Page Buchanan is pouring his own beer on his own taps at the House of Brews. Even though his beers have been found in various bars around town since late last summer, Buchanan has now opened a brewery taproom on the southeast side, at 4539 Helgesen Drive.
The House of Brews taproom is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and has a limited selection of four to six beers. Standard beers for most visits include: A-Frame Amber, a hoppy West Coast ale; Full House, a strong pale ale with firm hoppiness; Bungalow Rye Extra Special Bitter, that's made with English hops; a full bodied and flavorful Bourbon Barrel Stout; and what's been one of the most popular brews so far, the Standing Stones Scotch Ale. Buchanan will also keep a tap reserved for his one-time and special experimental beers that have a very limited release. Finding them at the brewery is your best bet.
On opening night, July 11, Buchanan was serving an American Wheat made with Saaz hops, orange peel, coriander and chamomile. The beer was so popular it didn't last through opening weekend.
Mike Tentis came from Poynette and was an immediate fan of the Bourbon Barrel Stout, calling it "an incredible beer." He met up on opening night with his friend Paul Goemans of Stoughton. "I keep my fingers on the pulse of new breweries and wouldn't miss this," said Goemans.
The taproom is small, only about 400 square feet, with a 15-person capacity. There are four tables supported by oak barrels that seat about four to five each. The barrels were formerly used at Goose Island Brewery in Chicago. Glass doors open into the brewery so those enjoying a brew can look out to see what might be coming next.
In addition to opening a taproom, Buchanan is launching his community supported brewery (CSB) program this week. For a six- or 12-month membership fee, subscribers get a set amount of beer that can come in a combination of kegs, growlers and individual servings in the taproom. Subscriptions start at $260. So far Buchanan has about a dozen people signed up.