Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Suds: July 25

Running behind today, so you’ll just have to enjoy this photo:

Seriously, don’t lose that number. Or that pretzel.

That’s the album cover of Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic. Follow this link to the exact spot in NYC (isn’t everything in NYC?). Stick tap to my roommate for alerting me to this blog, Quipsologies (great fonts). They linked to PopSpots today and that brings me to where I am right now.

Who needs a beer? How about a Schlitz and let’s get to Suds.

-We don’t give nearly enough due to St. Louis, so please take the time to check out all the awesomeness happening at St. Louis Craft Beer Week.

Like Finch’s beer? Dislike cystic fibrosis? Then this event is for you! Somewhat related, MwBC is emphatically PRO Chicago’s new food truck laws.

One Barrel Brewing is predictably overwhelmed by demand. This guy is so awesome.

-It was inevitable: A meadery in Madison. And yes, that’s apparently how you spell that…

-Ambivalent about lambics, but always excited to hear from the brewers behind the beer themselves.

-I would lose in a staring contest with Robert Goulet. Those eyes!

-Not Havel, Hommel!

-Only Guys Drinking Beer could have the foresight to review a 2009 Dark Horse

-Finally, why do I have to be so defensive about the Rick Nash trade? At least some of the CBJ blogging community agrees with me. Someone had to score goals in Columbus, but they are definitely better off without him.

Need more hockey? So do we. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@midwestbeer) or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.

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Suds: July 23

Form. Function. Design. Bicycling is truly a thing of beauty. From retro-rebuilds to bamboo bikes, biking exemplifies an overall artistic experience. The other day I was at the Art Institute of Chicago (take some time and check out the Lichtenstein retrospective, will ya?) and I came across the book Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design.

While you’re admiring these wheels, why not consider commuting to work via bicycle? Or perhaps just to the grocery store? In honor, grab a Fixed Gear from Lakefront and let’s get to Suds.

Beer lunch? This is a novel concept to me that I can see myself really enjoying.

-Way too cool: Simple Earth Hops Harvest Brewfest.

Best tap handle ever? Best tap handle ever. I really love the bowling ball, really ties the whole thing together.

-I just love this picture: Abbey Brewing Project at Northern Brewer.

New Glarus production up 10 percent. I only see good things here.

Steer the course, Lagunitas, Chicago wants you to come home.

-Finally, we haven’t implored you to go to the Old Fashioned in a really long time. So go to the Old Fashioned and drink one of their 150 Wisconsin beers.

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Suds: June 22

Unfortunately for my beer consumption I live in DC[1]. Fortunately I live in a place with a great amount of history—both American in that Norman-Rockwell-meets-William-Jennings-Brian sort of way, and the Ian MacKaye, cultural sort of way.

This week’s City Paper features an article about the influential yet enigmatic Bad Brains, a DC staple and a cassette regular for me and my friends in high school. To me, the hardest part  about the article is accepting that we’re 30 years removed from Bad Brains, and only a little less removed from Black Flag, Minor Threat and Fugazi. The article deals with the how the band has transitioned through time, but it stands in well for how the city itself has found itself caught in a number of musical stylings. Two music styles—jazz and hardcore punk—claim proprietary heritage in this city. But it’s 2012 now, and both seem sort of dated (ask Steve Albini…).

So we need to ask: what’s next for DC? I’m not sure just yet, but we can always enjoy things like this.

Need something hardcore to drink? Let’s give a little love to the Wisconsin ex-pats running Chocolate City Brewing in Washington, DC. Grab a copper lager, and let’s get to Suds.

-Need an intensely-hopped recipe? Northern Brewer has you covered, per usual.

-Guys Drinking (and occasionally Opining on) Beer with another great look at the legal hurdles craft brewers face in Illinois.

-MN drinkers: Founder Flight Night at Pig & Fiddle.

-Sorry for neglecting you for so long, Nebraska (although our beloved Badgers already did that…). Great stuff from a vibrant beer scene.

-Beer Here: 3rd Wheel from O’So Brewing in beautiful Plover, WI.

-Cool video profile on 3 Sheep’s Brewery in Sheboygan.

-Do you like good beer? Well, then help kickstart this brewery!

-Finally, it’s draft night in the NHL. I’m waiting to see where the big names—Luongo, Nash, perhaps even Stahl—end up when the dust has settled.

[1] Things are getting much better. At first, I just wanted someone to give me a Bedlam…

Stay cool with a cold beer. Follow us on Twitter (@midwestbeer), Facebook or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.

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Suds: May 2

It’s official. Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota in Madison is 100 years old! The social mecca of local Madisonians, students and alumni alike, the terrace offers a respite from the gruel of schoolwork and office work with its calming view of the lake and ever-flowing pitchers of beer. When Spring comes and the sun burst chairs are put out, the terrace has a gravity all its own that draws in all of Madison for unknown reasons. For those of us that were fortunate enough to spend four years at the terrace it has become a part of personal history: it’s where we grew from obnoxiously naive freshman into invincible sophomores into self-assured and adventurous juniors into the nostalgic post-grads we are today.

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Terrace by visiting this summer, drinking a pitcher of Ale Asylum Hopalicious and playing a game of cribbage. Check out their events page to find the perfect weekend to make the trek.

Fitger’s beer is back in Duluth?!

– Brewed Awakening book events coming up in Minnesota.

Bell’s is opening their new brewery to the public on May 19.

– What? You need another reason to go to Madison? How about Madison Craft Beer Week starting this Friday.

