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

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: