Hoppy Monday everyone,
Yes, happy Great Taste of the Midwest week! The Great Taste is taking place next Saturday Aug. 9th at beautiful Olin-Turnville Park here in Madison and is quite simply a great craft beer festival!
In fact, no less than Larry Bell, founder of Bell’s Brewery, told me in 2006 that the Great Taste is his favorite beer festival in the country. I’m with Larry!
A starting point for my appreciation of the Great Taste is the fact that it is organized and put on by the Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild (disclaimer: I’m a member). MHTG has no paid staff so the Great Taste is organized and run entirely by volunteers! The level of organization required for pulling off such a great festival is quite high, and MHTG raises that bar every year by totally kicking ass, clear and simple.
This year we’re looking at over 160 breweries from across the Midwest that will be pouring over 1,000 beers, including offerings for the Real Ale Tent that itself could be a festival. Beer Christmas!
I’m a volunteer musician at the Great Taste this year (a pretty cushy gig) but next year plan on pouring beers for all of you at the Parched Eagle stall! It’s fun to think about the special releases we’ll do at 20 minutes after each hour. Rest assured we’ll have offerings for the Real Ale Tent, as well.
And, I haven’t even mentioned Great Taste Eve this coming Friday. GT Eve is becoming quite the city-wide event in its own right with craft beer bars, breweries, and brewpubs hosting breweries from out of town. Here’s a link to Isthmus beer writer Robin Shepard’s guide to GT Eve events: