From May 4 to May 13, Wisconsin beer aficionados and brewers alike are coming together to celebrate the wide variety that the state has to offer. Not someone who knows the difference between a beer’s gravity, IBU and turbidity? Not a problem. Below is a list of activities that your casual socialite to well-studied beer connoisseur can enjoy:
Each year the torch is passed from one brewery to the next to kickoff Madison Craft Beer Week. This year the torch has been handed to Karben4 Brewery who will ceremoniously kickoff the festivities. To begin the week each year, a Common Thread beer is released as a collaboration between brewers from the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. This year’s Common Thread is an American Pale Lager. Proceeds are donated to the Wisconsin Brewers Guild.
You can find more information on this year’s Common Thread here.
Potosi Brewery and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will be partnering up for a sensational beer dinner to kick off the week. This dinner will feature 4 exquisite courses paired with 4 Potosi Beers! Better yet, Potosi will donate a portion of the proceeds to The UW Carbone Cancer Center and Flemings will be supporting a local charity that assists those who are overcoming homelessness. Lastly, the event will feature an exclusive, one-night tasting of Inner Sanctum, a barrel aged Belgian quad!
Maifest is Oktoberfest spring counterpart, full of food from the grill, live music and family-friendly activities. From the Bier Cart, Revolution Brewing will be featuring their Anti-Hero IPA, Sun Crusher Hoppy Wheat Ale, Rev Pils and “Mai-Honey” Blonde Doppelbock. Lastly, Dane County Humane Society will be making an appearance and to help their efforts, Revolution Brewing will be leading a community bike ride at 11:30 am. The suggested donation is $5 and 15% of the proceeds from Maifest will benefit DCHS.
Comb your wardrobe for the best Derby outfit and fancy hat for this annual celebration of the Kentucky Derby. Founders and Lagunitas will be showing off rare selections and best dressed will win a prize!
Dane County Human Society and Natt Spil have teamed up to host a three-day benefit for our furry friends. Lagunitas will command the taps featuring traditional and rare brews. Natt Spil will be raffling off door prizes as well as featuring live music.
Get out your popcorn and grab your favorite beer because we’ve got a showdown. Founders, MobCraft and Lakefront Brewery go head-to-head in a series of contests to win a stand-alone tap feature at Hopcat. Designed to their strength, wit, and salesmanship, brewery representatives will try and persuade you and the judges why their beer is best.
8. ‘90’s Night
Come Back In bar will be hosting Hop Haus Brewery and live 90’s hits from Land Lines! Pull up in your best 90’s apparel and get ready for a good time.
Looking for a reason to pull out that neon jacket you bought at Ragstock last year? Now you have it. Bicycle Benefit and Alt Brewery are hosting an ‘80’s bar crawl. Get your exercise in for the day, visit some new places and get some new gear!
Featuring DJ Nate Zukas and disco-themed beers from One Barrel and Karben4, close out your Madison Craft Beer Week with Disco Tunes at Great Dane Downtown.
This list provides just a small selection of the hundreds of events that are taking place. Head over to www.madbeerweek.com to learn more about what Madison Craft Beer Week has to offer!
Ryan Breon is the Project Management Intern for Discover Mediaworks. Born and raised outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ryan transplanted to The University of Wisconsin – Madison before joining the Discover Wisconsin crew.