As you venture off on a craft beverage journey, you’re often looking for something unique. From ice cream to breakfast pastries, tequila barrels to smoked malt, ultra sour to Carolina Reaper heat, craft beverages have seen it all. Some hit and others flop. (Let’s just completely skip over that one beer made with yeast grown in the trimmings from the brewer’s beard…)
But regardless of the outcome, there’s something fun about making a craft beverage with a strong emphasis on the craft, and even more fun getting to drink it. The establishments found along Destination Madison’s Madison On Tap Craft Beverage Trail are no different. Join Pour Another Round on a unique tour along the trail in search of unique beers, ciders, and cocktails.
State Line Distillery
State Line’s American Gin is the base of this cocktail. This gin is made with wheat and barley grown right here in the Midwest. For all you London Dry Gin drinkers, we’re already approaching unique! There’s plenty of sage, juniper, and lemon features in the gin itself. This cocktail also has Smoked Black Tea added to a citrusy array of homemade syrups and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Garnished with a dehydrated lemon for a uniquely beautiful cocktail.
Fun Fact: Smoke Show recently came in as runner-up to the best cocktail in all of Madison. (Trust us, this is impressive. There are A LOT of cocktails here!)
Hidden Cave Cidery
Nordic legend has it that Poetic Mead is a beverage that turns whoever drinks it into a scholar. The drinker will then be able to recite any information or solve any question. I’m not sure about this mythical, made-up mead… but we do know that after drinking enough, we’re pretty confident we know all the answers and will absolutely answer all the questions like we know what we’re talking about. Myth solved!
Regardless of whether one sip of Hidden Cave Cidery’s Poet’s Mead can turn you into a Bill Nye The Science Guy (smartest guy we could think of…), it’s got other unique qualities about it as well. This particular wise nectar is made with fresh strawberry puree, hand-squeezed limes, and local honey. Smoothie Ciders are a unique find as there are few cider makers using a smoothie-style hard cider.
Imaginary Factory Distillery & Cocktail Bar
We aren’t doctors and we don’t play ones on a podcast and definitely not on the Internet (you say one wrong thing and the world eats you alive). But we think it’s safe to say we just found the healthiest cocktail around.
The Imaginary Orange at IF contains carrot, citrus, turmeric, black pepper, and white wine. Not sure if we’re at the local organic juicery or our new favorite cocktail bar. This cocktail is refreshing and a little bit unexpected. Definitely screams unique!
Affogato Ice Cream Pastry Stout
The crew at Untitled Art (found at Octopi Brewing in Waunakee) claims this is one of their most unique offerings. With that recommendation, trust them; they’ve got a whole array of fun and unique beers. This ice cream pastry stout boasts flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. These are a few of our favorite things: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, ice cream, and beer!
This fermented frappuccino packs an 11% punch too. Unique flavor. Big ABV. Delicious experience.
J. Henry & Sons Distillery
JZ Old Fashioned
Sometimes the unique needs to start with a classic. We’ve all had a classic Old Fashioned, this one just has a twist. J. Henry starts with their flagship and foundation small batch bourbon. Then things get a little more interesting and unique. Add some J.Henry Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup as the Old Fashioned sweetener. And an Old Fashioned needs some bitters, so why not really make this unique with Bittercube’s Chipotle Cocoa Bitters for a dropper full of sweet heat!
Hope you enjoyed your tour with us as we poured many rounds of unique drinks along the Madison On Tap Craft Beverage Trail. Madison has amazing craft beverage makers who continually push the envelope while pursuing greatness.
Be on the lookout for other unique finds along the trail and be sure to let us know where to head for even more fun! Send us a message or tag us in your posts at @pouranothrround. And while you’re sipping unique drinks, be sure to Pour Another Round for us.