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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 50.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Beer Here: Thumbprint Winter Warmer Scotch Ale from New Glarus Brewing

If you're looking to curl up in front of a fire with a great beer on a cold, snowy day, a "winter warmer" might come to mind. These brews are not within a narrowly defined style; rather, they're a broad range of beers that offer bold flavors, often with sweet maltiness and lots of alcohol. Winter warmers are big brews that can be quite strong -- so strong, in fact, that after few you may not care about the weather or even read the thermometer. >More
 The best of the best at the 2013 Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest

What better way to spend a cold January afternoon than at the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest? This fourth annual celebration of Wisconsin tradition served up more than 200 beers from 46 different brewers alongside some 120 cheeses from 24 different cheesemakers. Here are a few of my memorable beers and cheeses from the fest. >More
 Education, camaraderie and, well, beer at the 2013 Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest

"Pace yourself" is my editor's advice as I walk into Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall Saturday. Got it. I add that to my two goals for the day: try as many booths as possible and don't drop my glass. >More
 Beer Here: H.O.P. Hop on Pop Imperial IPA from Scott Dunahee and One Barrel Brewing

Last October, the Wine & Hop Shop presented Hoptoberfest, a homebrew competition in which the winner would receive the ideal prize -- an opportunity to work with a local brewer to produce their entry for the public. Homebrewer Scott Dunahee took top honors with his Imperial IPA, and so teamed up with Peter Gentry, owner and brewmaster of One Barrel Brewing. I served as one of the judges for the contest, and now three months later, you can judge Dunahee's beer too. Named Hop on Pop, it just went on tap at One Barrel. >More
 Beer Here: Big Easy Imperial Maibock from Lakefront Brewery

The holidays are over and bock season is about to begin. From now through late spring, bocks, doppelbocks and maibocks will appear on taps and shelves across Wisconsin. Bock season historically is associated with Lent and Easter, with the height of their releases falling shortly before Mardi Gras. One beer made especially for that occasion is Big Easy Imperial Maibock, from Lakefront Brewing in Milwaukee. It's a beer with a staunch following, and I've found that supplies become scarce the closer it gets to Fat Tuesday. >More
 Beer Here: Unleashed Jolly Old Scratch Black Barley-Wine Style Ale from the Great Dane

Just a few days before the big Christmas snowfall, the Great Dane released the newest beer in its Unleashed Series of 22-ounce bottles. The Dane is known for its bold barley wines, and the new Jolly Old Scratch is one of its biggest and boldest yet. With its double-digit ABV, this barley wine will certainly take the chill off the coldest winter day. >More
 A look ahead to Wisconsin beer in 2013: Breweries around the state

Wisconsin breweries have big plans for 2013, with many new offerings of 22-ounce bomber bottles the most visible element of their growing ambition. Beer fans have a lot to look forward to from breweries in and near Madison, but there is even more in the works across the state. >More
 A look ahead to Wisconsin beer in 2013: Breweries around Madison

This last year saw a series of openings and expansions among Wisconsin breweries, from the smallest brewpubs to the largest, 100,000 barrel-plus operations. While more growth will continue in 2013, the beer year ahead will be more about breweries staking out shelf space in an increasingly competitive market. More specifically, one growing trend might make 2013 the "year of the bomber." >More
 The best Wisconsin beer and breweries of 2012

Brewery start-ups and growth made 2012 a great beer year in Wisconsin, and a promise of good things for the future. Every month seemingly brought word of a new microbrewery or expansion plans for an established operation, as the renaissance of beer culture continued to build around the state. At the same time, brewmasters focused on improving their craft, debuting rare styles and working in collaboration to make their offerings more interesting than ever. >More
 Beer Here: Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing

Twelve years ago, Y2K signaled an impending catastrophe. Forecasts of computer chaos prompted stockpiling of food, water, batteries and generators as the fearful prepared for an electronic Armageddon caused by the "Millennium bug." For some, it was reason enough to think about what beer might get them through an apocalypse. Central Waters Brewing was happy to oblige with a special barley wine named Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale, an ideal addition to anyone's millennial survival kit. >More
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