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The Beer Spot Blog - August 2011 Archives

Official TBS Blog

Another Brewer Added to the The Beer Spot's 2011 Great Taste Pre-Party
Posted Monday, July 18th, 2011 by Tip Top

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UPDATE: 7/22/11 - Bad news everyone, because of paperwork issues for selling and distributing beer in Wisconsin, Half Acre will not be able to bring beer to this event.  Staff members from Half Acre still plan on attending the Pre-Party at the Brickhouse, but unfortunately we will not be able to enjoy their beer at the pre-party this year.

As if there wasn't enough top notch beer from great breweries, we've gotten confirmation from another top brewery.  Joining us at Brickhouse BBQ will be Half Acre Beer Company.  "Half Acre Beer Co. is a brewing company in the Northcenter neighborhood of Chicago, IL. We built a brewery in the middle of the city where we brew small batch beers, and have a store & tasting area where we sample our beers and sell them to go in all package styles. 

Half AcreWe make different beers throughout the year, some we brew all the time and some are only around for a very short period. Our focus is to expand our abilities and enjoy our work."  As far as great pale ales go, it's really hard to beat Half Acre's Daisy Cutter.  As well as their solid year round lineup, they do an ever-changing list of new beers.  One of the newest ones is a collaboration brewed with Shorts Brewing Company called Captain Fantasy.  Pretty cool that both of the breweries that made this beer will both be at the Pre-Party on August 12th.  Stay tuned throughout the week for updates on beer lists from each of the four breweries attending.  You won't be disappointed.


The Beer Spot's 2011 Great Taste Pre-Party at Brickhouse BBQ
Posted Friday, July 15th, 2011 by Tip Top

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If you follow our forums, this will be old news, but we thought we should make the official announcement.  Of course we are doing another Pre-Party this year and it's going to be bigger and better than ever.  

Brickhouse BBQFor the second year in a row, we are working with Brickhouse BBQ on this.  They have been a great partner not only in providing the best location that we could find in Madison, but in really working with us to help organize the party itself.  Their passion for craft beer is evident in how excited they are to make this event even better than last year.  This year, we're working to make sure that the service is even better, so you don't have to wait to grab another one of the great beers that will be offered.  Full menu will be available until 10, and the late night menu will be available after that.

Central Waters

Now, what you really care about, the beer.  Last year we feel we knocked it out of the park with Central Waters and Shorts.  This year, it's going to be even better.  Both breweries are coming back, and we're adding a third.  Last year, each brewery brought 4 beers.  This year, we're working to have each brewery bring 10.  That means that 30 of the 40 tap lines at Brickhouse will be filled with beers from our featured breweries.

A little about Central Waters Brewing Company, "Brewing since 1998, Central Waters Brewing Company is built on the solid reputation of producing the finest quality beer in Central Wisconsin: Ouisconsing Red Ale, Happy Heron Pale Ale, Mudpuppy Porter, and many more."  Personally, I love all of their dark stuff.  From the easier drinking Mud Puppy Porter to the Bourbon Barrel Stout, you can't go wrong.  Anello and crew make great beers!

ShortsThe thing I love about Shorts Brewing Company is their versatility and experimentation.  They go from having a rock solid IPA to making beer work with ingredients that you might not have ever considered.  "In April of 2004 we opened the doors to Short’s Brewing Company in the quaint Village of Bellaire.  Beer was the mission, and liberation was the movement.  With a lot of elbow grease, blind ambition and a little luck, the quest to create a community pub in Northwest Lower Michigan began to take shape.  The philosophy was to bring an appreciation of craft beer to the north with product education and creativity.  The process of appreciation through education we call beer liberation."  We're really happy to be working with Shorts again and can't wait to try more of their beers.

Nebraska BrewingOur new addition for 2011 is Nebraska Brewing Company.  In my contact with Paul at Nebraska when doing the news, he always seemed very friendly and down to earth.  Then I met him at last year's Great Taste and verified it in person.  Oh, and the beer I tried was good too!  

When looking to add another brewery to our already rock solid lineup, this was an easy choice.  "Located in Papillion’s hoppin’ Shadow Lake Town Centre, Nebraska Brewing Company is a relaxed dining destination complemented by incredible, fresh handcrafted ales. Locally owned and operated, it’s our aimto share our passion for beer and food with everyone who walks through the door. When your stomach’s growling and you’re feelin’ parched, head to Nebraska Brewing Company for casual American fare, a full bar, and a great time. Our knowledgeable staff will assist you in creating the perfect beer and food combination.  Oh, and on your way out, be sure to grab a growler of one (or two) of our fine ales."  I'm looking forward to being able to try more of their beers this year.

We're in the process of finalizing the beer list for the event, but we'll get that info up soon.  We can't wait to see all the familiar faces as well as meet lots of new people this year.


How Exactly Are You Supposed To Abbreviate Great Taste of the Midwest
Posted Saturday, April 16th, 2011 by Tip Top

So, I was chatting with Eileen, and she asked me how you abbreviate Great Taste of the Midwest.  It seems like this a much debated thing since everywhere you look has it done differently.  I've seen GTOMW, GTOM, GTMW, etc, etc.  Logically, you would only use the main words, leaving it at Great Taste of the Midwest or GTW, but I don't think I've ever seen that.  How the heck do we put in a W when Midwest is one word?  This all doesn't make sense.  I guess GTOTM makes more sense then.  

