Wisconsin may be known as the dairy state, but that’s not the only thing the state has to offer. The academic integrity of University of Wisconsin students is known across the world, and the world knows what the students like to do in their free time: Drink beer. A lot of beer.
Luckily, for those who enjoy engaging in this pastime, Madison offers numerous establishments that offer unique ways to draw customers in and drink specials to keep them there. After all, if a state has its own beer — thank you, New Glarus Brewing — they will take their drinking seriously. If you’re interested in knowing how to enjoy all that Madison has to offer in the world of fermented wheat and barley, keep reading.
State Street Brats
603 State Street
This is the place to go if you’re looking to consume unimaginable amounts of beer — and it can all be done with one purchase. The infamous “boot” can be filled with a select beer of your choosing for $19, but don’t get too tempted to take the glass home with you or you’ll be booted. Bartenders require a safety deposit of $20 to receive the boot, which is then returned to the customer when they return the glass.
514 East Wilson Street
Another place to go for the boot experience is Essen Haus. This German restaurant features an extensive list of imported beers that my computer won’t understand if I try to type them out. Essen Haus understands their market well. They offer a student discount on their boots Thursday nights starting at 9 p.m. Students can enjoy a two-liter boot of any German tap beer for $17. For those looking to get festive this weekend for St. Patrick’s day, Essen Haus will offer green beer and live music.
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New Glarus Brewing
2400 WI-69, New Glarus, WI 53574
New Glarus Brewing makes beer off limits to the rest of the country — hence their slogan “Only in Wisconsin.” The brewing company offers six year-round beers and seasonal beers depending on the month. Their year-round beers include Moon Man, Two Women, Raspberry Tart, Wisconsin Belgian Red, Serendipity and, of course, Spotted Cow. If you haven’t tried any of these beers, go to the closest grocery store or liquor store and buy some immediately.
Whether you prefer a strong taste or a subtler, sweet taste, one of these beers will most likely become one of your favorites. The brewery also offers tours, so if you can find time and transportation, head over to 2400 State Hwy 69 New Glarus, Wisconsin. Three beers can be sampled for $8, plus you get to keep a commemorative glass to show your friends. Prepare yourself for when you leave Wisconsin and no longer have access to these incredible tastes, but do get ready to brag to your friends.
123 East Doty Street
Another Wisconsin brewery is the Great Dane. There are five Wisconsin locations, with the closet at 123 East Doty Street. Their 14 beers aren’t your average Blue Moon or Corona. The company claims to brew with ingredients from five countries, according to their website. From a light, fruity taste to a heavy, coffee taste, this brewing company seems to have it all. Enjoy a glass of original beer with a meal from their diverse menu.
Madison knows how to meet the demand of the beer-guzzling college student. Whether you’re looking to max out on your average beer with a boot purchase at Brats or try an imported drink from Essen Haus, the possibilities are endless. The only question left is: Which are you going to try first?