Dining and Drink

28 Great Taste Eve events and pre-parties this Friday

Tap takeovers and beer releases abound on Aug. 9

Did you secure tickets to the sold-out Great Taste of the Midwest? The annual beer tasting event hosted by the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild takes place at Olin Park on Saturday, Aug. 10 this year. More than 190 breweries and brewpubs serve about 1,400 different beers at the event, which is the second longest-running craft beer festival in North America.

Great Taste is so anticipated by Midwestern pint raisers that pre-parties pop up all over the city the day before the big event. Dozens of Madison taps are being taken over by brewers who come into town ahead of the Saturday event. Here are a few pre-parties you might want to check out on Friday — especially if you missed out on Great Taste tickets but still want to join in on the beer-loving fun.

Friday, Aug. 9
Café Hollander is hosting a Great Taste of the Midwest Pre Party with Toppling Goliath the Friday before the big event. Hollander teams up with the Iowa brewery to release "brand new, specialty, rare and hard-to-find beers." Twelve beers will be tapped throughout the day at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., so get your drinking pants on early. The final release of the day at 3 p.m. is Mornin' Delight, an imperial stout that's basically breakfast in a glass. The line in past years at Great Taste for a sampling of the bacon, coffee and syrup-flavored beer has been one of the longest — until it runs out, that is. It will surely run out at this pre-party. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Click here for more information

Consider this a pre-pre-party. Before Funk Factory Geuzeria gets its Great Taste Pre-Party started, it's hosting two beer releases on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. One release is for a barrel-aged chocolate vanilla maple imperial stout that many beer lovers can't wait to get their hands on. The collab beer between Untitled Art and Florida's Angry Chair Brewing will be avaliable for $20 in bottles (no limit!) on a first come, first served basis at the BA Chocolate Vanilla Maple Imperial Stout release. The other is the GTMW Bottle Release, which is for Funk Factory's All Black Everything ($25, one bottle per person, cash only) and Boysenberry Meerts ($15, two bottles per person, cash only). Noon-3 p.m. 

Funk Factory hosted a giant pre-party last year before Great Taste, but this year is expected to be even bigger. Stop out to the south-side brewery for exciting beer pours, food trucks, live music, a raffle and a few other suprises at the Great Taste Pre-Party 2019. Just a few of the breweries featured at this pre-party include Mikerphone Brewing, Perennial Arisan Ales, Eagle Park Brewing Co., Voodoo Brewery and Forager Brewery. 3-9 p.m. Click here for more information

Join the revolution, er, Revolution Brewing at the Great Taste Eve Block Party hosted by Essen Haus, Come Back In Bar and Restaurant and Up North Bar this Friday. These three bars take the party indoors and outdoors with featured Revolution beers including Anti-Hero, Sun Crusher and Oktoberfest, plus samples of the Chicago brewery's Straight Jacket, a barrel-aged barley wine and Deth by Currants, a barrel-aged Russian imperial stout. Also enjoy the Bolzen Beer Band, a pumk polka group that will be providing live tunes. 5-8 p.m. Click here for more information

The Great Taste Eve with Indeed pre-party at Dexter's Pub should be a great time, indeed. Dexter's is hosting its friends from Minneapolis's Indeed Brewing Co. the Friday before the big event, and the tap list is long. Try the Mexican Honey Lager, Lucy Kettle Sour, Whiskey Queen BA Stout, Old Breed BA Barleywine and many more. Dexter's Pub is also offering a shuttle the day of the Great Taste on Saturday (pick ups start at noon, drop offs go until 7 p.m.), plus a breakfast buffet starting at 10 a.m. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon, sausage and roasted potatoes. (Getting something in your stomach before a beer tasting event is a very good idea.) 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Click here for more information about the pre-party

The only time it's OK to have Illinoisans take over our Wisconsin bars is when they bring their own beer. That's the case at BarleyPop Live's Great Taste Pre-Party: Illinois Invasion, featuring Revolution Brewing Co., Hailstorm Brewing Co. and Off Color Brewing. The lineup is deep, including Revolution's Vanilla Deth, Off Color's The One Percent bourbon cherry gose aged on cherries and Hailstorm's barrel-aged Vlad the Impaler imperial stout variants. 2 p.m.-midnight Click here for more information

