Tag Archives: heads up

Heads/Up(date): Sprecher’s Pub and Vintage Brewing Set to Open this Week

19 Jan

January is turning out to be a big month for Madison-area beer lovers as no less than 3 new beer-friendly establishments are opening their doors.  As I mentioned yesterday, The Coopers Tavern brought its take on an Irish gastropub to the square last week and business has been brisk thus far.

Via Robin Shepard at the Isthmus, Sprecher’s Pub is set to open today, January 18th.  Might try to check it out after work one of the next couple nights.

Word on The Daily Page Forums says Vintage Brewing Company has finally opened shop in the former JT Whitney’s space.  Their spartan website has yet to confirm their opening, but does have their menu, which I must say has piqued my interest with an incredibly ambitious-looking spread spanning from “tapas” to sliders, tacos, an impressive list of sandwiches and burgers, entrees (fried chicken to gnocchi), and a selection of 6 house-made hot sauces.  If they can pull off a menu that diverse and put together a solid line-up of craft beers, they could stand to make a killing on the Near West Side.  More hard-hitting analysis once I’ve had a chance to check it out.  Needless to say, it’s a good time to be a Madison beer-lover.

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Heads/Up//New Brew: Ale Asylum Satisfaction Jacksin Double IPA

8 Oct

satisfaction jacksin

Word on the webs says the new Ale Asylum double IPA that debuted at the Great Taste this summer has been bottled and is on shelves now in extremely limited quantities for $13.50-15 a six-pack. Interesting that they didn’t 4-pack this one like their other bigger beers, Mercy and Tripel Nova.  $15 is pushing it for a six-pack these days, but if its anything like Ballistic, I’m sure it won’t gather any dust on the shelves.

Heads/Up(date): Sprecher Restaurant and New Westside Brewpub

18 Sep

A few new details regarding the new Sprecher-licensed restaurant and pub coming to the old Houlihan’s space on the Far West side from last night’s Alcohol License Review Committee meeting via Dane101‘s Michael Donnelly

Sprecher’s, 1262 John W Hammons Dr: The bar at this location after Houlihan’s closed in 2008 was only open for seven weeks before being evicted because they couldn’t pay their rent. Building owner Kevin Lederer decided he’d take matters into his own hands and open a restaurant and bar there.

Lederer contacted Wisconsin brewer Sprecher for permission to use their name and products at the new restaurant. The place will have a casual menu of American food and a family friendly atmosphere — the latter supported by the fact that Sprecher’s flagship product is a root beer. Lever has plans to return to the council in the spring to apply to expand to a sports patio, but he isn’t currently asking for a capacity increase.

Schumacher asked how much experience they had. Lederer responded that Sue Gergem, the agent on the license, operated Houlihan’s. He then asked why they had to sell American food when with the Sprecher name German food would make much more sense. The committee laughed and approved the license.

Doesn’t sound particularly exciting at this point, but given its location, the audience and vibe they’re going for is not surprising.  I’m with Schumacher in wishing they would go for a more authentic German feel with the menu.  Are there not enough places to get a burger or chicken strips on the West Side?  Please send all hate mail calling me an elitist hippie snob liberal commie for being snarky about West Side chain restaurants to: Complaints Dept c/o TGI McChangs & Lube, 666 Unnecessarily Windy Rd.

In other area beer news, it looks like the rumored brewpub slated to replace the defunct J.T. Whitney’s is shaping up.  Again, via Michael Donnelly:

Vintage Brewing Company, 674 S Whitney Way: Members of the Kraemer family run Vintage Spirits and Grill, downtown on the corner of University and Frances. Now they’re planning to pull in even more of their plan to open a new brew pub on the site of the old JT Whitney’s. In addition to the folks working downtown now, owner Trent Kraemer’s cousin (who he described as an award winning brewmaster) will brew the beer, his uncle will handle the finances, and they’ll grow hops and barley at his grandparents’ farm outside Madison. They plan to bring in local ingredients to use for the food.

The new bar would have lower capacity then Whitney’s did and they’re sacrificing some bar space for a larger banquet space in the back to support meetings and smaller weddings.

Clear supported with the stipulation that the requested entertainment license would only be used for the banquet space. Schumacher moved to approve with Clear’s condition, and the motion carried.

Very cool to see that at least a portion of the hops and malts will be grown at a local family farm and always good to see another (hopefully) quality beer establishment on the West Side.  While I never had a chance to sample a lot of J.T.’s offerings outside of a few festivals, most reviews were lukewarm at best.  With the Great Dane creeping further west with its Hilldale location, the new crew will have to step its game up as they will no longer be the only players in the West Side brewpub game.  Looking forward to checking them out in the future.

Heads/Up: Sprecher taps far West Side

2 Sep

Via Jeff over at MadisonBeerReview, it appears as if a new beer bar is on the way in the far reaches of West Madison office park/chain restaurant Hell.  Slated to inhabit the old Houlihan’s space at Old Sauk and John Q Hammons, a new pub called Sprecher Pub Restaurant promises lots of Sprecher beer on offer, though more in the tradition of a tied house than brewpub.  No plans to brew on-site (tricky legal issues of course, which Jeff skillfully explains), and there will be non-Sprecher beers as well, though to what extent is unknown.  The West Side has surely been a craft beer wasteland til this point, unless you’re into Old Chicago-style beer clubs.  Here’s to hoping their beer list goes beyond Sprecher and your standard pub/chain restaurant tap offerings.  Thanks for the heads-up, Jeff!

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