Best beers

Lacking a substantial policy piece today, let’s turn to one of the most important issues of the Madison area: what is the best local brew?

In my mind, the Great Dane microbrewery produces my favorites.  In addition to wheats, pale ales, stouts, and other classics, the cask conditioned beers are completely different in a great way.

While the Great Dane is a great local option, I love taking New Glarus beers with me when I travel out-of-state as presents and gifts.  Their Spotted Cow is a solid ale – subtle flavors that make it enjoyable without being overwhelming; the Fat Squirrel (less) and Hop Hearty (more) add more flavor.  Mmm.

I place New Glarus above Central Waters, but it is a close call.  If you have the option of trying Central Waters’ Mud Puppy Porter, do it.  The porter is smooth, creamy, and completely full of flavor (somewhat chocolate-y).  Central Waters’ other beers are also good – definitely worth drinking.

Besides these top three, the Water Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Point beers from Stevens Point are worth mentioning – as are the ‘classic’ giant beers that remind us of Wisconsin: Millers, Pabst, and Leinenkugels.

Which is your favorite?  What am I forgetting?  Add a comment below or take the La Flog poll on the left column.  As soon as we reach a scientifically significant number of responses, the true best brew will be known.


About Nate

Graduate student at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am studying public policy, administration, and law. More importantly, I am getting the La Follette School Student Association out and onto the blogosphere. Here we come!
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5 Responses to Best beers

  1. Becky says:

    Having just taken a tour of the Capital Brewery, I’d have to say that it ranks up there with some of the best. Their Island Wheat is a pretty solid choice at any point. My Ohio friends agree 🙂

  2. DB says:

    The Dane is all right, but I can’t say any of their beers have ever wowed me. New Glarus is the best brewery in the state by a mile – Spotted Cow may be a toned-down brew designed for wide appeal, but it pays the bills so they can make all sorts of other delicious things. Dancing Man and Crack’d are two of the most unique wheat beers I’ve ever had, and Wisconsin Cherry Red is simply the best beer of its kind in the world. I miss the Uff-da Bock.

    If you like Central Waters, you should try some of the stuff Lake Louie puts out.

  3. DB says:

    Also, your poll is wrong: Miller owns Pabst, which is making Schlitz again; Berghoff is made by Minhas; and you’re missing City (in La Crosse, which makes all kinds of shit beer), Sprecher in Milwaukee, and a bunch more.

    • Nate says:

      Well put. I’ll add Sprecher and City. Pabst, Schlitz, and Berghoff have to be included independently, I think, for history’s sake.

      Also, I completely agree about Spotted Cow, Dancing Man, and Crack’d. Never had the other two, but I will have to try!

  4. Joanna says:

    Great topic, Nate! I’m a fan of my neighborhood Capital Brewery, but also love Lake Louie, Central Waters, and the Dane. But if we’re talking porters, I nominate the New Glarus Smoke on the Porter if you can get your hands on it.

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