*This is the fortieth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Parched Eagle Brewpub
5440 Willow Rd #112
Westport, WI 53597
Visit date: 12/12/15
1) How many different beers?
6 on tap, ~18 total styles.
2) How long operational?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Longtime homebrewers, members of local community.
Growlers to go, expanding to bars & restaurants soon.
5) What sets you apart?
“We brew a wide variety of classic styles with unique touches.”
6) How did you get your name?
“Eagles are a great conservation success story in Wisconsin, and the locals seemed parched and thirsty for our beer.”
I had been following the arrival of Parched Eagle Brewpub as they searched around the Madison area for the right perch to settle on.They opened shop in Westport on the north end of Lake Mendota in an unassuming little strip mall in May 2015.
Co-owner and brewmaster, Jim, didn’t have to step out from behind the bar to give us the whole tour: 1-barrel nano system to the left, bar-seating in the center, and larger lounge/stage area to the right. The whole setup seems to be like a neighbor’s garage hangout, which Jim mentioned is fitting with the supportive small-town community they’ve become part of.
Jim is a self-described “beer omnivore,” and noted that their use of “top of the line ingredients” regardless of style helps keep his range of tastes grounded in quality. We sampled all 6 of their own brews (while playing a rousing game of Euchre).
Hop-Bearer American IPA
Solid IPA, flowery after-nose.
Crane Ale APA
Maltier IPA, full-bodied.
Verily Belgian Trappist Dubbel
Well-executed, perfect to style.
Decemberfest Munich Dunkel
Good dunkel-taste, easy to drink.
Janethan Robust Porter
Roasty & nutty nose.
Chachalaca American Stout
Slightly-sour and fruity.
I was impressed that each beer was well put-together and fully-flushed; while the setting appeared brand new, each beer was full-flavored and ready for prime time consumption. They also offer a small selection of finger-food platters and pizzas, 2 of which we had and greatly enjoyed. Jim told said the food is meant to be more a complement to the beer than a draw in itself, but it was a welcome addition to the experience.
Parched Eagle Brewpub is new to the brewery scene around Madison, but their beer quality is ready to compete with the best of them. Whether Jim’s comment about forthcoming expansion happens soon or not, you can bet little Parched Eagle won’t stay solely in Westport much longer.