Five Madison Summer Brews to Sample

By Kevin Revolinski | Photos courtesy of the respective breweries

Try this crop of locally-made, seasonal brews.

Fruit Punch Sours | Young Blood Brewing

In an effort to stretch some base sour ale during the post-shutdown rush, brewers added fruit punch. That beer sold even faster, and now it’s a thing. Each iteration is a sour mixed with passionfruit, orange, and guava, plus one other fruit. July releases include I’m Not Johnny Blowtorch, with kiwi, and Pink Lexus, with watermelon. They’re both tart-sweet enough to make your mouth water, not pucker.

Summer Stache | The Great Dane Pub & Brewing

Tropical and light, yet hop lovers will delight. Made with Galena and Citra hops with a blend of malts, wheat and flaked oats, this is juicy, hazy, and fresh. And at 4.6% ABV, it lacks a heaviness that might deter you from trying it in hot weather.

Witty Banter | Working Draft Beer Co.

Working Draft Beer’s new wit (which is a wheat beer) uses a yeast from the modern Belgian brewery Achouffe. Says head brewer Clinton Lohman, “It puts out a lot of banana and bubblegum esters as well as some cool, spicy, almost wintergreen-like phenols that work really well with the spices.” It also has notes of coriander, bitter orange peel and chamomile.

Kid Kölsch | New Glarus Brewing

Kölsch — a light, straw-colored brew warm-fermented with top-fermenting yeast but conditioned cold like a lager — originated in Köln, Germany. This seasonal is crisp with a light bitterness balanced by a hint of fruit from the yeast. Close your eyes, sip, and imagine yourself in a biergarten on the Rhine.

Midwesty Pilsner | Karben4 Brewing

Truth in the name: The Midwest loves its pilsners and this crisp and light picnic beer will send you back to the cooler to fish out another. Very approachable and easy like Sunday morning. Also try this: mix a can with a third or half a can of Karben4’s Grapefruit Wisco Pop for a DIY radler.

Or, Sip a Seltzer

Don’t love beer? Untitled Art, a craft hard seltzer line, is brewed and packaged at Octopi Brewing in Waunakee. Featuring gorgeous labels and made with real fruit, flavors such as Prickly Pear Guava, Blackberry Agave and Blood Orange Pomegranate offer a refreshing, and even low-calorie, escape. Another Wisco-made seltzer is Cloudless Hard Seltzer, brewed at 3 Sheep Brewing Company in Sheboygan. The Tropical flavor is a combination of passionfruit, dragonfruit and papaya and is delicious (trust us, we’ve tried it). A number of other local breweries, including Karben4, The Great Dane Pub & Brewing, Wisconsin Brewing Co. and others, also craft hard seltzers as well if you want to sip and sample. — Shayna Mace

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