Madison & New Glarus, Wi

This past weekend Julie and I headed up to Madison, Wisconsin for the night. We’ve been to Madison for a football game before but never really ventured out and into the town. We managed to check out Vintage Brewing Co. on the way into town and then once we were downtown we set out for the Capital Tap Haus. From there we spent the better part of the evening working our way around State Street.

New Glarus Brewing
On the way up we stopped at the New Glarus Brewing Co. in New Glarus, Wisconsin. We’ve had quite a few of their beers over the past couple of years. Their distribution is limited to Wisconsin but they are one of the top 20 largest American breweries. We were surprised by the scale of the facility. They have nearly all of their beers available for sale including a wide selection of their fruit beers. The taproom or tasting area was more limited but the expansive patio over looking farmlands was great.
The setup was either a tasting glass with three refills or a 16oz pint glass with one fill. You could then get additional pours for $5. The patio area was huge with several faux ruined structures to walk about. There is also a self guided tour of the production facility where you basically walk a hallway that goes straight through the middle of the brewery with glass partitions on each side. The brewery store had nearly every beer they produce and a variety of ‘mix and match’ so we were able to get a little bit of everything we liked.
Side Note:
Included in the tasting is a ticket for a free New Glarus beer in one of the many bars in town. I’ve never seen this done before but I think it’s a great way to get people to check out the town of New Glarus. We ended up at the Sportsman’s Bar & Grill and they actually had a better selection of New Glarus beers on draft than the brewery had for tasting.

Ice Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park

This past Sunday Julie and I headed down to the new Maggie Daley Park to skate on the Ice Ribbon. The park is only partially complete but the Ice Ribbon is open for about the rest of the season. The ribbon is a winding, 20-foot-wide path that is a quarter-mile long, with slight inclines and declines. The inclines help dissipate the crowd quite a bit so that once you get through the ice opens up quite a bit.

Be sure to check the Zamboni times and try to get there right as they finish the ice. It took about 40 minutes for the whole resurfacing process to take place but once it’s complete the ice is in good shape and if you get on quickly enough you can really get ahead of the pack. As you can see in the video above there were only a couple of skaters on a head of us.  It really is a cool experience and the setting right off Michigan Avenue is hard to match.


B1G Championship: Ohio State – Wisconsin

The first week in December Julie and I headed down to Indianapolis for the BIG TEN Championship game between Ohio State and Wisconsin. This is third time we’ve gone to the game and much like last year, a chance for a National Championship was on the line. The crowd was probably 75% Ohio State fans, this being Ohio State’s second consecutive title game; Wisconsin has played in all but one championship game. Ohio State jumped to an early lead and never let up winning 59-0.

Chilly Waters Brewing Company
UntitledUntitledOur first stop in Indianapolis was Chilly Waters Brewing Company just southeast of downtown. This was probably our favorite brewery in Indy so far. The bartenders were great, the food was decent and the beer was better than most. My favorite being the White Room Cream Stout.

Two Deep Brewing Co.
UntitledUntitledUntitledAfter Checking into our hotel we made the walk over to Two Deep Brewing Co. primarily because it was near our hotel. If there really is a Craft Beer Bubble this is the kind of place that will go under. There clearly was a lot of money put into the place: massive space, over the top equipment setup, bartenders who couldn’t have cared less and a really odd/limited beer selection. There wasn’t anything that stood out to me and they didn’t have any Pale Ales, or IPAs which isn’t really a deal breaker but then have something else that’s approachable.

Indiana City Brewing
UntitledUntitledUntitledWe didn’t have a ton of time to spend at Indiana City Brewing but I would definitely like to go back. Probably the largest and most diverse beer selection of the breweries I’ve been to in Indy. I really enjoyed the Black Lantern which is a Black IPA.

Side Notes:
* The view from my seat.
** Previous B1G Championship games:  2011 and 2013
*** On the way out of town we tried to stop at Plump’s Last Shot but they weren’t open yet and we wanted to hit the road. We decided on checking out a breakfast place in the same neighborhood, Broad Ripple. We rolled the dice on the Northside Kitchenette. I can’t recommend it enough. The place was packed but we managed a seat at the counter with no wait.