What's Brewing: The Flavors that Await Area Craft Beer Lovers
Sanity seems to matter a lot to the people at Ale Asylum, but it is just plain nutty that the Tripel Nova—available only in summer—is 10 percent alcohol but still somehow fruity. Hopalicious has 11 kinds of hops. Most Ale Asylum beers are bottled and sold, but a few, including Big Slick Stout and Bamboozleator Doppelbock, are available only in the taproom.
Brewery Creek Inn
Of course Mineral Point has a brewery. It has everything else. It’s a brewpub and a bed and breakfast. The Lemon Shandy uses real lemonade and lime, and they might still have some left. Brewery Creek also makes two kinds of Weiss beer: Dunkel Weiss and Kristal Weiss.
Every fall Capital lets us have Autumnal Fire, a hearty, malty doppelbock. This year, Capital’s twenty-fifth, includes a special version of Autumnal Fire called Eternal Flame. It is a special spring batch of Autumnal Fire—they’re calling it Imperial Fire to avoid the oxymoron—mixed with a sample of the very first batch of Autumnal Fire from Capital’s early years.
Esser's ross Plains Brewery
Esser’s brews two beers and has been doing it for something like a million years (okay, 159). They do Esser’s Best and Esser’s Cross Plains Special. Esser’s website proudly discloses that the brewery kept operating throughout Prohibition, “mostly doing business at night.”
Furthermore’s Fallen Apple is a beer and not a hard cider. In this case, it is fermented cider made with apples from Gays Mills mixed with cream ale. Fatty Boombalatty is available in spring and summer and is more than just a great name: It’s a Belgian white with a high alcohol content.
Granite City Food and Brewing
Yes, Granite City is a regional chain located at a mall that brews awfully good beer. If we didn’t know the craft beer movement was here to stay, we knew it was when Granite City built its brewpub adjacent to West Towne Mall and started serving up Broad Axe Stout, Brother Benedict’s Bock and Duke of Wellington India Pale Ale.
The Great Dane Pub and Brewery
The Great Dane (pictured above) was Madison’s first brewpub. Going strong since 1994, now there are five locations, including one in Wausau and four in Madison. All the Great Dane really has to do is keep doing what it’s been doing, but recently the brewers there have been focusing a lot of energy on English cask ales—double-fermented, less carbonated and less cold than most American beers.
The Grumpy Troll
The Grumpy Troll (pictured above) is a fun brewpub with as many as a dozen of its own brews on tap at any given time. The Norski Nut Brown has molasses, toasted oats and at least nine different malts. Nine! Maggie is an IPA with three kinds of hops and almost 10 percent alcohol. Ten!
Lake Louie Brewing
Brother Tim’s Tripel, a strong Belgian ale, arrives in August. Lake Louie’s Milk Stout will be here in November and must be tasted to be believed. It’s a creamy English stout that actually contains lactose from cow’s milk. Coon Rock Cream Ale is a more traditional kind of creaminess and contains corn.
New Glarus Brewing Company
If New Glarus weren’t so well known for Spotted Cow and Fat Squirrel, it would probably be best known for its fruit beers. Two Women is a lager that is so named because it is the result of a collaboration between the New Glarus and Michigan-based Weyermann Malting breweries, both co-owned and operated by women.
The next few months will see Tyranena’s Lake Mills operation turning out Gemuetlichkeit Oktoberfest, Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice and Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale. The Sheep Shagger is an especially rich, malty brew with toffee-like influences.
Vintage Brewing Company
Vintage (pictured at left) is the brewpub where J.T. Whitney’s once was. The Max Stout is aged six months, is almost 11 percent alcohol by volume and tastes a little bit like whiskey. We mean that in a good way. Vintage also has a coffee ale in which you can taste the coffee but that still seems like a great beer.