– Don’t worry Minnesota, you can have your cake and eat it too. Minnesota Craft Beer Week starts May 13. Here we come Madison!

– Check out what Sun King has brewing up on their events page.

– Surly Brewing is hosting a fundraiser and brewery tour in memory of Ultimate player, Marty Bakko.

– Congratulations to Great Lakes Brewing being named Best Local Beer by Cleveland Magazine.

Share your favorite Terrace photo by tweeting @MidwestBeer #TerraceSummers, or by posting on facebook.com/mwbeercollective

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Brew for Thought: Rocky’s Revenge from Tyranena Brewing Company

David Lynch’s Blue Velvet begins pastorally enough. A man waters his lawn, tills the soil. It’s all so green and bright, you can taste the lemonade. As we zoom in on the dirt, Lynch cuts away violently to worms writhing, pulling themselves apart, and then cuts back above the surface. Never judge a book by its cover, some say. I always think that things appear typical for a reason.

Lake Mills is just another town in Wisconsin. Located between Milwaukee and Madison and filled with good, healthy people, many say it can be called “typical Wisconsin.” I would not argue with that. What I would advise, though, would to properly define the word “typical.” Legend has it that a bitter old woman named Cal watched over the men in the town with an evil eye. Nearby Rock Lake has stone teepees buried at the bottom, the Badger State’s Stonehenge, and the headless man burial mound. Even more legends abound, but perhaps the most potent is that of Rocky, the Loch Ness Monster of Lake Mills.

The great thing about legends is that they create a terrific backdrop for great beers. Tyranena (say it without saying “tyranny,” the people of Lake Mills don’t like the comparison) makes some of the hardiest, most tasty beers you can find throughout the much of Wisconsin. Rocky’s Revenge is truly a site to behold, like the bottle demonstrates. Half brown ale, half bourbon barrel-aged Frankenstein, blissfully malty. The flavors expand and contract, like a barrel through the seasons, and don’t try to hide their own unique histories.

Best enjoyed: Now. Like right now. Bock season is coming. Put it in the snow, let it chill and enjoy.

Best paired with: Other hardy beers. Lamb stew.

Find it: North of the Cheddar curtain and select Chicagoland locations.

Got a beer you really love? Tell us more about it on Twitter (@midwestbeer), Facebook or send an email to mwbeercollective@gmail.com.

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Brew for Thought: Rush River Winter Warmer

Winters in the Midwest are tough. Freezing temperatures undercut by biting wind chills, relentless gray days, and ever-accumulating snow drifts are enough to make one rethink moving here. But what about those of us who grew up in the area? Why do we still put ourselves through brutally cold weather year after year when a little farther south it rarely ever dips below 32 degrees F?

Maybe because then we wouldn’t have a topic of conversation that works in any situation in life. At a dinner party: “I’m certainly glad it didn’t snow otherwise we never would have made it on time…” In the elevator with a stranger: “Sure is cold out, isn’t it?” At a family reunion: “Remember the Halloween Blizzard of ’91?” The weather is a strangely unifying part of Midwestern culture, but I don’t enjoy chatting about it enough to ignore the fact I can’t feel my toes for five months out of the year.

But when I think on the year and a half I spent in Florida when I was in Kindergarten I was disappointed that Christmas wasn’t white, that the palm trees never changed colors and that the spring thaw only happened if Mom left a bottle of water in the freezer too long.

The seasons are what draw me to the Midwest and, as in life, the cold dark of winter must be endured for us to enjoy the vibrant warmth and colors of the other seasons.

So again we pull on sweaters and wool socks and begin the season-long hibernation of winter. ‘Tis the season for Rush River Winter Warmer, a mighty cousin of their Scotch ale loaded with malt and hops to warm you to your very core.

Best Enjoyed: Under a blanket with a good book.

Best Paired With: A roast cooked low and slow with vegetables and potatoes.

Where to Find: Minnesota and their home state of Wisconsin

Find out more about Rush River Brewing Company by visiting their website. 

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Brew for Thought: Ale Asylum’s Contorter Porter

We are entering my favorite season of the year: fall. I love the cool breeze, the sweaters, the leaves turning and of course the beer. One of the best styles for fall is undoubtedly the Oktoberfest, but don’t forget about the English Porter, a dark yet light ale with toasty malt flavors and smooth body. While I love a cool stout in front of a fireplace in the dead of the winter, a porter is the perfect interlude from solstice to solstice. This makes sense if we look at the origins of the two styles. Just like the shift from the mild fall weather to the intensity of winter, the popular porter style was bolstered into a new style, the stout porter, which gave birth to the modern-day stout we drink today.

Where should you go for a great porter this fall? Make your way to the Madison area in Wisconsin for a six-pack of Ale Asylum’s Contorter for a porter that is smooth, sweet and slightly bitter with hints of chocolate malts. Or do one better by making your way to the brewery to lounge outside on the patio with a pitcher and a scarf to listen to what this fascinating brew has to say. Like a great conversationalist it’s confident and interesting, smooth and agreeable. As one of Ale Asylum’s flagship brews, it has been honed to near perfection in a pint glass, so enjoy yourselves before the winter freeze with this warm Contorter Porter.

Best Enjoyed: With friends and with your best sweater on.

Best Paired With: A hearty burger or walleye sandwich from where else, but from the Old Fashioned. You’re already in Madison of course.

Where to Find: All around the Madison area.

For more details about finding Contorter Porter or learning about their other brews, check out the Ale Asylum website.

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