Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Great Taste of the Midwest

View Great Taste - Madison Area Locations! in a larger map

OK, this is the official post on your Great Taste of the Midwest Weekend. This post will come in three parts. The first part you've already seen - it's the map created by Chris at BBLodge (I hope. If it's not, go here)

The second part of this is a list of some of the cool stuff going on Friday Night, the night before the Great Taste. There are pre-Great Taste Parties going on, literally, all over town. And, I've received word, there will be a bus to take you around. Following is the schedule:

The Onion Shuttle bus will be running between the following from 7pm until 1am (continuous, but no schedule)

Alchemy (Also in the Atwood Neighborhood, a long-ish, but do-able walk to Malt House and Dexters)
Two Brothers begins at 8pm
5 Two Brothers taps including a sour red from the pub

Glass Nickel (On Atwood Near Alchemy)
Founders w/Surly begins at 6pm
7 taps dedicated (Canadian Breakfast, Hand of Doom oak aged Imp IPA, 2008 Old Curmudgeon [ed note: It has been made known to me that these are not the Pre-Taste Party kegs, but rather the special kegs that Founders is bringing for the Taste itself], among others)

Brasserie V (On Monroe Street on the near West Side)
Duvel Green (tap version) premier & Ommegang(s) on tap
begins at 7pm

Dexters (On Johnson near Milwaukee - an easy walk to Malt House)
Dark Horse begins at 8pm
7 taps dedicated - Fore, Perkulator, Crooked Tree, Double Crooked Tree, Boffo Brown, Rod Red, Reserve Black and maybe some Scotty Karate

Malt House (E Washington at Milwaukee on the Near East Side)
Jolly Pumpkin begins at 4pm
Featuring Bam Biere, Weizenbam, and Calabaza Blanca. The patio is now open!

Local Tavern (Downtown)
New Holland begins at 4pm
10 New Holland taps including 5 versions of Mad Hatter IPA (regular, Cask, Imperial, Oak Aged, and farmhouse)

So, that's the bus schedule. The bus is a joint effort between The Onion and Beechwood/Specialty Distributing, so, please make sure you thank them. Also, please remember that there is no set bus schedule, it will just be circulating from bar to bar. It should take somewhere near 30 minutes for the bus to make this loop, so a rough estimate might be to expect the bus to take somewhere around 30-45 minutes to come back around to the bar where you got off the bus. Unfortunately there are some things going on that are not on the bus line (though all are walkable from the bus).

Also going on Friday Night, The Old Fashioned (Near both Maduro and The Local) has an entire tap line dedicated to Wisconsin breweries. The list is still being finalized, but you can count on taps from Tyranena, Pearl Street, New Glarus, Furthermore, Central Waters, Red Eye and more.

Goose Island is at Sardine at 7pm. Sardine is an easy walk just down the hill from Maduro and The Great Dane.

Also, Jordan's Big 10 (on Regent, a not-too-far walk from Brasserie V and an easy cab downtown), from 3-8pm has:
Three Floyds: Robert the Bruce & Alpha King
Stone: 13th Anniversary & Levitation
Dogfish Head: Midas Touch, Sah'tea & Chateau Jiahu

Finally, Maduro's Cigar Bar (Downtown less than a stumble from The Local) is dedicating all of its taps (about 10-15 taps) to Bells starting at 4pm.

Great Lakes will be leaving Dexters and then going to Argus (next to Maduro and near Great Dane) at 8pm.

Finally, Part 3 is some general information.

Dexters is running a shuttle from their pub to The Great Taste on Saturday morning. They serve a great breakfast, so show up, grab some food and get a ride over to Olin Park.

Wondering what else there is to do is Madison? Check out MBR's 36 Hours in Madison Guide.

MBR and BBLodge have put together a website that summarizes a lot of this information, has the list of breweries attending the Great Taste, and has some great travelling tips.

So, there you go. Please have lots of fun this weekend but be safe. Take cabs if you can. There is NO PARKING AT OLIN PARK so make sure you know how you are getting there. Bikes and walking from downtown are not out of the question and cabs should be plentiful.

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