Tag Archives: Madison

New Brew: Ale Asylum Bedlam! Trappist IPA

24 Apr

The Belgian-style pale ale fest continues with Ale Asylum Bedlam! Trappist IPA.  Ale Asylum has attempted to one-up your standard Belgian-style beer by evoking the holy aura of the Trappist designation.  While obviously not a true Trappist beer (Ale Asylum’s East Side warehouse digs are neither a monastery in Europe nor staffed by monks of the Trappist order), the use of the phrase summons a certain expectation of sublime complexity due to proprietary yeast profiles used by the famous breweries.  If nothing else, the word gets your average beer geek all hot and bothered.  Brewer Dean Coffey has exhibited a fairly deft hand with Belgian-style beers in the past – his Triple Nova, Diablo, Happy Ending, and Mercy all strong efforts.  Paired with a demonstrated love for hop-forward ales (Hopalicious, Ambergeddon, Balistic IPA, and Action Jacksin DIPA all tongue-scorchers), Bedlam! has the pedigree for New World-Old World nirvana.

Ale Asylum Bedlam! Trappist IPA

Style: Belgian-style IPA

Vitals: ~7.5% abv; Citra hops; Trappist-style yeast; ~$9.79/six-pack at Barriques Market in Fitchburg

Company line: “A chaotic blend of Citra hops and Trappist-style yeast give this IPA aromas of summer fruit and a bright hop presence with a plush finish.  Bedlam is unfiltered and all natural for superior flavor and quality.  It is brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way.”

My take: pours a radioactive reddish-orange in the glass, echoing the hue of the mad bear-creature on the label.  Aroma is intensely citrusy and dominated by the lime-y hop profile, with ripe fruit and spice filling out the bouquet.   The aptly-named Citra hops are the first impression on the palate as well, followed by apricot, mango and yeasty spice.  Body is light and airy, which along with the dry, hoppy finish lends ample drinkability.  A beer and a style made for spring, Bedlam doesn’t quite deliver enough Belgian-style yeast character to overcome the brisk Citra hop profile, but makes a fine warm-weather quaffer nonetheless.  While Ommegang BPA and Flying Dog Raging Bitch might deliver more of the spicy/fruity Belgian yeastiness, Bedlam is a hop-forward foray into the posh, tradition-blending new style set to take the brewing scene by storm this season.


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.

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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