With giant marketing campaigns bombarding consumers with complete nonsense keywords such as “triple hopped” and “finest country barley,” it’s not a surprise that the majority of Americans out there actually believe that the watered down macrobrews they are drinking constitute good beer.
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The warm, hop-heavy days of summer-session drinking on rooftop patios and Capitol Square beer gardens have long gone, forcing us beer geeks to stay home and find comfort in a fridge full of boozy, dark and rich ales. Thankfully, the craft-beer industry feels our pain, consistently saving many of its best and most ambitious beers for the cold winter months. Today’s column is devoted to highlighting the best of the winter seasonal beers to be released in the following months.
Randomly wandering through Union South a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a flyer, posted somewhat unnoticeably under The Sett food menu, highlighting four specialty craft beer offerings. Considering the relatively limited selection at the Memorial Union, I wasn’t expecting much, but as my eyes fell upon the last beer on the list, my jaw dropped.
Madison’s new One Barrel Brewery opts for quality over quantity: it crafts its unique brews one by one. And though proprietor and brewer Peter Gentry may not have expected such a business model to result in kegs that sell out in a single night, challenging him to match supply with each week’s rising demand, he certainly isn’t complaining.
While the macrobrew industry has been churning out nearly identical products for the past few decades, investing their innovative efforts in new advertising campaigns and branding gimmicks, the craft beer community has thrived in pursuing the untested and unknown.
We actually sell five to six kegs of this a week, which is second most of any bar in the country,” mentioned Matt Van Nest, owner and founder of Brasserie V, as I sipped contently on their house beer.