Shortly after returning from our Europe trip this summer, we received an Instagram message from the official Wisconsin Dells account.
We really enjoy your Instagram content and love that you love beer! Did you know Wisconsin Dells devotes an entire weekend to craft beer? We’d love for you to join us (and almost 60 craft brewers) at Dells on Tap in Wisconsin…for one of the Midwest’s best microbrew fests.” – @waterparkcapital
We didn’t need much more convincing! Katie had never been to the Dells before, and it had been some time since we’d last been to a beer fest. With some additional perks thrown in, it was an easy yes for us!
That was back in August. Fast forward two months…
…and we’ve just gotten back from Wisconsin and an awesome Dells on Tap event! As promised, over 60 breweries and cideries showed up to the Waterpark Capital of the world, including some of the best of Wisconsin and the Midwest. We were thrilled to see some Minnesota breweries there (shout out Fulton, Fairstate, Summit and Surly!), popular Midwest breweries (Founders, Bell’s, Goose Island, and 3 Floyds), and some Wisconsin breweries we’ve been following on social media but hadn’t yet tried (Octopi and Oliphant).
Whether you’re an avid festival-goer or just a beginner, Dells on Tap is perfect for just about everyone — a great selection of distinguished craft breweries will draw a crowd but the event is also small enough in size to not be overwhelming. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a weekend in the Wisconsin Dells!
Needless to say, there was no shortage of great beer at Dells on Tap, but as any good beer blogger does, we’ve narrowed down our Top 5 favorites:
1. Honees Honees Peanut Butter and Honey Golden Ale — Oliphant Brewing
HOLY SMOKES this beer was delicious! We’re a sucker for anything peanut butter, but most of the beers we’ve had have been dark and heavy, usually porters or stouts. This golden ale by Oliphant Brewing in Somerset, WI was lighter both visibly and on the tongue, it’s honey and peanut butter notes both detectable, making the name true to taste and deceptively sessionable. Not only was this our favorite beer at Dells on Tap, it was so good we made a detour through Somerset on our way home to stop by the taproom, try a full flight of beers and grab a four-pack of Honees Honees to take home with us!
2. Horchata Stout — Untitled Art Brewing, Madison, WI
The only repeat brewery to make our Top 5 list, Untitled Art Brewing out of Madison is doing some fantastic stuff. Period. With no taproom of their own (yet), they brew and distribute out of the same space as Octopi Brewing and are — for now — focused on brewing, distributing and “letting their beer speak for itself.” And, boy, does it speak loud and clear! One of our two favorite Untitled Art beers is a horchata stout. Brewed in collaboration with Mikerphone Brewing out of Chicago, this 10% ABV imperial milk/sweet stout has a nice, creamy base with a spicy touch of cinnamon. After the initial kick to the mouth, you just want to keep sipping this one.
3. Pineapple Sherbet — Untitled Art Brewing, Madison, WI
Our second favorite Untitled Art beer — and another one of our Top 5 favorites of Dells on Tap — was a Pineapple Sherbet collaboration with Mikerphone Brewing. A 4.5% ABV Berliner Weisse brewed with pineapple and lactose, this one was bright, tasty and refreshing.
4. Apple Ale — Karben4 Brewing, Madison, WI
We visited Karben4’s taproom in Madison a few summers back and were humored by their quirkiness — from taproom to beer, everything was a sensory overload of scifi, fantasy and chemistry references we didn’t get. Ridiculousness aside, the beer was great, and their samples at Dells on Tap were no exception. We especially loved the Downton Appley — a 6.8% ABV seasonal apple ale that perfectly balanced the sweetness of an apple cider with the slight bitterness of hops. Crisp and refreshing, we very well could’ve spent the rest of the day sipping this tasty fall treat.
5. Cucumber Glitter — Red Eye Brewing Co., Wausau, WI
Earning double creative points from us is Red Eye Brewing’s Cucumber Glitter beer. For one, it was the only glitter beer that we saw at Dells on Tap. A subtle touch of glitter, it didn’t sparkle as much as some glitter beers we’ve seen; still, it was neat and super clever to include in their lineup. The clear cucumber flavor gave it a unique fresh taste unlike anything else we sampled, making it an easy Top 5 for Katie.
So there you have it — our Top 5 favorite beers at Dells on Tap 2018. Here’s the full list of breweries tried:
- 3 Floyds – Munster, IN
- City Lights Brewing – Milwaukee, WI
- Dead Bird Brewing – Madison, WI
- Founders – Michigan
- Karben4 – Madison, WI
- New Glarus Brewing – New Glarus, WI
- Next Door Brewing – Madison, WI
- Octopi Brewing – Madison, WI
- Oliphant Brewing – Somerset, WI
- One Barrel Brewing – Madison, WI
- O’so Brewing – Plover, WI
- Port Huron Brewing – Wisconsin Dells, WI
- Red Eye Brewing – Madison, WI
- Tangent – Madison, WI
- The Lone Girl Brewing – Madison, WI
- Untitled Art Brewing – Madison, WI
- Warpigs – Copenhagen, Denmark
See you at Dells on Tap next year?