Mint Mark's beer lines are being taken over by Haciendo Beer Co. and Door County Brewing Co. this Friday for the Hacienda and Door County Brewing at Mint Mark event. This Great Taste precursor features Door County-brewed beers including It Just Does Weird Things (IPA with mosiac, el dorado adn citra hops), How Dare You Speak to Me (IPA with mosiac and simcoe cryo hops) and There Is No Other Way (gin barrel aged saison). 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Click here for more information

All of the special beer pours will start at 11 a.m. at Longtable Beer Cafe's Pre-Great Taste Party with Good City and Perennial Artisan Ales. Folks from Milwaukee's Good City Brewing and Missouri's Perennial Arisan Ales will be in and out of the beer cafe, so stop by to say hi. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Click here for more information

It's an Ohio invasion as three Cincinnati breweries take over the tap list at BarleyPop Tap and Shop's Great Taste Pre-Party: Best of Cincinnati event. Listermann Brewing Co., Urban Artifact and Rhinegeist Brewery beers will be flowing from BarleyPop's taps. 2-11 p.m. Click here for more information

Great Taste Eve Guest Tap Takeover! at Capital Brewery in Middleton features live music by Rare Element from 6-10 p.m., a Friday fish fry by TnT's Catering & Event Services and a one-night-only tap lineup that includes beers from August Schell Brewing Co., Short's Brewing Co. and Hoppin Frog Brewery. 6-10 p.m. Click here for more information

Lucille is preparing for its largest pre-Great Taste event ever with Central Command 4.0, which will feature 26 beers from Central Waters Brewing Co., including five new releases and a few rare offerings. Limited kegs will be tapped ever hour starting at 10 a.m. leading up to the releases of Central Waters' Maple Barrel Stout, XXI and Black Gold. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Click here for more information

Octopi Brewing is keeping its doors open longer than usual to keep the party going for its Great Taste of the Midwest Pre-Party. Octopi will release a triple dry-hoppped hazy IPA collaboration beer with Destihl Brewery along with Octopi's flagship IPA, Hoprocket IPA. Friday, 1-10 p.m. and Saturday noon-10 p.m. Click here for more information

For the fifth straight year, Brasserie V is hosting Perennial Artisan Ales for a Pre-Great Taste Bash w/ Perennial Artisan Ales. Get ready for a bunch of beers on tap from the St. Louis, Missouri, brewery, as well as a few crossover taps from Milwuakee's Good City Brewing, which are also on offer that night at Brasserie V's sister restaurant, Longtable Beer Cafe in Middleton. 4-11 p.m. Click here for more information

A little light-hearted competition never hurt anyone. Head to 107 State (formerly Wisocnsin Brewing Tap Haus and Freiburg Tap Haus) as MobCraft Beer and Vintage Brewing Co. Sauk Prairie beers go head to head to win the first-ever "Beer is Good" trophy. This MobCraft and Vintage at 107 State pre-party will prep your tastebuds to be as discerning as possible before they sample many more beers the next day. 4-11:30 p.m. Click here for more information

Raise a pint of Potosi at Graze this Friday while you map your plan of attack for which beer tents to hit at Great Taste. At Potosi Great Taste Party at Graze, sip on Wisconsin-brewed beer and feel good about it, as Potosi Brewing Co. is an all-profits-to-charity brewery. 2-11:30 p.m. Click here for more information

Not much pairs better with beer than pizza does. Head to Glass Nickel Pizza's east-side location for a Great Taste pre-party, Epic Brewing at Glass Nickel Pizza. Beers from Epic Brewing Co. out of Dever, Colorado, will be on offer, including Big Bad Baptist imperial stout and other rare varieties. 5-11:30 p.m. Click here for more information

Hang out around the Square this Friday and stop in at The Coopers Tavern for the Great Taste Pre-Party with Untitled Art + Drekker Brewing. Try some of Untitled's most interesting brews, including pudding stout, choclate macaroon imperial stout, barrel-aged hazelnut imperial stout, brut rose and triple dry IIPA. Drekker's Brain Squeeze (a fruit smoothie sour with mango and guava) and Slang De Jour (a wild ale) will also be on tap. 5-11 p.m. Click here for more information

