread, kind of like the Pipeworks Updates thread that gets continually updated. A way for Madison BAs to share interesting info and maybe even set up tastings. Perhaps we should get on that. Thoughts?
  4. jverdo1

    jverdo1 Aficionado (180) Illinois Apr 5, 2012 Verified

    Hey BM me and maybe I can help - been in Madison for years now and can probably help you out.
  5. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    Sounds like a good idea, Stevedore! I decided to delete my facebook a while ago, so I'll have to keep an eye on BA instead. I would love a thread to follow and contribute to. It would also be great to have some more eyes watching bottle shops in case a rare beer comes through.

    I heard about the blacknote and BCBS tapping about a week after it happened, unfortunately. Bummed I missed it. I really dig Brasserie V, if I could just afford to go there all the time!
  6. SkippyChop

    SkippyChop Aficionado (210) Wisconsin Jan 31, 2013 Verified

    Hi - I've lived in Madison for about 16 years now (came here for college and never left). I just joined BA earlier this year & am interested in meeting other BA's in the area. I'm on the south-west side of town and have a couple of friends on the east side who are also into good beer.

    I work downtown close to the capital, so if any of you are in a similar situation & want to go have a few after work sometime, let me know. Maduro had a firkin of Dragon's Milk with gravity pour/tap 2 Friday's ago - maybe they still do?

    I've got a couple of good bottles of beer that I wouldn't mind sharing, if we could get a tasting party organized. I also have an old fridge converted to a kegerator in my basement, currently with Sticky McDoogle on tap. I'm willing to host. (And if any of you are interested in playing sheephead on Thursday nights too, let me know - it's been getting increasingly harder to get 5 people together to play cards)

    Also, in my opinion, Tipsy Cow (capital square) and Dexter's (east side) are 2 bars in town with awesome distributed beers on tap. But I think that the Vintage Brewing Co. on the West Side has, and makes, the best beer in town. I heard that Dexter's has a keg of Black Note that they are planning to tap during the Great Taste pre-party. Star Liquor & Woodman's West each got some 12oz bottles (maybe others did too) on Weds, but all were sold out within a couple of hours. Jenifer Street Market has a really good beer selection too - their beer manager is a big bourbon barrel aged beer fan. Last time I was there, they still had some barrel aged borris & barrel aged christmas beer (hoppin' frog), but hoppin' frog is always expensive...

    If you want to know what beers are being released in the area, Star Liquor's facebook page is a good page to keep tabs on. The Jenny St Market guy said he posts his new beers on twitter (I don't use twitter, so I don't know). And Riley's is a good place to check out occasionally, and is my go-to place for kegs.
  7. BlackElixir

    BlackElixir Aficionado (225) Wisconsin Jan 22, 2013 Verified

    I too would be interested in getting together some tastings. I move back to Madison from Salt Lake City at the beginning of May, and I don't really know anyone here who is into craft beer, so it would be great to meet some fellow Madison BAs and share some good brews!
  8. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    BTW craft beer week at Dexter's looks like debauchery waiting to happen.
  9. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    I'm glad there's some interest! I'm still pretty new to BA, but I'm really down with Skippy Chop's ideas. Maybe we can organize a meetup or something first and figure a tasting out from there? Any ideas for a meetup?

    Also, I completely agree with Vintage being some of the best Madison beer (city proper). I had a pretty poor opinion of them for the longest time because I had only been to the campus location, but the west side location has awesome food and brews! I think Karben4 is going to be awesome too, when their operation is in full swing!

    Any of you homebrew, by chance?
  10. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    And I agree. Dexter's on craft beer week is going to be total debauchery. So excited.
  11. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    You know, this thread is working just fine as a Madison-centric thread, it even has the perfect title. So we should just keep rolling with it.

    I've been on BA for just a couple months ever since I started homebrewing last summer, which got me paying attention to great beers. I live on the near west side, near the UW hospital. While I have a pretty busy work schedule, my thought is that a meet up could be at a pub like Dexter's or Vintage on Whitney Way or whatever is easiest for everyone.. then we can move onto other things from there.

