No matter if the lakes are frozen or flowing, Madison's craft beverage scene is always in season. Madison's breweries, cideries and distilleries channel the seasons’ flavors to craft fresh, local drinks.
Want to keep up with what's on tap? Sign up for the Madison On Tap Craft Beverage Trail -- your free pass to beer, bubbles, bourbon and beyond in the Madison, WI area. Oh, and did we mention there's discounts and prizes involved? 😎🍻
On the Isthmus
Looking for beer that packs a punch? Giant Jones Brewing, a women-owned certified-organic craft brewery, specializes in high-abv styles (7% or higher). Among giants sits Parched Eagle Brewery, one of the smallest breweries smack dab in Madison’s East Washington Ave corridor. Their namesake beer is called the perfect lawn mowing beer by some. Say no more.
A downtown staple since 1994, The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. serves award-winning beers and can’t-miss food like fried cheese curds and seasonal soups. (Bonus: The Great Dane has multiple locations in and around Madison. Enjoy this Madison staple in 3 other locations.)
Speaking of multi-location icons, Vintage Brewing Co. is situated near Breese Stevens Field and The Sylvee, making it the perfect pre-concert or post-Forward game stop. But you can also enjoy Vintage’s irresistible beers on the West side and in Sauk City.
Beers, ciders and plenty of n/a options? That’s One Barrel Brewing Company for you. With 12 beers and ciders available exclusively on Atwood Avenue, this is a can’t-miss stop for anyone looking for something you simply can’t get anywhere else. Starkweather Brewing Company, a community-focused gathering place with an ever-evolving menu, also calls Atwood home.
One of the many fun facts about Working Draft Beer Company is that the tables and bartop are made of refurbished local bowling lanes, a testament to just how community-focused Working Draft is. Beer names like “The Usual” and “Surprisingly Casual” set the tone for a vibe that is seriously chill and delicious.
Old Sugar Distillery, aptly named because of the use of sugar in many of their products and because of Madison’s history of beet sugar production, features a tasting room, an outdoor patio and some of the best gift boxes around. Their Honey Cap cocktail won gold in Best of Madison this year.
Another Best of Madison winner (silver for their Smoke Show cocktail), State Line Distillery, Madison’s first grain-to-glass distillery, crafts thoughtful, fresh cocktails. Their coffee liqueur is a must, trust us. Right next door to State Line is Imaginary Factory, a chic, strikingly monochromatic tasting room with unforgettable cocktails.
The beers are flowing in Waunakee at both Octopi Brewing and The Lone Girl Brewing Company (both have amazing food menus, so come hungry!). Octopi, and its sister company, Untitled Art, brings flavor, funk and one-of-a-kind ingredients to each sip. Untitled Art’s hard seltzers are a great option for anyone looking for a beer alternative. The rooftop vibes at Lone Girl? Immaculate.
Gluten got you down? Head to ALT Brew on the North side of town for gluten free beer that actually tastes good. ALT Brew has both indoor and outdoor taprooms so you can enjoy a quality beer no matter the weather.
If you’re looking for a unique bourbon experience, J. Henry & Sons, which uses heirloom grains that have been in the family since the 1930s, is a must-try. Henry Farms is a fourth-generation family farm that started their distilling journey in 2009. The farm features flights, cocktails, classes and more.
All true beer lovers know that crafting that perfect sip is a science, and no one leans into that science more than Delta Beer Lab, which also features a bake-your-own-pizza station in case you get hungry.
With a motto like, "Our beer, your Haus," Hop Haus Brewing Co., with locations in both Verona and Fitchburg, is a welcoming spot to stop in for a drink or two. While both locations have food menus, the expansive menu at the Fitchburg location is especially impressive.
If you’re looking for a spot to bring your favorite furry family member, look no further than Wisconsin Brewing Company. Home to top brands like Badger Club Amber and Chocolate Lab Porter (yep, they really love dogs!), Wisconsin Brewing Company has a tap room and a large outdoor space – perfect for the whole family, a large group of friends or you and your dog.
Just a short and scenic drive from Verona you’ll find the Wisconsin icon that is New Glarus Brewing Company. Using 100% natural ingredients, New Glarus Brewing Company produces world-class beers like the well-loved Spotted Cow.
South of Madison, in Fitchburg, you’ll also find Yahara Bay Distillers, producers of all things spirits. With an impressive cocktail list, tours, a Wisconsin artists’ art gallery and charcuterie boards, Yahara Bay Distillers is the kind of place where you lose track of time.
What happens when you mix a brewery, a taproom and a taqueria? Sunshine Brewing Company happens. This Lake Mills locations, just east of Madison, makes having fun easy.
Two distilleries demand a drive outside of Madison: Dancing Goat Distillery in Cambridge and Doundrins Distilling in Cottage Grove. Dancing Goat boasts award-winning sips like their Limousine Rye whiskey, Death’s Door Gin and Dancing Goat Brandy. Doundrins features a rotating cocktail menu that highlights their unique liqueurs, runs and more, all of which you can savor in their 11,000 square-foot cocktail garden.
The west side boasts not one but two cideries. The Cider Farm grows and harvests true cider apples (apples cultivated specifically to make alcoholic beverages) on their farm, where they have the largest collection of organically-grown cider apples in America. Their tasting room is a great place to sample ciders alongside tasty bites to eat. As a bonus, there is often live music to enjoy. Hidden Cave Cidery pours unfiltered hard cider made from Wisconsin apples. Between yoga and live music, Hidden Cave always has something fun to do while you enjoy their ciders.
A Madison classic for over 35 years, Capital Brewery brews beer in the heart of Middleton. Their large outdoor seating area is popular for bicyclists, live music and their annual, ever-popular Bockfest.
No matter where you are in and around Madison, the flavors these places are serving up are sure to add the perfect amount of community and fun to any day.
Enjoy Madison On Tap responsibly. Have a designated driver. Thank you to our friends at Union Cab for providing safe ride options across the Greater Madison area.