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

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!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beer Bloggers weekend road trip to Door County

Although this is named the Madison Beer Blog - sometimes we beer bloggers have to head out of town and expand our horizon. This past weekend 4 of us (us and the Hamms - who have made prior appearances on the blog) headed up north to Door County. The Hamms brilliantly chose a place called Gordon Lodge for our home base.

Gordon Lodge is a great place to stay, it is the kind of place where your feel yourself start to REALLY relax. It is tucked away from all the kitchy shops on a peninsula on North Bay looking out toward Lake Michigan. There are miles of trails, beautiful views, a mid-century flair and 6 bars. Yes, you heard me right, 6 bars (pretty high quota for a place that holds about 105 people).

Our favorite place to grab a beer on this tripe was at the Top Deck at Gordon Lodge. This is a great bar and restaurant that overlooks the water. There was good (and unexpected) Wisconsin Beer on tap including Lakefront Riverwest Stein (a smooth drinking Amber) and O'so Night Train (a yummy chocolaty Porter). It was agreed while not a huge selection they made made smart choices for their taps. We had a couple beers and watched the sunset set over the water here. Just beautiful.


Another great place we visited was Sister Bay Bowl. This is a bar/supper club/bowling alley. And they do all 3 extremely well. It was at Sister Bay Bowl that we came to the conclusion that PBR may be the best bowling alley beer. Not sure why, but when PBR is served is near some lanes it is everything you want in a beer. We also discovered here that none of us will likely become pro bowlers in this lifetime (esp. me with my sad 70!).

 Here's some more pics: