Dairyland's top experts are gathering in Madison this weekend for a frosty afternoon at the fifth annual Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest, which is on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall. It's bigger than ever this year, and anybody attending can expect a grand time.
Here's our list of pro tips...
- Plan your transport. Union Cab is hosting free shuttle service from three locations in Madison. Downtown: Great Dane Pub on King and Doty; East: One Barrel Brewing on Atwood Avenue. West: Vintage Brewing on Whitney Way. Shuttles run in loops to the fest from 11:30 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. and back to these locations from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Or get a $2 Union Cab ride to the festival, and a discounted cab ride home afterward. Call 242-2000 to make arrangements. Remember, doors open for the premium tasting at 1 p.m.; general admission at 2 p.m. The festival ends promptly at 6.
- Bring your ID. You need to prove you are 21 or older to enter; no exceptions; no tweens who can't stay at home alone; no babies in bjorns.
- Wear comfy shoes that can handle a spill. Hey, it happens! Your salt-stained winter boots may be the best thing. We know they're worn in, and we won't make you take them off. Alliant will run a coat check at $1 apiece.
- Come sober, and sample at a civilized pace. You've got hours of fine craft beer and artisanal cheese to enjoy. Take your time and appreciate the quality.
- Consult the map. A printed festival brochure will be on hand as you enter. It lists all the featured goodness for your reference both at the fest and afterward. The swag bag will have some exclusive deals inside, too.
- Drink water. Cleanse your palate and keep hydrated. There are water stations throughout the festival floor. Consult the map.
- Buy some cheese for later. Many of our exhibitors have product to sell, so if you enjoy a sample, pick up more to bring home.
- Get your picture taken. Capture your beer and cheese memories at the free Great Dane Pub & Brewing Photo Booth. It's better than your phone! You can put it on your fridge with a beer-cap magnet.
- Buy a t-shirt. Isthmus created two brand-new shirts (designed by Courtney Lovas and Todd Hubler) just for you. They're $10 each.
- Please share. Comment at will on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We love all the nice things you say about #beercheese.
See you there!
Like the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest on Facebook for updates.
The 2014 Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Wisconsin Brewing Company, Brew & Grow, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Mad City Windows, Union Cab, MINI of Madison, Gorst Valley Hops, Rock Auto, Star Liquor, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, Great Dane Pub & Brewing, Willy Street Coop, Karben4 Brewing, Glass Nickel Pizza, Tipsy Cow, Conscious Carnivore, Wine & Hop Shop, and One Barrel Brewing Company.