I looked for an answer on the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild site, and there isn't one.  What do you think the proper abbreviation is?  Why?  We need to come to an agreement on this one...


TheBeerSpot launches its first Facebook Application
Posted Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 by Organized Chaos

Come check out the first TBS facebook application (and the first of its kind on facebook) at

This app will alow you to log what beers you drink on facebook and share those with your friends via the application or posts on your wall and much more.  Add this app and spread the word!!!!

Let us know what you think.


TBS Team.


My East Coast Beer Trip Part 2, Lumfest
Posted Thursday, September 9th, 2010 by Tip Top

We drove into Ithaca and stopped off into Ithaca Beer Company.  As we opened up the door, someone is coming out and says, "you look like people going to Lumfest."  It's Chief, aka Jeff O'Neill, head brewer at Ithaca.  We chat real quick and head inside.  Mike Benz is behind the bar to greet us and asks us what we'd like.  Had to go with my first Flower Power right from the source.  What people say is true.  Fresh, Flower Power is one of the very best IPAs out there.  Top notch hoppiness that just won't quit.  The next sample was last year's Ground Break (yum) and then the just released Gorges Smoked Porter.  I can confidently say that this year's version of Gorges is by far my favorite.  Rich and chocolaty, the smoke is there to highlight the beer rather than dominate it.  If you have the chance, buy some.  I picked up a hat and we figured we better get over to Lum's since we were already later than we thought we would be. 

We drove along and are looking for 218.  215, 220...there is no 218!  We turn on the GPS and see we aren't on the right road.  Back track a bit and see that one of the signs had been turned and we should have taken a turn earlier.  We pulled up at Lum's place at just the right time.  You could smell the pig and it was ready to come off the heat.  Lum greeted us right away, as did a not too happy to see us Haley (Lumdog).  Introduced ourselves to Gilly (evertends), Tara, and Pete (Steve Tasker).  Say hello to Mark (decoman).  Then we grabbed our stuff, coolers most importantly, and set up the tent so we didn't have to do that in the dark when we were already a little drunk.  Aliza (Naproxen) showed up a little after we got there.

Lums Flower PowerI grabbed a pull of the fresh keg of Flower Power (or Flower Owlet, as some might say).  Love the home-made tap handle, Lum!  Got back to the fire just in time.  Off came the pig, venison and lamb.  Paul (Lum) carved them under the powerful light of the flashlight and then we gorged.  There was enough meat for a small army, yet there were only 8 of us.  Try as I might, I couldn't finish what I took.  We cleaned up some, and then it was time to start digging into everyone's coolers and sit around the fire.  After a bit of drinking, Nick (nchrist) and Jess (Farmhousewench) show up.  They set up their tents and then join us for beers.  So much beer.  Chief and Mike Benz from Ithaca showed up and joined in on the good time.  If I tried to recount the whole night, I would be typing all day, so I'm going to list the beers I can remember and recount some highlights of the night...

The beers...

  • Super Friends IPA growler
  • Willimantic Saison growler
  • Brown's Whiskey Porter growler
  • Bullfrog Belgian Golden growler
  • Supplication batch 3
  • Old Habit (new unreleased batch)
  • Upland Raspberry Lambic
  • CL Castleton Batch 1 and 2
  • Darkness 07,08,09
  • Cynic
  • Bitter Brewer
  • Bakes 14 year old lambic
  • Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Trooper
  • Bakes 14 Year Old Lambic
  • Half Acre Gossamer
  • Surly Four
  • Ithaca LeBleu
  • Sweetwater Donkey Punch
  • Lawsons Maple Nipple
  • Founders Deco Tenth Anniversary
  • Weyerbacher Riserva
  • Williamantic Barrel Aged Old Kentucky Sour
  • Midnight Sun Uranus
  • 2009 Cable Car
  • Surly Smoke

I'm sure I left something off the list, but as you can see, we went through a metric shit-ton of top notch beers.  There were many memorable moments throughout the night, among which were...

  • Paul, why does your fire suck, it needs pallets.
  • Hearing, "Oh shit, shit, oh fuck", etc coming out of the bathroom, and not from being sick
  • Nick's call to Gator where he talked more to Leslie (I remember the conversation getting odd but can remember what was said at the end...)
  • Jess passing out first, without saying she was going to bed.  It looks like there was a disco ball in her tent for a while the way the flashlight was bouncing all around.
  • Looking for the chickens to put in someone's tent.
  • Gilly somehow staying awake and hanging by the fire despite being up for 40 hours straight or something.
  • Bakes laying down in front of the fire which we all knew would lead to photo ops later.  He didn't fall asleep until he got back in the chair though.
  • Messing around outside Bakes' tent and hearing, "I'm still awake you know!"
  • Lum joining bakes in la la land by the fire so he could get some photo op's.

All the great food, beers, and chat around the fire were the big highlight though.  This was another night that proved to me that the community here at TheBeerSpot has to be the best group of people on the internet.  Extra special thanks to Paul for hosting.  The food and hospitality was top notch!

The next morning and Ithaca Brew Fest as soon as I can find time to blog a little more here...


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