*This is the fiftieth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Hop Haus Brewing Co.
231 S Main St
Verona, WI 53593
Visit date: 03/12/16
1) How many different beers?
11 on tap, around 20 total.
2) How long operational?
Opened June 2015.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Owner/brewer lives in Verona, part of the community.
3-barrel system, distributing to Madison bars.
5) What sets you apart?
“Communal idea”; local music, beer used in local foodtruck recipes. “Complex” beers.
6) How did you get your name?
“We like hop-forward beers.” ‘Haus’ is a nod to owner’s German heritage.
The main street through small-town Verona swells with activity with each passing year thanks to the growing number of young families moving to the area, in part because of nearby Epic Systems. It’s this vibrant “communal” feeling that in part brought owner Phil, who started homebrewing in Colorado, to this visible spot to start his own brewery.
Phil told me about his tap room at Hop Haus Brewing Company:
“It’s less of a bar, and more of a coffee shop feel.”
That’s absolutely the vibe you get when taking a seat: Hop Haus is a place to hang out with friends and catch up on the local happenings.
While talking with Phil and bartender Jamie, we were eager to dive into the 11 samples ($18), most of which were focused on heavy hops and/or Belgian influences.
Sweet Sunglasses Blonde Ale
Dry, light; almost cider-y.
Spandex Bandit Belgian Grand Cru
Flowery, heavy on the back of your tongue.
Lazy Sunday Belgian Strong Ale
That’s it to a T: a strong Belgian ale.
Peace Train Pale Ale
Plaid Panther Scotch Ale
Bold, boozy, warming.
Jean-Claude Van Dubbel Belgian Dubbel
Earthy, lingering; an attractive musk.
Wildcat Amber Ale
Standard Amber with notable hops.
Fat Eddie Milk Stout
A creamy mouthfeel with the Stout taste.
Magic Dragon Double IPA
Super Big Time IPA
Approachable; an all-night IPA.
Maneater Belgian Rye IPA
An audible “oh yes” escaped my lips when I drank this. A delicious mix of bold flavors.
Phil admits their small size limits their distribution, but he credits the “weird, complex” beers he produces to that smallness; the beer flavors are bigger and bolder than the tap room implies.
Besides, Hop Haus Brewing Company “want(s) people here”: enjoying the brews where they originated and adding to the community culture they’re fostering.