Madison On Tap: Beverage trail looks to fill up visitors’ cups

Destination Madison's new program provides mobile guide and incentives for exploring local breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Bottom-up view of four people holding beer in a "cheers".
Photo by Sharon Vanorny
State Line Distillery is Madison's first "grain-to-glass" distillery and one of the venues in the Madison On Tap Craft Beverage Trail.

Destination Madison launched Madison On Tap Craft Beverage Trail Oct. 20 to draw visitors to local breweries, cideries and distilleries. The program allows participants to sign up for a mobile guide, then earn prizes and discounts as they explore different venues.

“In Madison, it’s more than just the beverage — it’s the people behind the product and it’s the consumer,” says Ellie Westman Chin, president and CEO of Destination Madison.

With more than 30 participating venues in Dane County, Madison On Tap creates a large network of beverage businesses for participants to try. Visitors can participate in the beverage trail through October 2023.

According to Destination Madison, Madison On Tap showcases some of the most innovative and imaginative beverage businesses. Some of the participating venues include ALT Brew, which specializes in gluten-free beer, and Sunshine Brewing Co., which combines a taproom with a taqueria.

Another participating venue is Parched Eagle Brewery, which opened in 2015 and is one of the smallest breweries in Madison. Owner Jim Goronson describes his business as a nano brewery, which utilizes a two-barrel brewing system for compact spaces.

Goronson says this year’s Black Friday release — The Alferd is a black rye imperial saison — represents the Parched Eagle’s innovation.

Giant Jones Brewing Co. is an award-winning business on the beverage trail. The women-owned, organic-certified company opens the tasting room Wednesday through Saturday in the evenings. CEO and co-owner Erika Jones is excited to participate in the program.

“As a small craft brewery, we’re putting everything we have into making a delicious product that’s good for the community at large,” Jones says, “I think that’s something that customers are really yearning to connect with.”

Jones is eager to see how Madison on Tap will benefit both makers and customers. She says the features of the mobile pass make it a good way to plan out a pub crawl.

“We want you to visit us and our fellow craft beverage makers,” Jones says, “and this is a great way to start your journey!”

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Celia Hiorns is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.

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