Capitol Square's Field Table recently reopend as Merci bar, bistro and lounge, a new French-inspired spot, and the eatery welcomes an Indiana Brewery into its space for the Upland Brewing Pre-Great Taste Party at Merci. Starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, stop in for ales, beer flights or even a glass of wine — this might be the best pre-party to hit up if you have some wine lovers in the group. The party doesn't stop on Friday, though. Merci is offering brunchy beer cocktails before and after the Taste, with brunch service going from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday. 3-11:45 p.m. Click here for more information

Jump around the day before the Taste at one of Madison's iconic sports bars, Jordan's Big 10 Pub. Jordan's is hosting a O'so Brewing Company Pre-Great Taste Party featuring several new beers and a Friday night fish fry. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Click here for more information

Check out 10 featured taps at Atwood Avenue's Alchemy this Friday at the Pre-Great Taste Party: New Holland Tap Takeover. There are specials on flights of the Michigan brewery's Dragon's Milk variants, plus Holland spirits cocktail specials and dinner specials paired with the Holland beers on tap. 11:30 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Click here for more information

Out-of-towners might flock to State Street Brats this Friday to get a taste of the beer that only distributes here — New Glarus Brewing Co. Attend the Great Taste of the Midwest Pre-Party! and recieve a 16-ounce New Glarus Brewing Co. mason jar with every New Glarus beer purchase. This party also acts as a kickoff for Staghorn, New Glarus's seasonal Octoberfest beer. Noon-midnight Click here for more information

Order a beer from a visiting Stillwater, Minnesota, brewery while you play pinball at the Lift Bridge Brewing at I/O Arcade Bar event. There will be prizes, competitions and lots of Lift Bridge beer on tap at this Friday event on Williamson Street. 2-11:30 p.m. Click here for more information

Get your paws on a Wisconsin brew at Bear & Bottle's Wisconsin Brewing at Bear and Bottle party this Friday. Wisconsin Brewing Co. beers will be on tap at this North Sherman Avenue bar and eatery. 4:30-11:30 p.m. Click here for more information

Pair your Plaza Burger with a Rhinegeist Brewery beer sample at the Midwest Pre-Fest at the Plaza Tavern this Friday. Six beers from the Cincinnati, Ohio, brewery will be on offer. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Click here for more information

Stop by Mr. Brews Taphouse in Waunakee for a chance to meet the brewers from Bent Paddle Brewery, lcoated in Duluth, Minnesota. Great Taste Eve Pre- Party with Bent Paddle Brewery will feature a tap takeover, a Mario Kart tournament and tons of swag items. 7-11 p.m. Click here for more information

Great Taste of the Midwest Pre-Party! at Off Broadway Drafthouse will feature Raised Grain Brewing Co. on tap. Try a few of the Waukesha brewery's beers, including Naked Threesome, Paradocs Red Imperial IPA, Take'er Easy Pale Ale, Cranberry Rose and Black Walnut Belgian Imperial Stout. 4-8 p.m. Click here for more information

Check out some of O'so Brewing - Madhouse's sour beers plus a beer collab with Hidden Cave Cidery, which is Old Sugar Distillery's in-house cider operation founded and operated by award-winning cider maker Walker Fanning. At the Great Taste Weekend Celebration at O'so Brewing - Madhouse, you can also buy any 750-ml sour and recieve a Galaxy Drip-Hoppe Project Lo beer for free all weekend long. noon-5 p.m. Click here for more information

Odd Side Ales out of Grand Haven, Michigan, is shipping 20 barrels to Growlers to Go-Go for the Great Taste Pre-Party with Oddside!, which is a weeklong event from Aug. 5-9. Prime your palate ahead of the Great Taste by trying some of Odd Sides beers, including Peanut Butter Cup, Foster the Banana, Dirty Dank Juice and Hipster Brunch. Aug. 5-9, noon-9 p.m. Click here for more information


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