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The 9 Best Madison Area Breweries

Matt Winzenried

Matt has worked in Real Estate since 2005. He has experience in changing markets and economies...

Matt has worked in Real Estate since 2005. He has experience in changing markets and economies...

Sep 30 5 minutes read

Purely based on my opinion (so take this list with a bit of hops), here's a list of the Top 9 Breweries in the Madison Area!

It's time to start thinking and prepping for Fall and back to school, but don't wish away summer yet, there's plenty of Breweries, Brewpubs, and outdoor Biergartens to hit up!

1. Great Dane Pub & Brewing

Great Dane has four Madison locations, all offering a little something different in space and atmosphere. The food never disappoints. Their beer is brewed at their various locations. You can purchase and pickup kegs from most locations. They also can a lot of their beer that can be bought at local grocery and liquor stores.

2. Wisconsin Brewing Company

Wisconsin Brewing Company offers a lot of events like live music, throughout the week and has a beautiful outdoor patio and setting for lots of fun in "Wisconsin's backyard". They offer tours on Saturday and Sunday. They don't have a kitchen there, but on weekends and/or special events they have grill/food cart food available. They serve ten of their beers every day, plus two rotating lines which feature guest taps. 

3. Ale Asylum

Ale Asylum has been in their "new", much larger location since 2012. They have a great taproom, indoor dining area, and great outdoor patio. They offer six on-the-hour tours every Sunday between 12:00-5:00. The tour is $5 (cash only) and includes a free pint of your choice plus a special sampling. They bottle and can their beer and it's available in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.

4. Capital Brewery

Located in Middleton, Capital Brewery as over 30 years of brewing excellence. They have a great outdoor Bier Garten with lots of events throughout the year. They offer tours most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Cost is $7 per person and includes a tour of the Capital Brewery facility, a commemorative glass and 4 samples OR one pint of their award winning beer.

5. One Barrel Brewing

One Barrel Brewing makes one of my favorite beers, The Commuter. That's one of the main reasons they made the list. Located on the East side, they have a nice location where you can sit in the same room your beer is made and enjoy a beer and some good local food!

6. New Glarus Brewing

Although New Glarus is not exactly Madison, we like to claim New Glarus Brewing as our own. Their beer is famously sold only in Wisconsin. We have so many out of town family and friends that always grab a couple six packs before they head back home. It's also a great place to visit. They have a self guided walk at the Hilltop location, where you get a sample of beer, and can purchase more and sit outside on their beautiful patio. They also have hard hat tours at their Riverside facility every Friday at 1:00 for $30, it's an insider's view of what they do at the brewery, it's a complete behind the scenes tour including beer and cheese pairings. 

7. Vintage Brewing Company

Vintage Brewing Co has three locations that all offer something a little different. The location on Whitney Way where they brew their beer, has a great outdoor patio and delicious food! The downtown location on University Ave. serves Vintage Brews on tap and has a retro vibe and energetic atmosphere. They have a newer location in Sauk City, right on the Wisconsin River. I haven't been to this location yet, but it looks awesome, it has an outdoor beer garden and patio that provide stunning views of the river. They brew beer at this location and is also a wedding/event venue. 

8. Nextdoor Brewing Co.

Next Door Brewing Company is a locally-owned micro-brewery and restaurant embedded with neighborhood spirit.  They're all about great beer & food and offering an environment for the customers to enjoy. Their beer is handcrafted in small batches and served just a few yards from where it was brewed. It's now available for purchase across all of southern Wisconsin.

9. Karben4

Karben4 is a unique brewery on the East side of Madison. They have tours every Saturday and several other events throughout the month. The have an energetic taproom serving their great, uniquely named beers on tap and TVs for watching Wisconsin sports. They also serve some good gastropub food. Their beer is bottled, and now some are canned and available in southwestern Wisconsin.

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