You could call it Madison Craft Beer Week, part two!
The week leading up to the Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival August 9th is chock full of tasty beer offerings all over southern Wisconsin, with plenty of tap takeovers, beer pairings, and other events to get you psyched up for Saturday. Or more likely, allow you to get your fill of interesting new brews even if you couldn't score tickets to the sold-out event.
Isthmus put together an amazing and comprehensive list of events, which you can see here.
If you don't want to do all that scrolling, check out these highlights:
Sunday August 3rd Arts and Ales Festival at Hydro Street Brewing in Columbus. It's like a mini-Great Taste with beer from half a dozen area breweries, lives music and a homebrewers contest. Bonus: arts and crafts! (Vendors 9-4pm, beer and bands, 9am-9pm)
Wednesday August 6th Tap Takeover at Dexters. Try all kinds of varieties from Green Flash Brewing in San Diego and Oskar Blues (the brewery that brought you Dale's Pale Ale).
Thursday August 7th Beer sampling at Inn on the Park. Who knew this hotel on the square would get in in the Pre-Party beer action? Venture to Top of the Park for a tape takeover from St. Francis Brewery in the Milwaukee area. This brewery that names its beers after the seven deadly sins will have some special cask ales to try as well as a cucumber saison. Starts at 7pm.
Friday August 8th Brickhouse BBQ offers lots of choices in one place. How's this sound--25 different brews from Central Waters, ten from Shorts Brewery, and 12 from Hinterland. Starts at 5pm.
MOB the House Party. House of Brews on Helgesen Drive is having a big outdoor bash, with 20 or more different beers from House of Brews, Karben 4, Next Door, One Barrel and Vintage. Mobcraft, which crowdsources its beer ideas will be introducing another wild one--Rabbit's Bounty, which is made with carrots, walnuts, and brown sugar. Sounds interesting!
Remember, whether you're going to the Taste or not, sample responsibly! (Above photo taken by me at the Great Taste in 2012.)
Eric Clapton definitely has retirement in mind. He hinted to Rolling Stone recently that he may quit touring and recording, and only play for family and friends.
We can look forward to at least one more new Clapton record before he hangs up his Strat for good. Eric Clapton & Friends "The Breeze: A Tribute to JJ Cale" comes out next week, and is currently streaming for free in the iTunes store.
The album is a tribute to Cale, who died last year and was Clapton's close friend. Clapton had two pretty big hits with the Cale songs "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," so it will be interesting to hear what he does with other songs written by the blues songwriting master.
Collaboraters on the album include John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Mark Knopfler--each who certainly knows his way around a fretboard, so if nothing else this album is sure to have some crazy good guitar licks. Add to that JJ Cale's top notch songwriting, and this could wind up to be one of Clapton's best records in recent years. (Tom Petty and Willie Nelson also make appearances on the record).
The mayflies were out in full force over the past couple days. Now I've heard about these insects over the years, but have never experienced a mayfly swarm. I think I'm pretty happy about that.
Apparently the mayflies were so thick they showed up on National Weather Service radar! This fact intrigued me, so I thought I'd do a little investigating to learn more about these critters that show up in such massive hordes.
Lo and behold, I found this informative, and creepy, video on youtube.
That's a quote from blues guitar great Johnny Winter, who died on Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. He came to prominence in the late 1960's after he was featured in a story in Rolling Stone magazine, put out 20 albums and produced some others that were pretty amazing--three for Muddy Waters, and the hit song "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" for Rick Derringer.
I got a chance to see Johnny Winter twice--first at the Belleville Blues Festival, where I got to introduce his band (along with Triple M's Gabby Parsons), and again at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010. While he appeared to be quite frail on both those occasions, he could still play the hell out of the guitar.
Here he is at Crossroads, playing what might be the BEST version of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61."
There's something about the allure of Star Trek that made this song by Information Society extra special.
It went all the way to #9 on the charts in 1988 for the band based in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to wikipedia, the band got the permission to use samples from Star Trek in the song because one of the band's members was friends with Leonard Nimoy's son!
Pool party's are the best! ...Until someone decides to drive a vehicle in for a swim. Someone should have told her Jeeps don't make good pool toys, and aren't boyant. Check it out, it'll make you feel better about that time you walked out of the house with mismatched socks! ~ Stevi
Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out.
So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to...
A lot of people seemed to have fond memories of this questionable song from 1986. "Who's Johnny" was the first solo hit for the guy named El DeBarge, and it went to number 3 on the charts.
Some of you might remember it from the movie "Short...
The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much...
I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome."
The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt.
It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
Even Neil Diamond fans didn't seem to want to throw their support behind this one. "Yesterday's Songs" with its cheesy backup singers may be the most cliche song the guy does!
It made it up to #11 on the charts in 1981/82 and was #1 on the...
Benjamin Booker is a 25 year old New Orleans musician who's been getting some attention with his debut self-titled album.
He's been on David Letterman's show, toured with Jack White, and was reviewed in Rolling Stone.
Of the song...
Today is National Punctuation Day! It's a day to geek out about exclamation points, semi-colons, ampersands and commas.
It's also a day to go back into the Radio Way-Back Machine, and listen to this song by Dan Baird.
It was a minor hit in...