This blog is dedicated to the over 70 Wisconsin breweries, and the wide array of Wisconsin beer found in Madison, Wisconsin

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why aren't there more D-Pubs in Wisconsin? Someone please franchise!

A little slice of beer heaven in Oshkosh, WI:

Sooooo - I spent about a week recently in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And a friend of mine, an Oshkosh native, was very insistent that as a beer blogger I simply could NOT leave town without a visit to the D-Pub.   (the Distillery Pub) So my very last night there we made it happen.  And it really was all that was promised. 

The D-Pub's thing is $1.00 pints.  Now hearing that you probably think you get to choose from Natty Light, Keystone Ice and the Beast. Try again - they offer frosty mugs of Fat Tire, Spotted Cow, Spaten, and several others.   Yes - for $1.00!  In these tough economic times this is a huge find.  I chose Fat Tire - stayed true to my Colorado roots.

Plus they have an awesome Native American Mural and decent jukebox.  What more could a gal want?  I've gotta say - thank you Andrew - your beer blogging instincts were dead on.  Any true beer blogger would embrace this place and spread the word.  Hat's off to the D-Pub. When in Oshkosh well worth gathering your car seat change for a delicious frosty beer!

D-Pub in all it's glory:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beer, Bikes and Blogging. . .the trek to the Mariner's Inn

Sunday was one of those magical, beautiful Wisconsin fall days. (the kind you wish you could bottle up and crack open when it is -20 below with a windchill)   It was 80 degrees, sunny, with beautiful fall colors.  Not the kind of day to stay inside.  So we beer bloggers decided to take the blog outside. Of course we had to add the component of beer to the plan so we decided to ride our bikes out to the Nau-Ti-Gal. This is a little less than 8 miles away.  A beautiful trek through neighborhoods that runs along Lake Mendota.

When we arrived at Nau-Ti-Gal it was sadly closed.  They have weird "fall hours" - and it closes on Sunday at 2pm!  Super devastating - so we decided to ride a whole block away to the Mariner's Inn. This too was closed.  But as we stood in the parking lot trying to figure out where to go there was a beer miracle and they opened it up and let us in early.  Yeah for Mariner's Inn!

Unfortunately the Mariner's Inn  does not have beer on tap so we had to make do with bottled beer.  They do have a good selection of local bottled beer. It was apparently an Ale Asylum kind of day bc Rachael chose Mad Town Nut Brown and the rest of us had Hopalicious.  Below is the video beer review with a few super exciting bike tricks in the mix.

In case you haven't been to Mariner's Inn it has a pretty in your face nautical theme.  Kitchy with nets, coral, captain motifs and fish tanks all over.  Kind of awesome really. It also has a patio in the back near the docks that is perfect for a day like today.

On the way home Amanda entertained us with her interpretative bike dancing. You might recognize her, she is the recipient of this year's Rising Star award. We took a family circus style route home, stopped by the Governor's residence and rode our bikes out on a pier. We even saw some wildlife (see pics below).

A lovely way to end the weekend!

Here's the pics:

Here's the video beer review:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beer Bloggers get high cholesterol at Baumgartner's in Monroe, Wisconsin

One day last week, my in-state travels brought me to the town square of Monroe, Wisconsin. And on that town square is quite a Wisconsin beer & cheese treasure: Baumgartner's Cheese Store and Tavern.  Baumgartner's has been open since 1931 and holds the title of Wisconsin's  oldest cheese store. They also feature locally brewed beer on tap. Most of us sampled the New Glarus' Staghorn Oktoberfest.  Which I have to say is excellent this year.  We may have to take some beer bloggers out to the newly expanded New Glarus brewery soon just to do a feature on this before this brew is gone for another year! But back to Monroe. . .

As you can see from this photo, one common side effect of going to Baumgartner's  is a bad case of giddiness.  No - this jubilant fellow has not had too much Staghorn to drink - he's just really, really excited about his cheese slab & ham sandwich (with a side of cheese - I am NOT kidding) and homemade chili.

There is just soooo much to look at in this place.  There's the awesome Beer v. Champagne war mural above the bar.  Beer is kicking some serious champagne butt  -  in case you were wondering. There's also money tacked to the ceiling from a fundraiser and a cool push-pin map that shows where people have visited from around the word.  I noticed that Laredo, Texas was not marked - come on Laredoans - step it up, stop drinking that swill down there and come wash down a slab of fine Wisconsin cheese with even finer Wisconsin brew!!!! 

