If there’s one thing we know about Wisconsin, it’s that Wisconsin loves Wisconsin! The people of Wisconsin are very proud to be from Wisconsin. The people of Wisconsin will blindly root for sports teams from Wisconsin. The people of Wisconsin want to drink beer from Wisconsin. The people of Wisconsin will tell everyone on vacation that they’re from Wisconsin. The people of Wisconsin will talk about Wisconsin any chance they can get, sometimes trying to see how many times they can say ‘Wisconsin’ in a single conversation (14 times in this paragraph alone)!
The guys at Pour Another Round love Wisconsin, too, and they’ve done their research to find the best venues along the Madison On Tap trail who share in the same Wisconsin pride. We were looking for places that use Wisconsin ingredients, feature and enrich Wisconsin culture, and celebrate Wisconsin.
STATE LINE DISTILLERY
The folks at State Line Distillery love Wisconsin so much, they see that part of their job is to cultivate the bounty of Wisconsin, preserve its beauty, and enrich its culture. State Line celebrates the quality of local agriculture as Madison’s first grain-to-glass distillery. They source their grains from local fields and their botanicals from local gardens.
State Line's American Gin and State Line Vodka are both grounded in golden Wisconsin wheat and barley. The gin features juniper, coriander, lemon, orris root, and a special ingredient of fresh, locally grown sage added to each batch. These spirits provide a flavor that is uniquely Wisconsin.
J. HENRY & SONS BOURBON
Take a July afternoon drive headed in any direction from Downtown Madison and you’ll encounter cornfield after cornfield. Some of the fields are growing the best sweet corn you’ll ever eat. Some of the cornfields are specifically grown for feeding livestock throughout the winter months. But no field is as special or unique as that of Henry Farms.
Three generations ago, in the 1940s, Jerry Henry began growing and harvesting an heirloom red corn for the next two decades that was developed at the University of Wisconsin in 1939. Jerry’s son Joe would eventually take over the family farm, but the 1980s weren’t too kind to many farms.
Joe Henry was facing a difficult decision to walk away from the farm he loved and grew up on or figure out a way to turn it around. Spoiler alert: Joe saved the farm, embodying the resiliency, ingenuity, and hard work of Wisconsinites.
It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight. When Joe decided to produce bourbon, he knew he had to use his father’s heirloom red corn. He had to repropagate the grains from seed archives stored at the University of Wisconsin. J. Henry & Sons Bourbon is the only bourbon in the world using this corn in their mash bill, making this one-of-a-kind, unique bourbon. And it’s still grown right on the family farm in Dane, WI, about 20 miles north of Madison.
NEW GLARUS BREWING COMPANY
Hey diddle diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the….State of Wisconsin?
Ask any visitor to Wisconsin what beer they have to try when they arrive. It’s New Glarus Brewing Company's Spotted Cow. There’s a mythical aura around this farmhouse ale produced in New Glarus, WI, about 25 miles southwest of Madison.
This beer is unavailable outside the Wisconsin border. The New Glarus Brewing Company tagline even plays into the exclusivity of this phenom, “Only In Wisconsin.”
It’s a bit of state pride, and maybe a bit of a taunting invitation. We know we’ve got this amazing beer here, and if you want it, you’re going to have to come here to get it. And worth the visit, it is!
Airports sell it by the cases past TSA checkpoints. Gas stations and liquor stores near state lines see cars stocking their trunks on their way out of Spotted Cow territory. This beer has become synonymous with Wisconsin. Listen to the Pour Another Round episode featuring Dan Carey of New Glarus Brewing Company to hear just how Spotted Cow grew to fame.
Pour a round and join Pour Another Round in toasting the best of Wisconsin, from right here in the capital city of Madison! Be sure to explore the Madison On Tap Craft Beverage Trail to discover even more things to love about our state.