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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 28.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
The Daily


Beer Here: Bels'consin Ale from the Grumpy Troll Restaurant and Brewery

The Belgian pale ale emerged as an alternative to the crisp hoppy pilsner beers that are ubiquitous around the world. With a combination of sweet and fruity tones, accented by hops and dryness, this offshoot style of the Belgian brewing tradition can be a wonderful medium-bodied beer, and helps smooth the transition from the heavier, sweeter wintertime brews without venturing too far into the sharp and hoppy beers of summer. The Grumpy Troll is currently offering a version that's worth a visit. Named Bels'consin, it reflects the intersection of select Belgian ingredients and Wisconsin hops. >More
 Beer Here: Cortado Imperial Stout from Alterra Coffee Roasters and One Barrel Brewing

A good coffeehouse creates an atmosphere that encourages interactions among friends, business acquaintances and even strangers. It serves a role akin to a neighborhood tavern, only in most instances without alcohol. But with the arrival of Alterra Coffee Roasters on the Square, the lines between coffeehouse and tavern are blurred, with beer on tap next to the barista's station. >More
 Beer Here: Canoe Paddler Kölsch-Style with Rye from Leinenkugel's

I was fortunate to be able to take in a handful of Milwaukee Brewers spring training games in March. While Miller Park offers a modestly diverse menu of craft beer selections, Maryvale -- the team's home field in Phoenix -- is dominated by MillerCoors taps. I'd heard that Leinenkugel's was coming out with a new Kölsch-style beer named Canoe Paddler, but hadn't yet seen it here in Madison. Sure enough, it made the roster in the Cactus League, and in the heat of watching spring training, it became my beer of choice. >More
 Beer Here: Mutiny IPA from Capital Brewery

Capital Brewery has released a new beer that most of its longtime patrons thought would never appear on the shelves next to Island Wheat, Supper Club and various bocks. This spring, the Middleton brewery is debuting Mutiny, its first ever hopped-up India Pale Ale, one that is now in its central stable of year-round offerings. >More
 'Beer Prof' Keith Symonds preparing Next Door Brewing for Madison's east side

Madison is about to get another new brewery. The Next Door Brewing Company has secured a building at 2439 Atwood Ave. Keith Symonds, of Madison, has been looking to open a local brewpub for several years. It has been in the past couple of years that his attention has focused on Madison's east side. "We will be a restaurant with a small brewery, focusing on collaborative brewing for the community," says Symonds, who recently secured financing for his three-barrel brewery. >More
 Beer Here: Square Pig Ale from Vintage Brewing

"This is a beer for me," says brewmaster Scott Manning about one of his latest brews to go on tap at Vintage Brewing. This is the time of year that he starts looking for a break from the heavier, fuller-bodied beers of winter. And when you're a brewmaster you can address such dilemmas firsthand. That's why Manning created Square Pig, a flavorful rye beer with the bitterness of a pale ale but without the big body that hoppy beers often have. >More
 Common Thread collaborative brew returns for Madison Craft Beer Week 2013 as a Bière de Garde

Madison Craft Beer Week is approaching, and local breweries are getting ready to toast its arrival. Over the weekend, 10 brewmasters, along with a few assistants and ingredient suppliers, joined together at Capital Brewery to create Common Thread -- a beer made collaboratively for release during the May festivities. >More
 Beer Here: Snug Oatmeal Stout by House of Brews

There's no denying it -- St. Patrick's Day is closely identified with beer, particularly stout. But it can be pretty tough to find a locally produced traditional Irish "dry" stout of the type made famous by Guinness. Microbreweries tend to shy away from head-to-head comparisons with the dry stout because Guinness has such a stranglehold on most drinkers' perceptions of the style. Madison's House of Brews offers an oatmeal stout, though, one with the pub-friendly name of Snug. >More
 Kirby Nelson is ready to fire up the brew kettle for Wisconsin Brewing Company

"To walk away from what I did every day, I guess I'd forgotten just how much I enjoy it," says Kirby Nelson. A longtime brewmaster at Capital Brewery in Middleton, Nelson left the company last September after 26 years to pursue a new venture with former Capital president Carl Nolen. Together they're launching Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona, which is currently scheduled to start offering its beers by the end of the year. Nelson is using this interim period before the new brewing equipment arrives to develop and refine his recipes. >More
 Beer Here: Silk Scorpion Black IPA from Karben4 Brewing

Karben4 Brewing hasn't been around too long. After debuting at the end of last year, the new north Madison brewery held a grand opening celebration in January. All six of its beers to date have been well made, but it's the black and hoppy Silk Scorpion that has become an early favorite. >More
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