Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Floating Down A River of Beer

On Saturday August 20th Madison Beer Review will be tagging along on a tour of breweries in South-Western Wisconsin (the bus leaves from the Great Dane Fitchburg at 8:30am and costs a mere $40). I use the term "tagging along" loosely, Tim, director of the movie "Comeback Wisconsin" put the tour together and he asked me, Jeff, to "lead" or possibly to "guide" the tour - though Tim, not I, scheduled all the stops.

I agreed despite not having any idea what it means to "lead" a tour.

Robyn has done tours with the Hophead Beer Tours Co. Joe does tours at Ale Asylum. Mrs. MBR led tours at Pendarvis and Belmont. My aunt was a tour guide in Washington DC. I've been on bus tours of England and the Canadian Rockies. I think it has something, vaguely, to do with the phrase "To your left your will see ..."

The tour will look something roughly like this:

Leave Great Dane Fitchburg at around 9am
Hit Simple Earth Hop Farm on the way to Potosi Brewing Co around 11:30am for lunch and beer.
Then we're off to lovely Mineral Point, Wisconsin home to shandy experts Brewery Creek.
After a quick nip, it's on to The Trollway of Mount Horeb and some brews at the world-renowned Grumpy Troll.
Finally, we'll stop at New Glarus Brewing Co, before heading back to the Great Dane Fitchburg by about 9pm or 10pm or so.

This is what I think an agenda will look like:

Fitchburg - Dodgeville: Talk about beer ingredients and production
Dodgeville - Potosi: Talk about history of brewing in South-Western Wisconsin
Potosi - Mineral Point: Talk about Tasting beer
Mineral Point - Mount Horeb: Talk about brewpubs, community, and, loosely, brewing laws
Mount Horeb - New Glarus: Talk about Spotted Cow and the ubiquity and power of New Glarus
New Glarus - Madison: Anything we haven't already discussed

If that sounds like something you'd be down for, you should come along.

------------post script-------------
A bit of a disclaimer: MBR does not really have any vested interested in this tour: we didn't pay for it, we didn't set it up, we don't run it. MBR was kinda, sorta, hired by Comeback Wisconsin, Director Tim, to do this tour. This is one of the many non-writing things that we do at MBR - we help people to understand and appreciate beer in Wisconsin; indeed at least a full 1/3 of the things that MBR does is unrelated to writing articles for you to read. To that end, we've done beer dinners, beer tastings, beer festivals, beer pairings, beer consulting, and now you can add beer tours to the list. If you're interested in any of us doing any of that for you, let me know and we can hook you up.


  1. Hi Jeff,

    We know nothing about this tour. Mark from Grumpy Troll called here attempting to figure out who is profiting from this false promotion. Our Brewery is closes at 4:00 and we do not have space for buses to turn around. Sounds shadey to me. Just FYI do not sign up thinking you are coming to visit New Galrus Brewing Co.

  2. Hey Jeff

    We at the Grumpy Troll also know nothing about this tour other then what is on your website.
    Every weekend in the summer and fall gets quite busy. This upcoming weekend is no exception with three large events already scheduled at the brewpub. We also have a Bus Tour Policy, in which we like to preschedule it in advance, because of our limited size and staff. We hope you understand.

    Doug from the Grumpy Troll

  3. Deb and Doug,

    Two things to note. First, as per my post, I did not plan this tour. Second, these are not appropriate comments for the blog post. You both have my personal contact information - please contact me offline to address these issues and I can pass on the information to the person planning the tour.

    It is my understanding that this tour is going to go on. After speaking with the tour planner yesterday, accommodations are being made and whether they include the group spending money at Grumpy Troll and/or New Glarus I do not know.

    If you have further comments or concerns, please address them to me offline.


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