Wisconsin Beer Heaven: The Old Fashioned in Madison

What is quintessentially Wisconsin when it comes to cuisine? Cheese? Beer? Brats? Chili made with spaghetti noodles underneath? There are so many funny things about Wisconsin that come out of our kitchens and that we can point at and say, Ha – that’s Wisconsin.

This fantastic restaurant, located right up on the Capitol Square (across from, you know, the Capitol?), has put together the best classic Badger State menu I’ve ever seen. The Supper Club lazy susan appetizer trays, summer sausage sandwich, Braunschweiger, brats, prime rib, Green Bay-style chili, a burger with a fried egg on top. Then you’ve got artisan cheese platters, pickled eggs and turkey gizzards. The dozens upon dozens of bottles of Korbel brandy are there for the classic Wisconsin cocktail: the brandy old fashioned, which they make a ton of.

But what gets The Old Fashioned onto this site is its beer menu. Over 150 Wisconsin beers in bottles, and 51 Wisconsin beers on tap! The draft list is impressive and changes frequently, bringing in barrels from places that don’t even typically distribute them as far as Madison. Wisconsin breweries number over 70 so it is not hard to rack up a wonderful variety of beer styles across the tap handles of The Old Fashioned’s two bars. There are typically a couple of bourbon-barrel-aged brews on the menu, and other special beers that the breweries don’t offer year round or in many places. There are a few retro taps — Blatz, Schlitz — but otherwise it’s total microbrewery heaven. Lagers and ales, stouts and porters to Kolsch and saison. All the pale ales you can stand, ambers, wheat beers, maybe a rye or two. There’s something for everyone and you can also get a row of tasters.

The only import on the list? Grain Belt. That’s Minnesota, fer cryin’ out loud.

Tip: Happy hour is 3-5pm and 10:30-midnight Mon-Thu when you can get two pints for the price of one. ($4 at the time of writing this) Plus the Beer of the Month is $2.50.

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About Kevin Revolinski

Kevin Revolinski is a beer-friendly travel writer and author of a number of travel books including a couple of brewery road-trip guidebooks. While traveling the world, he makes a point to seek out the local brewers and best beer bars. He has had a beer in at least 60 different countries. His home website is TheMadTravelerOnline.com. Google Plus