Westportierfest Oktoberfest release party w/Aaron Scholz & Chris Boeger this Friday 9/23!

Happy September all,

This Friday marks the return of WESTPORTIERFEST Oktoberfest! This is our take on the classic Märzenbier lager style that originated in Bavaria and is THE seasonal style of mid-September through early October coinciding with the huge Oktoberfest celebration in Munich! Rich, malty, smooth, and quite drinkable at 5.5%, Westportierfest awaits your discerning taste buds starting at 3 Friday!

Then at 7:30 Aaron Scholz & Chris Boeger take the stage. Aaron Scholz is a singer-songwriter who moved to Madison 20 years ago to play in a loud rock band. That band never made it but Aaron stuck around and found his own style of acoustic music. Madison native Chris Boeger has handled the low end for many local folks including Ladybeard, The Hometown Sweehearts, The Beat Chefs, Josh Harty, Cash Box Kings, Catfish Stephensen and many more!

Chris even used to play with Aaron, some time back in the late 20th century and when paths crossed again last year, they dusted off the partnership to begin anew. Aaron plays acoustic with Chris doing some lap steel and upright bass (no, not at the same time). They’ll do some of Aaron’s originals as well as a selection of only really good songs that other people wrote.

Hope to see you this Friday.

Ein Prosit!


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The Weakling Belgian Tripel Release Party w/Pine Travelers next Friday 9/9!

Happy Labor Day weekend all,

A week from today we’re releasing THE WEAKLING Belgian Trappist Tripel! The Weakling will be on tap when we open at 3pm and at 7:30 the Pine Travelers will provide original music that combines the gritty Americana of outlaw country, folk, and bluegrass with old school funk rave-ups and roots rock & roll.

I can report that The Weakling is turning out quite well and is finishing out at 9% abv. I’m really looking forward to tasting the finished product next Friday! The back story for The Weakling is we use Wyeast Labs’ seasonal release Canadian/Belgian yeast strain, which originally comes from Unibroue in Chambly, Quebec. This is a dynamite choice for the Tripel style that showcases the malt profile along with appropriate light fruit esters (e.g. lemons and oranges) and some of its own spicy character. Also expect good balancing hop bitterness along with a bit of Saaz noble hop flavor and aroma.

In other Belgian beer news for us soon we’re going to start barrel-aging the next batch of Brookie’s Sour Brown Oud Bruin in two oak barrels. More details later!

Hope to see  you for The Weakling release next Friday (if not before),


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Milkhouse Radio Friday August 19th!

Friday, August 19th 7:30PM

We’re pleased to welcome back Madison’s own Milkhouse Radio this Friday night at 7:30! No cover as always.

Milkhouse Radio plays and ever-expanding list of bluegrass vocal and instrumental classics, spiced with a heapin helpin of blues, country, and Milkhouse Radio Originals.

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Limited Releases for Great Taste week!

Hoppy Friday all,

Yes we’re busily engaged in preparations for the Great Taste of the Midwest on Saturday August 13th and leading up to it next week we’ll have FOUR limited releases starting next Wednesday the 10th!

On Wednesday we’re releasing a brand new beer that is a collaboration with the Mason Lounge: CATCHER’S MITT India Brown Lager! Bryan Richgels of the Mason asked me if I’ve ever heard of an “IBL” (I hadn’t) and suggested that we brew one and indeed we have! Weighing in at 6% abv, Catcher’s Mitt is kind of like a fairly hoppy American Brown Ale fermented with lager yeast so it has a nicely clean/crisp finish. It will also be on tap at the Mason!

Thursday August 11th we’re releasing SAISON DUROK, our more traditional Saison (compared to ALFERD Black Rye Imperial Saison) that (like Alferd) is spiced with Indian coriander and orange zest from organic Valencia oranges. A great summer style, this complex spicy/fruity/semi-bitter farmhouse ale was a hit last summer and is perfect for a limited August release.

Then on Friday the 12th our Great Taste Eve party will feature the release of two new beers and the fine acoustic rock stylings of local faves TREEMO!

At 3pm we’ll tap GLUTEN TOLERANT Wheatwine! This huge malted wheat/barley monster is our biggest beer brewed yet at 10.7% abv. Tons of caramel malt flavor/sweetness with a bit of spicy wheat aromatics followed by 69 IBUs of balancing hop bitterness. Gluten Tolerant will also be our 4PM special release at the Great Taste (and look for us at booth #507).

At 6:50 a very special/limited release for that night only: HOP-BORER Sour IPA! Yes the brett fermented version of our flagship beer HOP-BEARER. Hopheads and Brettheads unite on GT Eve!

Then TREEMO takes the stage at 7:30 for two stellar sets.

Hop to see you next week (if not before)!




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Jim Schwall this Saturday July 30th 7:30!

Saturday, July 30th 7:30PM

Jim Schwall started playing several different kinds of music on several different instruments while in elementary school. By the time he finished high school, he was primarily playing various kinds of traditional folk music, including bluegrass and country blues, on the guitar. Gradually, originals, usually based on traditional styles, replaced the traditional tunes and Jim has continued to play solo gigs all his life. In college, Jim met harmonica and piano player Corky Siegel, added a pickup to his Gibson guitar, and they started the Siegel-Schwall Band, performing for about ten years and releasing over a dozen record albums on the Vanguard and Wooden Nickel labels. After Siegel-Schwall disbanded in 1974, Jim continued to play in several versions of the Jim Schwall Band while going back to college, eventually completing a doctorate in music composition, becoming a professor of music, and teaching composition in universities. More recently, Jim has been teaching in high schools and doing social service work, running a program housing the mentally ill who had become homeless. Siegel-Schwall started playing reunion concerts in 1988, releasing a live album in 1989 and a studio album in 2005, both on Alligator Records.

Now retired from the social services, Jim divides his time between the two non-human loves of his life – cameras and guitars. Jim has played lead guitar for Marques Bovre & SoDangYang, fronted the dance-friendly party band Bar Time Lovers, played bass with the Cajun Strangers, jammed with guitarist/singers Andy Ewen and the late Chris Aaron in the current version of the Jim Schwall Band, and his life-long favorite activity, playing his own songs, a couple traditional tunes, and occasionally songs written by friends like Bill Morrissey and Loudon Wainwright, on acoustic 6- and 12-string guitars. In 2007 he released Getting Old, a solo CD recorded live in Madison area coffeehouses, on Uvulittle Records. Studio albums Short Stories on Waterbug and Bar Time Lovers on CONUNDRUM are more recent.

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