A. Brewery Profiles. We are going to start a monthly feature (besides "Hey Barkeep") where we will profile one of the many Wisconsin breweries and brewpubs. We'll give you an in depth look at the people that own, run and work with these breweries. We're very excited about this and we think this will help to define the shape of Wisconsin's craft brew industry; we'll see where the breweries are looking to expand and experiment, what attracts them to certain styles and the heritage that they are embracing or challenging.
B. Wisconsin Brewing History. Similarly, we are going to start running some articles that explore the history and heritage of Wisconsin's brewing tradition. This line of articles is brought on a by a few different projects that we have going on. The first is the one mentioned in "A" - an interest on our part to stay informed and inform the current Wisconsin brewing industry. But, is also encouraged by an awesome event occuring at the end of this month: The Fauerbach Challenge Brew.
From the press release: Fauerbach Brewing Company of Madison has given an original recipe from the brewery archives to the Madison Home Brewers and Tasters Guild. Fauerbach offered a challenge to members of the Guild to compete to develop their next beer. The Guild is the sponsor of the annual Great Taste of the Midwest, an outdoor beer festival held every August in Madison.The return of Fauerbach Brewery is a huge bonus for the Wisconsin brewing industry. The fact that they are embracing the social nature of modern business practices in the vein of Samuel Adams Homebrewers Competitions and Flying Dog Brewery's Open Source Beer Project is that much more exciting. There are also rumors circulating that Potosi Brewing, one of the original breweries in the state is getting a facelift and opening at least a brewing museum and possibly resuming brewing operations. Beyond the fascinating information to be found in our rich brewing heritage, these current events and the modern brewing process is illuminated and maginified only by understanding from whence it came.
On January 26, seventeen Guild brewers will compete for the winning version of the Challenge Brew recipe. Also competing will be Fauerbach’s master brewer. Beers will be judged by nationally certified beer judges.
Fauerbach believes that the challenge might be the first of its kind, and plans to bring this beer to market in March. The packaging for the beer will carry the name of the winning brewer and the Madison Home Brewers and Tasters Guild. In recognition of the Guild’s participation, Fauerbach will sponsor a scholarship to a Guild member to attend the Siebel Institute in Chicago - a school for master brewers.
Fauerbach Brewing Company, a venerable Madison institution from 1848, closed in the mid 60’s under pressure from national brands. Three years ago Fauerbach beer returned in the craft brew class. This Challenge Brew or “CB” will join an Amber Lager, and a Export, a Dortmunder style beer.
C. Artists Series Merchandise. We have firm commitments from some artists to kick off our Artists' Series merchandise. This is great news for us, the artists and Wisconsin non-profit organizations that provide support for our communities and keep us all healthy enough (both mentally and physically) to read fine journalism and enjoy even finer beer.
D. We're Taking the Show on the Road. We have some speaking engagements around town. So, keep an eye out for us coming to a location near you. We've been known to speak about SB 224 (The Great Dane Bill), beer styles and glassware, Wisconsin breweries, and to lead tastings. If you are interested in having us come and babble endlessly about beer and/or brewing in a moderately coherent, sometimes entertaining, and always educational presentation or tasting just let us know and we will be more than happy to get you on the schedule.