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Saturday, November 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

BEER

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
 Beer Here: Benji's Smoked Chipotle Imperial Porter from Tyranena Brewing

On a recent visit to the Tyranena Brewing tasting room in Lake Mills, I watched as the first bottles of the 2013 release of its chipotle porter were being offered. So many were being sold over the bar that it looked like a takeout restaurant offering a sought-after, limited daily special. After watching this for a while, I too was caught up in this beer-infused frenzy, and ended up with a four-pack of Benji's Smoked Chipotle Imperial Porter. >More
 Beer Here: Maple Bock from Hinterland Brewery

Here in Wisconsin, bock season certainly has arrived, and it's easy to find numerous selections ranging from local breweries to German imports. Each winter sine 1997, Hinterland of Green Bay has offered its local twist on the style with its Maple Bock, a limited-release beer accented with syrup from the brewery owner's family farm. >More
 Beer Here: Blood Red Ale from Ale Asylum

Ale Asylum opened its large new brewery last fall, and since has rapidly been introducing Hopalicious and its other standard beers around the state. But locally, the buzz tends to center on one-time or one-off brews. Such limited releases are quietly announced, with often just a brief description at the bottom of the beer menu. "These beers allow us to experiment and be creative," says Ale Asylum co-owner Otto Dilba. That imaginative spirit recently produced Blood Red Ale. >More
 Beer Here: Jacked Maibock from Capital Brewery

Capital Brewery is making a statement with its new line of big bottled beers. As bock season begins in earnest, the Middleton brewery just released Jacked Maibock in 22-ounce bottles. The beer is one of the last made by longtime brewmaster Kirby Nelson before leaving Capital last September to start a new brewery in Verona. Jacked Maibock was tweaked by brewery production manager Brian Destree, and that little something extra makes a great beer even better. >More
 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
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