Views and Brews at Olbrich Park’s Biergarten

By Kevin Revolinski | Photography by Alli Kannenberg (@allikannphotography)

As the Biergarten at Olbrich Park enters its sixth season this summer, it’s hard to believe Madison went so long without one. Co-owner Mike Bare and BKM Group chose Olbrich Park for its view of Lake Monona and the city skyline; a good connection to bike paths, bus lines, and parking; and adequate distance from residences that might be affected.

After three years working with the city and local neighbors for approval, BKM Group transformed a dilapidated boathouse and a patch of dying grass into a family-friendly gathering place with a gravel pad and tables. Rutabaga Paddlesports offers rentals out of the other half of the boathouse.

All taps feature Wisconsin craft beers. “We try to treat our tap tower as a museum to showcase the best of craft brews at the moment,” says Bare. Recent brews included Untitled Art’s Florida Seltzer Blueberry, Hop Haus’s Castaway and One Barrel Brewing Company’s 10 Year Beer. Additionally, the garden serves hard cider as well as Wisco Pop, Sprecher Root Beer and other nonalcoholic beverages.

The food menu is curated to giant pretzels from Clasen’s, fresh curds from Farmer John, hummus from Banzo and finger-sized Nürnberg brats from Underground Meats, but carry-ins are also welcome.

Kids can enter with guardians and dogs are allowed on leashes. Watch for benefit events, tap takeover Fridays, and live music.

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