It’s hard to get a sense of how many great tap takeovers, workshops, homebrew contests, trivia challenges, special releases and other events are part of Madison Craft Beer Week until you try to condense them into highlights. Here’s my woefully inadequate attempt at that. Please check out the full list at madbeerweek.com/events and visit Madison.com around 9 a.m. each morning of Beer Week for my less-space-constricted daily highlights.
Karben4: The Madison brewery debuts its first session IPA, called Boom! Taco Central, at 11 a.m. 3698 Kinsman Blvd.
The Malt House: Central Waters Brewing of Amherst rolls out 12 of its most exclusive beers, including the Madison debut of Peruvian Morning as well as Seventeen and Rye Barrel Stout. Brewmaster Anello Mollica will be on hand from 5-8 p.m. 2609 E. Washington Ave.
Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace: Tex Tubb’s held its ReinheitsRevolt homebrewing contest with the promise to pour the winner during Beer Week. Patrick Siebold’s cocoa-pepper American stout, brewed at Next Door Brewing, is the first of several exclusives Tex Tubb’s will be tapping during Beer Week. 4-11 p.m. 2009 Atwood Ave.
Johnson Public House: The Chicago-based Good Beer Hunting + Intelligentsia event series comes to Madison to talk about coffee beer, with hands-on demonstrations and tastings led by Solemn Oath brewer Paul Schneider. Tickets are $25 at go.madison.com/coffeebeer. 7:30-10 p.m. 908 E. Johnson St.
Kick-Off Celebration and Cask Ale Festival: More than 17 breweries pour special, often unique casks of their beer from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the East Side Club, 3735 Monona Drive on the shore of Lake Monona. Tickets are $35 at go.madison.com/caskalefest.
Dexter’s Pub: A Lakefront Brewery tap takeover features at least 25 different beers from the Milwaukee Brewery. Opens 11 a.m. 301 North St.
Bos Meadery: See how different varietals of honey affect aroma and flavor in this side-by-side tasting of five honeys and meads. Advance tickets, $20 at go.madison.com/meadtasting, are recommended. Event repeats May 9. Noon-2 p.m. 849 E. Washington Ave.
Great Taste of the Midwest tickets: Sales for the epic Madison beer festival in August begin at noon, but if you’re not in line at the ticket venues before sunrise, you’re probably not getting a pair. Sales this year are at Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave. in Middleton; Cork ‘N Bottle, 855 E. Johnson St.; Star Liquor, 1209 Williamson St.; Steve’s, 3618 University Ave. and 122 Junction Road; Wine and Hop Shop, 1931 Monroe St.; The Malt House, 2609 E. Washington Ave.; Vintage Brewing, 674 S. Whitney Way. $60, cash only.
Beer flavor and styles: A short course features UW-Madison faculty speaking on the history of brewing, modern beer ingredients and a sensory analysis session (that means beer drinking). Tickets are $50 at go.madison.com/beerclass. Noon-5 p.m.
Forequarter: The highest-end Beer Week event features a five-course dinner paired with extraordinarily rare lambic-style beers from Madison’s nascent Funk Factory Geuzeria. Tickets are $150 (not a typo); call 608-609-4717. 5-10 p.m. 708 E. Johnson St.
IPA learnin’: The Sett at Union South hosts a talk on craft beer’s favorite style, the India pale ale, led by Frank Beer craft and import manager Shawn Knoche. $5 at the door includes tasting and a pint glass. 6:30-7:30 p.m. 1308 W. Dayton St.
Belgian throwdown: Two venues host tastings pitting Belgian-style beers crafted in America against those from the home country. At Brasserie V, 1923 Monroe St., St. Louis’ Perennial carries the U.S. flag. The event is $25 (reserve a spot at 608-255-8500) for 12 short pours. 6-8:30 p.m. Over at The Mason Lounge, 416 S. Park St., it’s a blind tasting where $12 gets you 3-ounce samples of eight beers. 5:30-8 p.m.
Hop Head shuttle: Hop Head Beer Tours again will be running a free shuttle between Alchemy Cafe (barrel-aged beers), The Malt House (sours from Upland), Drackenberg’s Cigar Bar (Sand Creek, Green Flash), The Cooper’s Tavern on Capitol Square (Left Hand) and Nattspil on King Street (Karben4 /Next Door collaboration). Many other venues are a short walk away from those stops. 7 p.m.-midnight. Details at go.madison.com/mcbwshuttle.
THURSDAY, MAY 7
Next Door Brewing: Throughout Beer Week, Next Door is hosting tap takeovers and brewer meet-and-greets for breweries that don’t usually sell beer in Madison. Tonight’s guest is Lena Brewing from Illinois. There’s also Brenner Brewing of Milwaukee on Friday, Oliphant Brewing of Somerset on Saturday, and Saugatuck Brewing of Michigan on Friday, May 8. 5-10 each day, 2439 Atwood Ave.
FRIDAY, MAY 8
Madison Central Library: Beer Week meets the Wisconsin Book Festival when Chicago-based beer guru Randy Mosher talks in depth about the subject of his latest book, “A Beer for All Seasons.” Free event includes a tasting of seasonals from Wisconsin Brewing. 5:30-7 p.m., 201 W. Mifflin St.
SATURDAY, MAY 9
Craftsman Table & Tap: An all-day Wisconsin Brewing Co. tap takeover features brewmaster Kirby Nelson leading a beer talk and tasting, including a limited-release pilot beer, from noon to 1 p.m. Reserve a spot at 608-836-3988. 6712 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave., Middleton.
Atwood Avenue pub crawl: Three variations of a collaboration pale ale will pour at One Barrel Brewing, 2001 Atwood Ave.; Harmony Bar & Grill, 2201 Atwood Ave.; and Next Door Brewing, 2439 Atwood Ave. Punch a card at each stop and take home a commemorative pint glass. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Vintage Brewing: Vintage brewmaster Scott Manning hoards beer all year for the Big Barrel Tararrel, featuring several normal and weird beers aged in all manner of barrels. Pours are a la carte, with discounts for multiple purchases. 1-5 p.m. 674 S. Whitney Way.
Parched Eagle Brewpub: The new kid on the Madison-area brewing block — it opens Thursday — rolls out its first specialty beer, an American strong ale called Harpy. 4 p.m. 5440 Willow Road.
Coopers Tavern: Michigan’s Founders and Minnesota’s Surly each taking over 14 tap lines? Yes please. 5 p.m., 20 W. Mifflin St.
SUNDAY, MAY 10
Bouquet Pink IPA: This beer made by Vintage Brewing with four flowers debuts on Mother’s Day at Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace, 2009 Atwood Ave., and Avenue Bar, 1128 E. Washington Ave. For each pint sold, $1 will be donated to local breast cancer charities. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.