Friday, May 29, 2009

Say Hello To Pearl Street Brewery

Pearl Street Brewery, from La Crosse, Wisconsin, is a new addition to the Madison area. I've been a big fan of the Downtown Brown for quite some time. As I'm sure I've mentioned on this site, I'm not, as a general rule, a fan of brown ales - I find them overly sweet and/or nutty - but I really like the Downtown Brown. Well, Pearl Street is sneaking out of La Crosse and slowly expanding distribution. I was able to get some answers from Joe Katchever, head brewer at Pearl Street Brewery.

MBR: Joe, thanks for the email - how about some background?
Joe: First of all, Pearl Street is a self-distributing brewery and have been for ten years. We first went into bottles 22 months ago after being a die-hard draught beer brewery since 1999. Being one of Wisconsin's smallest, but fastest-growing craft breweries, we have been very busy keeping La Crosse and Western Wisconsin in beer.

MBR: Happy 10th Anniversary. So, being up in Western Wisconsin, how did you get down here to Madison?
Joe: Jennifer from Old Fashioned called us a few times and we explained that we just didn't distribute beer to Madison. She offered to come get some, and how could I refuse that kind of diligence? Since we have been on tap we have gotten an avalanche of calls and emails from Madison people who either want to sell our beers, or just want to know where they can buy some! After a while, I had to address the situation so one by one, we began providing our beers to some of the cooler Madison beer depots.

MBR: So, which cool Madison beer depots, exactly?
Joe: We've been on tap at the Old Fash since around the beginning of the year, but the rest of the story has only unfolded since April 16th, when Nick, Dane and I packed the van full of cases and headed East! As of this week, one can find the Pearl Street bottled beers on sale at Jenifer Street Market, Cork N Bottle, Riley's Liquor, University Avenue Liquor, Star Liquor, Barrique's Fitchburg, Barrique's Cayuga, Neil's Middleton, and Steve's Liquor on University. You'll find our "That's What I'm Talkin' 'bout" Organic Rolled Oat Stout on tap at the Alchemy and our DTB Brown Ale at Brasserie V and, of course, the Old Fashioned!

MBR: Anywhere else?
Joe: I'm glad that Madison has been so enthusiastic about our beer but I've decided to put on the brakes, so we don't run out! We are not taking on any new accounts at the moment so we can continue to provide beer to our current ones. We have started a waiting list of liquor stores and restaurants that will get our beer when it becomes available. Those who wish to be put on the list can email me or call me at the brewery.

So, there you go. Welcome to Madison Pearl Street Brewery. And thanks to the Old Fashioned (again) for going out and getting good beer!


  1. I was real close to trying the Pearl Street at the Old Fashioned last Thursday but I ended up with the Redeye Serenity IPA instead. However, I'm glad to hear it's available at Neil's - I'll make it a point to pick some up tonight.

  2. I haven't tried this beer yet, but look forward to it now. I must say though, Pearl Street's design is really nice – especially for such a small brewery. If they care this much about their brand, I can't wait to try the beer!


  3. I have liked these guys beer for a long time. The first few times I tried it involve hazy trips to LaCrosse to visit friends. Their Dankenstein cut right thru the late in the day fog of the Great Taste last year. I am really happy they are here.

  4. Dankenstein - I couldn't remember what it was that I'd tried last year that I liked so much. Thanks for reminding me (I suppose I could have dug out my program but I'd need to decipher the semi-coherent tasting notes).

    I tried the Brown last night, and I really enjoyed it as well. Definitely balanced, with a nice hop flavor that follows the initial malty sweetness, and I thought it warmed up well - something that other brown ales can't always claim.

  5. Kudos to them for distributing their own product! Might have to check them out at the Old Fashioned next time I'm in Madison...


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