Thursday, May 9th, 2013

smiling daveI think we spent more on taxis last night than we did on beer! We grabbed a cab into town for our nightly visit to Madison Craft Beer Week because we planned on taking advantage of the shuttle bus that Hop Head Beer Tours was running between cap square and the near-east side of town (thanks, guys!). We wanted to stop at four different places, and it would have been rude to stop and not sample the beers at each place, so we incurred a little added expense getting there and getting home again, but it was definitely worth it.

We started at The Old Fashioned, where Central Waters was pouring many of their tastiest beers. They have so many tasty beers, it must have been a tough job picking the ones they wanted to feature. Wonder how I can get that gig? I tried a very hoppy session beer that I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve forgotten the name of. I can enjoy hoppy beers but My Darling B, delicate flower that she is, can hardly sit across the table from a glass of hopped-up beer. “Smells like armpits,” is her comment, every time. I kinda like the smell of my armpits. Guess that explains that.

Then we ambled down the street to The Cooper’s Tavern to see what Left Hand Brewing was offering, and got the most pleasant surprise of the evening: Good Juju ginger ale. Just delicious! I would have sworn there were orange peels in there but the brewer said nope, just ginger. Very nicely done! (Their Milk Stout Nitro wasn’t too shabby, either!)

Feeling mighty peckish after that, we crossed the square to Natt Spil for a bite to eat. Note to self: The chips & salsa platter is a LOT bigger than you think it will be. Plan the rest of your menu accordingly. (We were satisfied with just ordering a hummus platter to round out the meal. I think we got our recommended daily allowance of carbs. Maybe even weekly allowance.) Oh, and the beer: we sampled several draughts from Widmer Brothers Brewing. Marionberry and Raspberry Imperial Stout, to name just two, but unfortunately none of them were strong enough to dominate the chips & salsa so I can’t say anything about them, really. Bad move on our part.

Then we jumped on the shuttle bus to ride down to Schenk’s Corners where B wanted to try the bourbon barrel-aged stout offered by One Barrel Brewing. I’m not discerning enough to notice much difference between beers aged in bourbon barrels – they mostly give me the impression of sticking my head in a bourbon barrel, not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing. Well, if it were full it might be a bad thing. Never mind. B liked it but thought it would be a lot better if it aged a year or so.

We called Union Cab to pick us up from One Barrel, then stepped out to the curb just as a cab was pulling up! “Did you just call a cab?” the driver asked us after rolling down the window. B told him that she had. “He’ll be along any second,” he explained, then drove away. Odd. But then another cab appeared just minutes later, so the first guy was right. Still pretty weird.

left hand | 6:23 am CST
Category: booze, festivals, food & drink, Madison Craft Beer Week, play
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