by Ted Burns
Wisconsin is inextricably linked with beer. In a classic sign of over compensation or dearth of creativity the badgers named their baseball team after a bunch of beer makers. Regardless, they love their beer here and the brewers of Wisconsin will give anybody in the country a run for their money. Since American ’cross is linked to beer as much as heckling, Euro tubulars, and frites, here are some drink suggestions for you hearty souls when you make your way to Madison for Nationals next week.
Anything you can find by New Glarus
This is your first stop, and if you only drink one beer while you are here make sure it’s a New Glarus. According to my guide, a local beer connoisseur by the name of M. Sickle, “The line up cannot be touched, even my least favorite of their beers is better than the next brewery. ” The Moon Man and Spotted Cow were his favorites and have found favor with visitors to our house. Sadly you will not be able to enjoy this remotely from the comfort of your home in California, Seattle, or Portland … know why? New Glarus won’t export our of Wisconsin. That’s some hardcore loyalty right there.
Hopalicious – Ale Asylum
Sickle asked me … “Is it just guys that read this? I need to know my audience.”
“No,” I reply. “Lots of women cyclocrossers read the Cyclocross Magazine stuff.” Without missing a beat, he recommended Hopalicoius Ale Asylum. Matt recommends Hopalicious for both novice and pro beer drinkers. If you are looking for something to do one of the evenings the Ale Asylum operates a tap room out by the air port and conducts tours every Saturday.
Supper Club – Capital Brewery
Supper Clubs are a classic piece of Wisconsin history like, cheese, football, and ice fishing. The Capital Brewery supports a cycling club in the summer, and once they realize the real drinkers are at cyclocross races I’m sure they will see the light and support a ’cross team too. The Capital Brewery is located just west of Madison in Middleton, which is only about 15 minutes from downtown. Don’t fret if you can’t make it out there, most of the restaurants downtown carry Capital Brewery products so just keep your eyes open for their neon signs in restaurant and tavern windows.
Organic ESB – Lake Front Brewery Inc
Sickle couldn’t remember the name of this brew off-hand, and seeing as how Organic ESB doesn’t especially roll off the tongue I’m not surprised. Still he was enthusiastic when he sputtered “Lakefront ESB is awesome …” and seeing as how its organic, I bet this will be a big hit with the vegan/portland/hippie/hipster set. Lake Front is a Milwaukee operation so if you want to pick some up you’ll have to hit up General Beverage and Beer on McKee Road which is halfway between Prairie Badger Park and Madison.
Hopped Up ‘n Horny – Horny Goat
Horny Goat is another Milwaukee operation so keep your eyes open if you want to give Horny Goat a try. Alternatively hit up their brew pub in Milwaukee if you are flying through Mitchell International airport. The Hopped Up’n’Horny is a classic pale ale with enough taste to keep you wanting just a little more, plus, it has a crazy name even for a beer.
The depth and quantity of beer options surprises and delights first time visitors. The list above is just a small sample of what you can find at the many restaurants and bars in Madision, Verona, and Dane County.
Stay tuned for more details, and be sure to keep up on the latest Nationals news through Cyclocross Magazine’s coverage of the event on our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships page.