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Old 04-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
MichaelsBrewing
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Default Madison Wisconsin

Fellow home brewers,

I will be in Madison Wisconsin next week and will be staying at the Madison Concourse Hotel; I am pretty excited. So, what do I need to hit up beer related? What are the best breweries? My wife has class all day I am am going on a beer adventure in good ol' Madison; my first time there actually. So, your weigh-in means a lot.

Thanks to all,

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
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New Glarus is about 30 miles south of Madison. The brewery there is very good. $6 for a pint of beer and you get to keep the glass. The hilltop brewery is meant to be walked around. You can see their boil kettles, fermenters and bottling line. I highly recommend taking a trip down there. You basically buy a beer and walk around the brewery. Obviously your access is limited but you can see almost everything. There is even a window looking into their lab.

Capitol brewery is on the west side of town. I have never been there but they make good lagers.

There are at least 2 really nice brew pubs in Madison. The Vintage has a good variety of really good beer. I love their build your own burger.

There is also the Great Dane. I would recommend the one on the east side and eat upstairs. It has a nice view of the Capitol over the lake.

There is also a Great Dane location downtown Madison. On the Capitol square I would visit The Old Fashioned. They have a very extensive collection of Wisconsin brewed beer. Something like 150 Wisconsin beers total with 50 on tap. About a block and a half away there is a place called Coopers Tavern. They serve beer from around the country and world. Close to 100 different kinds with 30 or more on tap.

If I had to narrow it down I would say The Vintage and New Glarus Brewery. Then the Old Fashioned because it will give you a good selection of local beer.

This is all I can think of off the top of my head.

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #3
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Yes, please please go to New Glarus, it's among my favorites. Drink a Spotted Cow for me.

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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I beleive there is a great beer bar in Madison called the Weary Traveller. I've never been but I hear it's worth going to. Definitely go to New Glarus. They are one of the best breweries in the country in my opinion. Capital Brewery as stated above makes qutie a few "classic examples" in the BJCP guidlines and is worth checking out as well.

I recommend the Golden Ale at New Glarus, it's a lot like Orval.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Ale Asylum... way better beer than New Glarus.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #6
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+1 to Old Fashioned, New Glarus and Great Dane. Another great bar is the Malthouse. It has a ton of beers, they seem to specialize in Belgians. On the Capitol square, Cooper's Tavern has a pretty good tap menu.

By the way, I personally find Capital's beers to be pretty unimpressive except for some of their seasonal and limited release beers. They make some good bocks. Oh and their "Hop Cream" is awesome. YMMV.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
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I love Ale Asylum, but would not call their beers way better than New Glarus. To each their own, but I love them both. It is a shame you are not here in May, when Black Top (2011 Black IPA Gold winner at GABF) and Dancing Man (Heffe) are released. Golden Ale is a good call, as it is a brewery only beer.

The Malt House on the East Side is the gathering spot of the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild but does not open until 4:00 (LINK).

New Glarus, Vintage, Ale Asylum, and Capital are all great choices for the Brewery/Brew Pub experience. Capital is literally 5 minutes from my house and has a great outdoor beer garden. High quality lagers and bocks.

The Old Fashioned on the square boasts at least one representative sample from nearly every Wisconsin brewery or brew pub in the state on tap or by bottle.

Finally, a personal favorite is Brasserie V, a Belgian style gastropub that is small, but on par or superior to many bigger city variants in food quality and beer selection. A great place for lunch and better for dinner, but they do not take reservations and fill up quickly. The pork belly and pheasant breast are both fantastic. Matt Van Ness did a great service to locals when he hired Rob Grisham as head chef and gets many hard to find beers from all over.

Shoot me a message if you have any questions (it is my home town, after all!).

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Old 04-06-2012, 02:00 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for the great info! I will begin my research and keep you all posted.

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Old 04-06-2012, 02:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhchrist
I love Ale Asylum, but would not call their beers way better than New Glarus. To each their own, but I love them both. It is a shame you are not here in May, when Black Top (2011 Black IPA Gold winner at GABF) and Dancing Man (Heffe) are released. Golden Ale is a good call, as it is a brewery only beer.

The Malt House on the East Side is the gathering spot of the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild but does not open until 4:00 (LINK).

New Glarus, Vintage, Ale Asylum, and Capital are all great choices for the Brewery/Brew Pub experience. Capital is literally 5 minutes from my house and has a great outdoor beer garden. High quality lagers and bocks.

The Old Fashioned on the square boasts at least one representative sample from nearly every Wisconsin brewery or brew pub in the state on tap or by bottle.

Finally, a personal favorite is Brasserie V, a Belgian style gastropub that is small, but on par or superior to many bigger city variants in food quality and beer selection. A great place for lunch and better for dinner, but they do not take reservations and fill up quickly. The pork belly and pheasant breast are both fantastic. Matt Van Ness did a great service to locals when he hired Rob Grisham as head chef and gets many hard to find beers from all over.

Shoot me a message if you have any questions (it is my home town, after all!).
Thanks a lot! I will definitely hit you up if I have any questions.

Cheers!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:11 AM   #10
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I'm not a huge fan of Capital's beers, either, but they have a few tasty ones. Especially seasonals. If you can find it, and I'd go out of my way to find this one, try their Platinum Blonde Doppelbock. Very, VERY tasty! (Don't drink it ice-cold!!!) Extremely smooth, malty and honey-like, creamy mouthfeel, low bitterness.

Shoot... I LIVE in Madison, and haven't visited all of those places, yet. Time to take a local road trip!

I can definitely vouch for Vintage Brewing Company, too. They have excellent microbrews that they make themselves. Usually about a dozen different types or so. I've only been to the one on the southwest side of town, but the burgers are excellent (Look out for the Grilled Cheese Cheese Burger! It's a monster!), and the beer is great. Ask for sample sizes so you can try them all! Definitely my go-to place for great burgers and beer.

The Great Dane may have some good beers, but I rarely go there. The food at the one in Fitchburg is so-so. I haven't been downtown, yet.

Other eateries for beer-drinkers would include: Cooper's Tavern, Old Fashioned, Jac's (on Monroe St.), Brasserie V, and Quivey's Grove.

If you're looking for good liquor stores to stock up on goodies, look for Steve's Liquor stores. They usually have nice selections of local microbrews, seasonals, and other stuff. Great service and knowledgeable staff.

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