So it's Thursday already but this is the first chance we've had to talk about how fun Madison was this year. Friday we got in and either we were early or the tents were way late, because they weren't even done setting the grounds up when we were ready to unload our equipment. The BBQ smelled great from the volunteers, and I haven't ever been able to have any of it, but it's a mighty fine looking smoker.
Friday nights are where the parties are before the fest and we had planned on hitting a number of them, so in-order to be successful we needed to lay down a solid base. Faithful readers of this blog know that we are BBQ fiends and if there is 'cue worth eating, we want to know about it. My wife went to UW-Madison for two years and we had eaten at Smoky John's a number of times. I hadn't been there for a while but I remembered it being good.
The pig even thinks they are good! I think my palate has changed because my brisket and ribs combo plate was a little disappointing. The brisket tasted a bit like roast beef, and the ribs fell apart too easily like they had been boiled ahead of time. In my book boiling ribs is basically heresy. They were decent but no way were they the best in the universe. The good part was that there was plenty to eat and being stuffed felt good. Matt and Jenni and I went over to a new beer bar called the Malt House.
Pretty cool place, with a good lineup of beers. We had a few, debated on checking out the place across the street....
and headed over to the Great Dane in Hilldale. At the Dane we met up with the crew from Surly and went to the new Alchemy pub which was formerly Wonder's Pub.
I don't know what it's like when it isn't packed to the gills with beer geeks, but I did see this in the bathroom.
DUDE NUGGERNAUT! Anyway, by that time of the night we were ready to get away from the beer crowd for a while and found an awesome dive bar near the capitol. We drank more, ate fried cheese, fried mushrooms, and more fried cheese before calling it a night.
The fest itself was great. Perfect weather, bigger layout, more tents, more beers, all around great. I didn't actually take photos during the fest but Izzy, aka brewvana blogger , aka J Wilson took some that include us.
Until next year!