We have entered the Dark Days of Badgers athletics. College basketball is over, albeit later than in any prior season, college football is eons away, college hockey isn't a real sport anymore (I'm pretty sure) and college softball doesn't always move the needle in Madison. Howevah, there is still much to be excited about in the coming months. There's baseball, drinking beers outside, spending time with loved ones and, uhhh, watching baseball while drinking beers outside.
Drinking beer outside is great, but I'm sure spending some time with your friends and family could also be nice. Possibly while drinking beer outside???
So, let's focus on the beer drinking part. Ale Asylum is quickly becoming a big player, not just in Wisconsin, but the Midwest at large. Since expanding successfully into northern Illinois in February 2014, the Madison brewery has grown to include service for the rest of the state as well. One of the most awesome by-products of Ale Asylum moving into its larger digs a few years ago is its ability to try brewing new beers.
The first of two new offerings from Ale Asylum in 2015 have been big hits so far. Velveteen Habit, a well-malted IPA, and HuMMMane, an India brown ale, have been flying off shelves in Wisconsin and Illinois so much that the brewery has decided to push back its other seasonal offerings to let Velveteen Habit continue kicking ass on shelves. Here is the description of the brew:
Velveteen Habit boasts a vibrant floral nose with a juicy Citra hop intensity. The rich malt spine lends a hint of sweetness to balance the crisp hop bite in the finish, making it an IPA that challenges your taste buds without fatiguing them.
While in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, despite having every other Ale Asylum offering, I couldn't find a single six-pack on shelves in multiple liquor stores, and here in Chicago I had to go to my secret, under-the-Red-Line liquor store to find some.
HuMMMane is a medium bodied brown ale that has a hop kick to it, hence the "India" in the beer's title. It also raising money for a good cause.
We teamed up with 105.5 Triple M Radio to bring you this India Brown Ale in support of our friends at Badger Honor Flight. Every pint purchased is a delicious way to pay it forward while tipping one back. Please look for it in six packs and help us make a difference in the lives of those who have defended our way of life.
All of this great news with new beers doesn't even begin to mention the fact that Ale Asylum is about to start canning its beer! Hopalicious APA, Bedlam! Belgian pale ale, Demento session pale ale and Unshadowed hefeweizen will be available to drink poolside and at the beach and in any other places that glass bottles aren't allowed. Beyond that, there will be two more new IPAs on the schedule this year. 2015 is a great year for Ale Asylum and also you!
A brewery I've yet to mention in this space is MobCraft Brewing, considered to be the world's first crowd-funded brewery, and that is a mistake. They are brewing some excellent beer and you should check them out. A quick background on the two-year-old brewery: founded by three friends in southeast Wisconsin, MobCraft became the first business to use Wisconsin's equity crowdfunding law (the details of which can be found here). Every month, the brewery takes nominations for what to brew next and then takes votes online. The most popular one is brewed and can be shipped right to your door, even if you don't live in Wisconsin.
The brewery also recently announced plans to build a brewery in Milwaukee as well as a tap room in downtown Madison. This will allow the brewery to expand its distribution footprint to include all of Wisconsin as well as more than two places (Artale in Rockford and The Beer Temple in Chicago) in Illinois. The brewery has already won multiple awards, including a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival and being named the best brewery in Wisconsin by Ratebeer.com. Just another spot to add to your list the next time you need a beer in Madison. It's what I'm here to do!