Nick Sierzant is opening Blair Street Brew & BBQ at 605 E. Washington Ave., formerly home to Full of Bull (which moved to State Street) and prior to that, a Pizza Extreme. This will be Madison's latest microbrewery, as well as home to Sierzant's family-recipe barbecue.
"Everything's from scratch, everything's fresh," says Sierzant, adding that "consistency and quality" are his goals. Dry-rub ribs and his own special baked beans will be on the menu. There will also be a deep-fried ice cream featuring "real Wisconsin vanilla bean ice cream," drizzled with honey, to finish off a meal. Oof.
Sierzant, originally from La Crosse, started out in the Navy, "hopping around and seeing the country." He's lived in 11 states and opened six restaurants. Most recently he was manager of a local steakhouse; he now has "100% attention on Blair Street Brew."
The interior is being remodeled. One room will be focused on dining in and have steel and copper decorative touches and televisions; it will also house the brewery. The other room will have more of a self-service, picnic table, "typical barbecue joint" look, says Sierzant.
Brewing will not start until after opening, and the first beers won't be ready until at least a month later, but Sierzant is ultimately aiming for three microbrews: a domestic pilsner, an IPA and "something maltier, like a bock." He's hoping to open by the end of January or beginning of February.
But Sierzant seems even more excited about an event he's planning for April, "The Barstool Open," a pub crawl to benefit Madison's new chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation involving nine local bars, each creating their own mini-golf hole. This type of pub crawl was a big deal when Sierzant was in Omaha, where the event boasts 27 bars and three golf courses.
And if you happen to see small cars decorated as pigs driving the streets soon, they're Sierzant's barbecue-delivery vehicles.