    As for homebrew- got an coffee oatmeal stout (inspired by FBS) sitting in primary, yesterday marked the completion of week 2. The brew process was a total shitshow (my BIAB tore on only the second use :( ) so I'm just playing the waiting game to see how it turns out. It's a bit of an experiment as everything that could go wrong did go wrong but you never know. If my hydrometer samples are tasting good, I'll secondary a few months with some oak cubes soaked in Woodford Reserve.
  12. jverdo1

    jverdo1 Aficionado (180) Illinois Apr 5, 2012 Verified

    Dexter's is one of the best beer location on the East Side - if everyone would like to meet up there one night, I'm in!
  13. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    I also became active in BA through homebrewing, although I've followed the site for a couple years. I don't have a ton of good beer cellared for a tasting unfortunately--just some good Michigan locals (mostly class 2) and they're disappearing fast.

    I've been interested in trying BIAB. My brew setup is 10 gal HLT, 10 gal Mash ton, 8gal brew pot, and better bottles. I fly sparge. I'm working on my 5th AG brew. I like the idea of Woodford soaked oak cubes. Sorry about your bag ripping, though. I hope it turns out. Let me know if you want to brew sometime.

    I'm totally up for meeting at Dexter's. I'm usually free after 9pm, although I have Mondays and Thursdays off so I can do any time.
  14. Eddie's in SP typically has fantastic taps and somewhere around 80 bottles. They update their tap list via FB but would rather see an app like Dexter's that is quickly and consistently updated. Trying to get Toppling Goliath out there so if you're in for a beer drop a request for some Golden Nugget and then stop by Cannery Wine and Spirits to stock up ;)
  15. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    lunar- do you also go on HBT for homebrewing discussion? I find that an useful place for recipes, questions, etc. I'm pretty much a beginner myself (6 batches so far) so I like reading through the threads there.

    Never been to Eddie's, don't go out to Sun Prairie much at all. I've heard some good things about Cannery, esp from Ri0 but never been. My main sources of beer is Steve's University (esp for new, interesting stuff) and Woodman's West (mainly for staples). I don't go out to drink much but when I do, I like to visit Alchemy, Great Dane, Vintage. Haven't been to Malt House or Dexter's in a long time (probably because I'm too lazy to drive all the way out to the east side).
  16. I'm going to be northeast of you guys this weekend (some place called Green Lake). Do any of you know of a decent bottle shop in that neck of the woods?
  17. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    Unfortunately I can't help you out with Green Lake. It seems like you can find Wisconsin locals in most locations, though. They're everywhere.

    Steve, use HBT all the time! Awesome site. I learned a ton from the site thanks to other beginner AG brewers having the same dumb questions I had. You should also check out Basic Brewing Radio (a podcast) if you haven't yet. The host can be a little chatty, but they have done some really informative experiments on the show (concerning specialty grains, SMaSH brews, no chill brewing, etc...)

    Also, if anyone is searching around for Plead the Fifth or bbbw, they had a ton at Jenny St. Market last night.
  18. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    How are you getting there? Via I-39/90? I-94? Or from the UP (are you a Yooper?! I grew up in the Detroit area) I won't know what's in Green Lake but we ought to be able to give you some recommendations for shops you might encounter along the way.
  19. SkippyChop

    SkippyChop Aficionado (210) Wisconsin Jan 31, 2013 Verified

    FYI - Tipsy Cow had Double Crooked Tree IPA on tap when I stopped by there on Monday.

    I would also be down for meeting at Dexter's - any non-Thursday. Maybe this Saturday late afternoon / early evening? I can probably get my girlfriend and maybe another friend or 2 to come out. I've only been to Dexter's a couple of times - how is it on Saturdays? I'm suggesting earlier rather than later just in case the place gets super packed on Saturday nights.
  20. With the Tournament Dexter's can be a crap shoot at the bar. Most often though you can walk right up and sit at the bar during the afternoon. They have Dragon's Milk and Alchemy Hour on tap at the moment. Damn I love their app :cool:
    Ri0 likes this.
  21. SkippyChop

    SkippyChop Aficionado (210) Wisconsin Jan 31, 2013 Verified

    I also peeked in the window of the Tipsy Cow over lunch. Double Crooked Tree is gone, but they somehow have Curmudgeon's Better Half on tap! I'm heading there after work.
  22. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    Nice call. I saw this while at work at Meriter hospital, and just went over there when I got out of work at 3pm (really early start) to have some after a long day. Really a well done old ale, don't get a ton of bourbon but quite a bit of sweet maple syrup with a bit of oak. Gets even better as it warms up. Enjoy!

