The Twins

A point-of-sale poster for The Twins maibock from Lake Louie Brewing, the focal point of a controversial Madison Craft Beer Week event tonight. 

Lake Louie Brewing

You have probably already made up your mind about one of tonight's Madison Craft Beer Week events. 

That would be Lake Louie Brewing's "launch party" at Middleton strip club Silk Exotic for The Twins maibock, a beer that's been on shelves for a month. It became the fieriest of two Beer Week controversies this year not so much for "The Twins" name -- the reference to the May zodiac sign Gemini is plausible enough -- or even the venue -- strip club patrons deserve great beer, too -- but for the event's consent-optional tagline, "Grab Hold of a Pair." 

Lake Louie founder Tom Porter's comments not backing down from the event and casting naysayers as "beer snobs" certainly fanned the flames, especially during a Madison Craft Beer Week in which the featured Common Thread collaboration beer was led by a team of woman brewers. Lake Louie sales manager Heidi Westley said on a Lake Louie Facebook thread that developed the tagline and was proud of the marketing for the beer, including the Silk event.

I've seen plenty of Facebook comments from people saying they're swearing off Lake Louie beer henceforth, and many congratulating Porter on a well-conceived event and thumbing his nose at political correctness. 

Everyone's entitled to their opinions, of course, but I believe the proper response lies somewhere in the middle. I think the controversy over this event was earned, not fabricated, and that it has damaged the Lake Louie name. I won't be making my first trip to Silk tonight (the event is from 5-8 p.m.).

But I will point out that if you're willing to make amends, Lake Louie also has a tap takeover tomorrow night at The Coopers Tavern featuring a legitimate beer launch: the premiere of Blue Peter. The new Dortmunder lager was named, it should be noted, before the current controversy. (It'll be available at Silk tonight as well.)

So, there's that. If you're looking for a more fully clothed event, how about these?

Toppling Goliath: A rare tap takeover from the giant-slaying brewery from Decorah, Iowa, features seven hop-centric Toppling Goliath beers pitted competition-style against seven from Central Waters at the Blue Moon Bar & Grill, 2535 University Ave. The bar, and taps, open at 11 a.m. 

Weizenbock to the Future: Tex Tubb's Taco Palace rolls out another collaborative brew, Weizenbock to the Future, made with Wisconsin Brewing of Verona. WBC brewmaster Kirby Nelson and assistant brewer Clint Lohman will be on hand, completing the "Back to the Futre" theme with Doc Brown and Marty McFly costumes. (I'm guessing Nelson is Doc Brown.) Another special guest: a DeLorean! 2009 Atwood Ave., 4-10 p.m.

Have a cigar: You've heard of beer-food pairings, but what about beer-cigar pairings? Drackenberg's Cigar Bar can enlighten you with three such pairings, each with a different beer from Madison-based MobCraft, who will have reps on hand as well. 605 N. Sherman Ave., 4-8 p.m.

Hop to it: Use your ears, brain, nose and tongue to expand your hop horizons during this event at One Barrel Brewing. Taps will feature beers from The Hop Garden, a Belleville hop farm that brews, too, including several single-hop beers that allow tasters to suss out the differences between various varieties. Representatives from the Wisconsin Hop Exchange will be on hand to talk about growing hops from 5 7 p.m., and you'll also be able to take home hop plants to grow in your yard. 2001 Atwood Ave., opens 4 p.m.

Nice mullet: Mark Duchow, the adventurous brewmaster behind Sweet Mullets Brewing, comes from Oconomowoc to the Mid Town Pub bearing gifts including three sour beers. Drop in with a business-in-front-party-in-back mullet (follicle or faux) and you'll have a chance to win a $50 Mid Town Pub bar tab. 2405 Allen Blvd., Middleton. Event starts 5 p.m.

Not usually in Madison: Throughout Beer Week, Next Door Brewing has hosted tap takeovers and brewer meet-and-greets for breweries that don’t usually sell beer in Madison. Tonight’s guests are Lena Brewing from rural northwestern Illinois, which asserts that "every beer here has a story, and some are actually true," and Second Salem Brewing, which opened last December in Whitewater. You can also check out Saugatuck Brewing of Michigan on Friday. 5-10 each day, 2439 Atwood Ave.

There's much more going on; check out today's full schedule here. Some of the best events require a little planning; check out the Beer Baron's overview of Beer Week events here

Look for the Beer Baron's preview of the day's top Madison Craft Beer Week events each morning at during Beer Week, May 1-11. Contact Chris Drosner at or follow on Twitter @WSJbeerbaron.


Chris Drosner writes the Beer Baron column for the Wisconsin State Journal.