Food Events & Tours
From ice cream to artisan cheese. Breweries, wineries and distilleries. Love craft culture? You'll love Madison. So take a taste. Take a tour. Take it all in. Come see what Madison has on tap for you.
CURATED FOOD TOURS*
Not sure where to start? Try a pre-built experience that's sure to make your tastebuds tingle.
Madison Eats Food Tours: Hop on an electric bike and take a tasty tour. Madison’s bike-share program paired up with Madison Eats to help you explore neat neighborhoods where you can taste local, seasonal foods and meet the chefs, farmers and artisans who make it all happen.
Mustard Bites: A Tasteful Adventure: Mustard paired with asparagus? Mustard and ice cream? You've never seen mustard served like this before. Head to the National Mustard Museum for a tasteful tour through nine delicious mustard pairings.
*Note that tickets or reservations must be made in advance for all tours; private and charter events are also offered.
CREATE-YOUR-OWN TASTINGS & TOURS
Prefer sipping at your own pace? Check out one of Madison's breweries, wineries and distilleries.
ALT Brew: This brewery has the only dedicated gluten-free brewery and kitchen in Wisconsin. The taproom is open five days a week and features three beers year-round, plus seasonal and limited-edition offerings. While you're there, try for a high score on one of the games in the pinball arcade!
Capital Brewery: With over 30 years of brewing excellence, Capital Brewery offers both an indoor Bier Stube and a large outdoor Bier Garten that is host to live music and events throughout the year. Experience their 35-40 minute behind-the-scenes tour.
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.: More than 14 beers are brewed onsite at this original location, which also features a picturesque, private beer garden in the heart of downtown Madison where you can enjoy flights ranging from 4 to 10 sampler pours. (More area locations: East, Fitchburg and Hilldale.)
The Lone Girl Brewing Company: Located 10 minutes north of the Capitol, enjoy one of 12 craft beers brewed on-site either on their main level brewpub or on the 4,000 square foot rooftop beer garden. Enjoy happy hour from 3–5 p.m. every Tuesday–Friday.
New Glarus Brewing Company: Self-guided tours of this hilltop brewery are free year-round and Hard Hat Tours are offered on Fridays. Any time you visit, enjoy tasting room samples or a pint in the outdoor courtyard that overlooks scenic New Glarus.
Wisconsin Brewing Company: This Verona-based brewery offers free tours that take you through the heart of their brewing operations. Learn more about their unique educational collaboration with UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural & Life Sciences program by taste-testing a S’Wheat Caroline American Wheat Ale in the brewery’s taproom or at the backyard bar that overlooks a picturesque pond.
Botham Vineyards & Winery: Love wine, or new to the wine experience? Let the experts at Botham walk you through the wine-making to wine-tasting process from start to finish! Check out their tasting room, open April-December, Wednesday-Sunday. If you have a party of 15+, after-hours private tastings are available for your group—simply submit a request and share your tasting preferences for a customized event. Botham also offers tours (available by appointment for groups of 15+) that take you through a true vine-to-bottle experience.
Cambridge Winery: Try a tasting room experience in two different locations: Cambridge (where there's also an Event Center) and on Whitney Way in Madison. Both offer locally-produced boutique wines and hand-selected varieties from California's Central Coast. Wine dinners are also offered!
Drumlin Ridge Winery: Explore this family-owned full-production winery offering wine tastings and small plates. Tours are offered daily and available by reservation. Enjoy a variety of wines from their estate vineyard, local Wisconsin vineyards and premium California vineyards.
Wollersheim Winery & Distillery: This historic limestone winery has a 160-year history, and is situated on the picturesque southern slopes overlooking the Wisconsin River. Tours and tastings are offered weekdays and weekends, and conclude with a sampling of Wollersheim’s distinctive wines.
Dancing Goat Distillery: Tucked in the vineyards of Cambridge, Wisconsin just outside of Madison – Dancing Goat combines the Art and Science of Distillation from past experience with modern technology. Enjoy a craft cocktail in their spacious tasting room.
J. Henry & Sons Wisconsin Straight Bourbon: Every bottle of bourbon from J. Henry is made in small batches and slow-aged a minimum of five years. Visit this third-generation, rustic seed corn farm in northern Dane County for tours, nosing, tastings, cocktails and bottle sales.
Old Sugar Distillery: This distillery—started by a UW-Madison grad—takes its name from Madison’s history of beet sugar production and as such, the spirits produced use many local ingredients. Tours and tastings are free (Thursdays-Saturdays), but arrival prior to 7:30 p.m. is encouraged.
State Line Distillery: Wisconsin's newest grain-to-glass distillery and cocktail lounge featuring vodka, gin and craft cocktails. Gather around the table, the back patio, or the bar and enjoy a different kind of cocktail experience. Learn more about tours and cocktails at this pup-friendly spot.
Yahara Bay Distillers: This family-owned business was Madison’s first small batch distillery and today, produces more than 20 products. Sample them all at the Public House tasting room or try a tour (free on Thursdays). Private tours are also available by appointment.
Wollersheim Winery & Distillery: Distilling at Wollersheim dates back to the 1800s but after the Prohibition, Wisconsin wineries couldn’t legally distill until 2009. In 2013, Wollersheim released its first Coquard Brandy and today, Spirits Tastings are offered daily. On weekends, try the new Guided Tasting Experience.
Take touring to another level with tantalizing tasting events. Madison features a fantastic festival scene. If you like beer, food, or even mustard – there's a festival for you.
- Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest (January; tickets go on sale in October)
- Madison Magazine Restaurant Week (January/July)
- Madison Craft Beer Week (May)
- World's Largest Brat Fest (May)
- REAP Food Group’s Burgers and Brew (June)
- National Mustard Day (August)
- Great Taste of the Midwest (August)
- Stoughton Coffee Break Festival (August)
- Taste of Madison (Early September/Labor Day Weekend)
- Essen Haus OktoBEERfest (September)
- Isthmus OktoBEERfest (September)
- Thirsty Troll Brew Fest (September)
- Badgerville and Badger Bash Pre-game events (September-November, prior to all home Badger football games)
- Quivey's Grove Beer Fest (October)
- Annual Herb Fair (November)