SILVER: Hopalicious (Ale Asylum) | A rush of luscious citrus aromas floods the nostrils. Lips meet the glass and pure hop flavors layered with citrus overtake the mouth. Another sip and yet no bitterness lingers. This is how Otto Dilba, co-founder of Ale Asylum Brewery, describes the first sip of a Hopalicious, but he won’t tell you that. "We want people to experience Ale Asylum for themselves,” he says. “We try never to tell people what they should think.” Well, the people have spoken, and they’ve voted Hopalicious silver for best craft brew. Even before this American Pale Ale hit the shelves, brewmaster Dean Coffey knew he he had something special. Now it’s the craft brewery’s flagship beer, making up sixty percent of Ale Asylum’s beer sales. It is clear this beer has a permanent spot on taps around Wisconsin. Hopalicious is the beer that Ale Asylum wants to be interesting for the connoisseur and easy for the novice. “We’ve got beers that are real heavy, bitter bombs, but Hopalicious is not meant to be that beer,” Dilba says. When is Hopalicious at its best? The moment you finish it and still crave another.
BRONZE: Warped Speed Scotch Ale (Lake Louie)
To see the full list of the Food & Drink winners, click here.
ARTS & CULTURE
GOLD: American Players Theatre
SILVER: Madison Symphony Orchestra | Navigating the rocky waters between the sophisticated, educated listener and the average symphony-goer is a familiar job for John DeMain. Going into his 20th season as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, DeMain always strives to find a balance between the “war-horses” pieces and “the curiosities.” “I try to come up with an overview when I build a season,” DeMain says. “We’ll have a couple pieces that I think will push the audience. But I also make sure there is a good dose of your favorites symphonies.” Listen to the full audio interview, and hear excerpts of DeMain’s favorites from the 2011-2012 season online.
BRONZE: Children’s Theater of Madison
Art Gallery or Museum
GOLD: Chazen Museum of Art
SILVER: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
BRONZE: Overture Galleries
Live Music Venue
GOLD: High Noon Saloon
SILVER: Overture Center
BRONZE: Barrymore Theatre
To see the full list of Arts & Cultures winners, click here.
SHOPS & SERVICES
GOLD: Dragonfly Hot Yoga
SILVER: Inner Fire Yoga | As the students for a lunchtime “Core Fire” class trickle through the lobby, Karen Erstad, program manager and instructor at Inner Fire Yoga, sits behind a desk and greeted each by name. It’s a warm space—and not just because the rooms crank up to 105 degrees for some hot classes. Pumpkin orange and sunflower walls, painted with words like joy and awaken, create a mood of rejuvenation and peace. “Our MO is if you’re going to come here, you’re going to have a workout,” says owner Marit Sathrum. “But it’s also more because the students learn the surrender part of it—the stillness.”
BRONZE: Kneaded Relief Day Spa
>>Martial Arts Studio
GOLD: Villari’s Martial Arts Center | It’s Saturday morning and Villari’s Martial Arts Center on State Street is full of four- to nine-year-olds held at attention—giggling intermittently. The instructors file in for their class and the mood is friendly, educational and most of all respectful. Material distractions are not welcome in the studio—the color of the belt is the only distinguishing factor between students here.
SILVER: Badgerland Jiu-jitsu
BRONZE: Infinity Martial Arts
>>Bed & Breakfast
GOLD: Mansion Hill Inn | Summer is prime-time at the Mansion Hill Inn. Guest flock from all over the Midwest for a unique getaway in one of ten rooms at this downtown bed and breakfast. By day, guests can traverse the Mansion Hill area on retro Trek bikes. “It’s a really great spot if you’re into cycling,” says general manager Margaux Stutz. By night, the smell of freshly baked cookies permeates the air on the porches while guests sip nightcaps.
SILVER: Arbor House
BRONZE: Speckled Hen Inn
>>Pet Day Care, Boarding & Pamperer
GOLD: Camp K9