5 Reasons to Crave Madison's Craft Internal Header


What makes you crave craft?

Is it the distinct flavors derived from only fresh, local ingredients? The dreams of makers poured into every glass? A sense of community at the bar and beyond?

Whatever your reason, Madison has the craft you crave.

Our unmatched blend of unique makers and natural influence yield distinctly local libations.

Why should you visit Madison for craft beverages?

Enterprising Women

Madison’s female makers are leaving their distinct mark on the industry.

Giant Jones Brewing Company is the little giant in Madison brewing. This woman-owned brewery specializes in small batches of big beers (7% alcohol by volume and up) – and it’s all certified organic. Jessica and Erica Jones keep things simple and tease intense taste from just the essentials.

Bos Meadery is making mead modern in Madison. The world’s oldest fermented beverage finds new life in the thriving near East side, just steps from the capitol square. Try the Hammer Smashed Cherry – it’s founder Colleen Bos’ favorite.

Enterprising Women Local Libations


Many of Madison’s makers have made their businesses family affairs.

Marc and Mary Ann Bellazzini set out to start a new life with their young children when they moved into a 100-year-old farmhouse on a 21-acre farm. They planted and cultivated vines to create Campo di Bella Winery & Farm to Table, an homage to their family’s Italian heritage. In addition to wine, they offer a genuine farm-to-table food experience on their scenic farmland.

The flowing hillsides of Barneveld are home to another family winery. Botham Vineyards and Winery was Wisconsin’s first vine-to-bottle winery. Sarah and Peter Botham planted their vineyard – one of the first in the state – in 1989, and opened their tasting room in 1994.

Nick and Catherine Quint launched Madison’s first distillery – Yahara Bay Distillers – and the rest of the family followed. Their sons Nels, general manager, and Lars, production manager and head distiller, craft the company’s many beverages. Yahara Bay makes more than 100 beverages in house.

Family get-togethers inspired an award-winning local favorite. Brittany, Trent, and Mark Kraemer launched Vintage Brewing Company – an elevated-Americana brewpub in 2009. They expanded to open another location in Sauk City in 2018. Honor their dedication with one of your own. Dedication is an abbey ‘extra’ dubbel that took home a silver medal at the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards.

Fermenting Families


While Madison’s climate may not seem ideal for fresh ingredients, it actually offers a unique advantage. By leveraging local, Madison’s makers create unforgettable crafts.

Philippe Coquard of Wollersheim Winery & Distillery brings inventive viticulture to the scene. He uses the winter weather to create an iconic ice wine from frozen grapes early in the season. The freshly frozen fruit yields an especially sweet taste – the base for a decadent dessert companion wine.

Jay and Liz Henry combine corn from their family farm and area ingredients to create a genuinely-local taste. Want unique? J. Henry & Sons Wisconsin Straight Bourbon is the only distillery in the world to use heirloom red corn – developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the 1930s.

In addition to their array of carefully-crafted beers, Wisconsin Brewing Company works with UW-Madison to help foster the future of brewing. President and CEO Carl Nolen forged an annual partnership with the university to allow students in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences to produce one exclusive beer each year at the state-of-the-art brewery.

Local Ingredients


When local ingredients meet international flair, you’ll find a delicious cultural confluence.

John Mleziva – founder of State Line Distillery – brings a Scottish bend to his distilling practices. His creator’s education started with his grandfather’s home brewing lessons and culminated with a Master of Science in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. He uses that specialized education to transform local ingredients into masterful spirits distilled in house.

Funk Factory brings Belgium beer into the fold by brewing big lambic flavors their unique Méthode Traditionnelle style. The intimate creation – spontaneously fermented with ambient wild yeast and bacteria – yields a distinct combination. Try the Four Winters – a traditional brew that takes 2-4 years to reach a sophisticated, yet comforting, flavor. It’s a favorite of Head of Operations Andrew Holzhauer.

International Inspiration


Good drinks and good deeds should go hand in hand. Tim “Pio” Piotrowski founded Delta Beer Lab with those values in mind. On top of creating a variety of craft beers in house, Delta carries compassion throughout their business. Employees are paid a livable wage, and all tips are donated to a rotating charity of the month.