*This is the seventy-third post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
House of Brews
4539 Helgesen Dr
Madison, WI 53718
Visit date: 09/24/16
*Note: we were not able to reach the owner by the time of this posting so the below is based on the bartender and Interwebz knowledge.*
1) How many different beers?
6 on tap, around 12 total.
2) How long operational?
Taproom opened in 2012.
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Member of the Madison Homebrewer’s And Taster’s Guild.
5) What sets you apart?
Started as a “CSB”: Community Supported Brewery & focus on contract brewing.
6) How did you get your name?
Let’s assume they love blues music.
A small taproom with big reach in the Wisconsin brewing industry hides down winding roads in an industrial park on the outskirts of Madison. House of Brews’ website bills itself as a “nano-brewery”, which may be accurate concerning the output of their own branded beers.
But behind the back taproom wall is House of Brews’ big money-maker: their contract-brewing business. In addition to their 5+ Wisconsin accounts they brew for, House of Brews has been an incubator for other big names in the local brewing scene, including Shark Tank darling and Milwaukee’s newest brewery, Mobcraft.
Back in their small retail space, we took the opportunity to indulge in some free popcorn and free samples of each beer on tap. Though they’re a rare brewery that doesn’t offer flights, these samples allowed us to figure out what we wanted before diving into a full pint.
Fruity, malty, fantastic. An all-day ale.
Prairie Rye Kölsch
Slight banana-nut lingers in the nose. Cloudy and heavier than expected.
A brusque, cloudy, almost spicy but light wheat.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Lots of bourbon, lots of delish.
Mausoleum Belgian Black IPA
Nutty, dark, super drinkable.
It only makes sense that House of Brews is so involved in helping the Wisconsin brewing scene expand: they started as one of the first “Community Supported Breweries”. A CSB is similar to a CSA, in that for a small investment you’ll get a regular share of the beer produced. It’s like a down payment on great local beer.
Though they may be flying under the radar a bit in the exploding Madison and Wisconsin brewing scene, House of Brews is pulling 10x their weight in supporting that boom through their contract business. But if you want to drink in the brewery-womb that’s given birth to so many other local mainstays, this little taproom is your destination.