    It was $6 for a 10oz pour in case anyone was wondering.
  23. SkippyChop

    SkippyChop Aficionado (210) Wisconsin Jan 31, 2013 Verified

    Fyi - I'm here drinking one now and it is just regular curmudgeon. The bar tender showed me the keg collar and it is just regular curmudgeon.
  24. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    That's too bad. It makes sense now that I didn't get any bourbon flavor in it. This would be my first Curmudgeon of the year, then!
  25. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    Damn! I was so excited to head down after work. Thanks for the post though. Keep them coming if you ever get wind of something else!
  26. bpolglaze

    bpolglaze Aficionado (225) Wisconsin Feb 2, 2007 Verified

    Anyone see New Glarus IIPA on draft around town? I've really been enjoying this and would love to try it on draft.
  27. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Verified

    BTW if you guys haven't had O'so stuff, Craftsman Table and Tap in Middleton is having a O'so tap takeover next week Wednesday. Includes BA Night Train Porter and Wee on the Lam.
  28. The new glarus iipa will be going to be on at the Blue Moon after the rampant imperial ipa blows. Probably this weekend?
  29. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    They're there, you just have to know where to find them :)

    Show up to a good tap take over with a Fou Foune bottle on the table. The BA's will come find you.

    Dexters, Malt House, Maduros, Glass Nickel Pizza and the place that's a Deli during the day that is near the Great Dane downtown (the name eludes me at the moment, but I want to say it's called The Merchant).
  30. Dactrius

    Dactrius Advocate (655) Wisconsin Apr 23, 2012 Verified

    Definitely just keep your eyes open and there are a lot of cool tappings around town. A lot of them are pretty low key though. Keep an eye on Glass Nickel on the east side. They've had KBS multiple times, Better Half, and even the probably not really Rare (but 2009 BCBS at a minimum).

    I'd be up for catching a beer with some new Madison BAs as well. I have a cool tasting group already but you can never have too much good beer.
  31. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    Ah, what a funny scramble that was this past summer. One of the few GI confusions that CANT be blamed on me
  32. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Savant (485) Washington Mar 11, 2013 Verified

    I wish I could make it out, but I'm busy until 9ish. I've had mixed experiences with Dexter's being busy. I'd say that generally Fri/Sat post-8pm is not ideal.
  33. Ri0

    Ri0 Poobah (1,120) Wisconsin Jul 1, 2012 Verified

    Posted on Tyranena's FB:
  34. Ri0

    Ri0 Poobah (1,120) Wisconsin Jul 1, 2012 Verified

    Oh and this!
    Getting ready for some Shaggin' In The Wood... ^Rob
    BrownAleMale and Stevedore like this.
  35. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    Will be ISO of this one!
    BrownAleMale likes this.
  36. Ri0

    Ri0 Poobah (1,120) Wisconsin Jul 1, 2012 Verified

    Central Waters Illumination is on shelves now.
  37. BrownAleMale

    BrownAleMale Advocate (645) Wisconsin Dec 14, 2011 Verified

    Yeah ive never had this but since scotch ales are my favorite style and sheep shagger is my favorit scotch ale, I will definitly be buying my fair share.
  38. SkippyChop

    SkippyChop Aficionado (210) Wisconsin Jan 31, 2013 Verified

    It doesn't sound like there's much interest in meeting up at Dexter's tomorrow. Let's try shooting for next week Saturday maybe? Or others who want to meet up could propose a time too.

    Thanks for the tip on the barrel aged sheep shagger!
  39. Eddie's has had it for this past week. Had one last night. Excellent IIPA.
  40. Ri0

    Ri0 Poobah (1,120) Wisconsin Jul 1, 2012 Verified

    Do you live in Sun Prairie like I do? I don't get out much...
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