Bottom line - Monroe is a cute town with a real Town square (just like Stars Hollow).  Baumgartner's is an awesome place to stop and eat your weight worth of cheese and have a couple local beers.  Did I mention it is shockingly affordable?  Look at those prices!

Baumgartner's Awesome mural:

More Pics:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I think we're totally going to win! (Madison Urban Assault)

4 "casual" bikers decided to sign up for Urban Assault Ride in Madison.  Basically, this is a "race" where teams of 2 bike to 7 locations around town and do various challenges. You have 3 hours to do this race.   While we jokingly decided we could "totally win this" race we really just thought we'd get it done in the time limit. 
Things started out great.  You start out by running en masse to your bike. We had figured out the 1st mystery checkpoint (by Blue Moon on Atwood), rode over & got our 1st bead and the clue to the 2nd mystery checkpoint.  2nd checkpoint ended up being the children's museum (clue was a cow picture) so we rode over, got the next bead and headed to checkpoint 3 near campus. Here we had to do our first challenge - put together a shape puzzle.  Because we are super brilliant we finished this really quick and then started the trek out to the West side.  And this is where is all went a little awry.  

We had this brilliant plan of riding in a circle and knocking out all the west side checkpoints one by one and returning to Olin park victorious to enjoy our Roman Candle pizza and New Belgium beer. Now I know the is the Madison Beer Blog but aside from Wisconsin I think Colorado has great microbreweries.  So I don't mind celebrating them here especially since I just got back from a Colorado trip and Fat Tire makes me nostalgic. 

Anyway - back to the tale.  We sort of knew the general area where we were supposed to go to reach Saris (in Fitchburgh) - but none of us felt super secure so we collectively took many wrong turns.  We ended up getting lost in the Allied Drive neighborhood, called each other "Magellan" repeatedly, had to backtrack then took the wrong bike path, were saved by a nice lady who shook her head at our ability to get lost on a bike trail  - but finally made it to Saris. 

There we had to do a "paperboy" challenge where one person rides and throws newspapers and the other catches them in a box.  We really stunk at this so we got sent to the penalty box and lost more time.  Finally we were back on the road, hit REI where the human wheelbarrow challenge claimed a victim (Amanda's Ray Bans and her back suffered from a tremendous spill).  Realizing there was no way we could make out last 2 checkpoints we knocked out one more and were so late getting back that they were cleaning up the big wheel challenge at the end. 

We are not so sure what happened.  We think there was a time warp out there on the west side.  This why I generally choose to stay on the Isthmus.  West side = confusing and scary and time warpy.  But it was a beautiful day to ride around Madison, we had a blast and despite not finishing in the time allotment, they still gave us our beer at the end.  

What we learned from this experience:
- Plan ahead (having a general directional idea not good enough)
- Maybe ditch the cruisers - as loyal as I am to Pee-Wee Herman bike it just didn't cut it for speed
- Costumes and head to toe Lycra suits seem to help
- Practice riding tiny bikes, walking on cans, being a human bowling ball  - or bring $ for bribes!
- Get more than 2.5 hours of sleep
- It is super important to be with awesome friends in case you do get lost or caught in a time warp
- Amanda should grow a moustache

New Belgium Beer options at the finish:
Fat Tire - I love this Amber Beer and it was served nice and cold - great drink after a race.  (Amy liked this one too)
Ranger IPA - super hoppy.  Good but only if you like hoppy beers.  (I prefer Hopalicious)
1554 - A dark, rich ale that Rachael liked. 

Photo collection:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beer Bloggers bag a peak!

A nice cold beer tastes pretty good after a grueling 9 hour hike up a BIG mountain. . .

We two beer bloggers took a trip to lovely Colorado. We have a sordid history with Mt. Harvard (due to late starts and bad scary weather I've been ejected 2 times from the mountain).  But the mountain gods finally smiled upon us and gave us a beautiful day with blue skies.  The hike was pretty grueling  but we made it up and back and decided we earned a good meal with ice cold beer

Luckily for us there is a new Brewpub in the little town of Buena Vista near the trail head.  The Eddyline Restaurant and Brewery is a nice addition to this little Colorado town in Chaffee County nestled in a valley below the Sawatch Range Collegiate Peaks. The beer was a little hit or miss (not huge fans of the Pilsner or Amber) but we did like the Colorado Pale Ale, the Midland Trail Pale Ale. 

Oh and if you want to stay in Buena vista you MUST stay at Los Manos Bed & Breakfast.  There's no better place to go home to after a long day on the trails!!!!
If you make your way to Buena Vista - the Eddyline is a must stop for good beer, yummy pizza and grass-fed burgers!
More Colorado Beer blogs to come!