Shortly after connecting with Alyson, a Madisonian who manages the blog Madison Bike Life, we conspired to create a brewery bike tour of Madison. After a busy summer, we were finally able to meet up this past weekend to host a ride. We planned details by chatting online and ended up only meeting the day before the tour, the first time we had spoken IRL.
We did a short, nine mile loop that started and ended at Ale Asylum. Brewery stops were Ale Asylum, Karben4, One Barrel and Malt House.
Our group of eight rode serendipitously from brewery to brewery. A couple of my friends came from Milwaukee, which was an added bonus. The locals in our group enjoyed the trip as well, including my coworker at the Bike Fed, Zac, who led us around for a bit and added in tidbits about the city’s soon-to-be cycling infrastructure. He also saved the day with his tandem bike when one of our riders got a flat. The rider was transported and the tube was patched over a beer at Karben4!
Here’s more about the beer:
Ale Asylum is a classic in Madison. Their Belgian Abbey KINK (formally Happy Ending) was great and we did dinner at the brewpub at the end of the tour. I was less interested in the Pantheon Imperial Brown, but I am tough to please when it comes to Browns.
I’m always impressed by the barrel aged stuff from these guys. The Oaktoberfest was nicely done with bourbon notes coming through.
As a preview to the Brewery Bike Tour, I did a little tasting on Thursday night during their “bike night.” Bike in on Thursdays and get a $1 beer for brews priced $5 and under. The blackberry sour was my favorite. It’s both a good and a bad thing that One Barrel rotates their taps often. I would welcome seeing a sour on tap again.
The Malt House was the only brewery/bar I hadn’t been to out of the four. I was pleased by their selection. As were my companions… Some were jumping for joy that Dogfish Head Bitches Brew was on tap, while I was ecstatic that I was able to sip the rare Convenient Distraction from O’so again.
Alyson and I bonded over beer and biking, touring and what to wear during the winter. Pro tip from Alyson: Fleece leggings. I’m giving that one a try once the weather turns! Definitely give Madison Bike Life a look or follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Hope to ride again soon, Alyson!