So last weekend during all the “sky is falling” weather reports … I bundled up and headed to Madison’s Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest.  At first I was like why is it called Isthmus and then I realized Madison sits on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona.  So there you go.

I have been to quite a few beer fests but I have to say this was the biggest one I had ever been to.   It had an amazing selection of beers and cheeses and they were all so good.  I have realized that my dislike of coffee is so strong that no matter how yummy a stout (and some porters) sound … I can still taste the coffee flavor and that ruins it for me.  I, of course love my banana beer and they had some fun variations of that and I also found a Mango IPA that was delish (not always a fan of IPA’s).  Beers are doing awesome things with berries these days and there were some lovely blueberry beers out there as well.  So as far as the quality of the beer at the festival goes, it was really top notch.  The same could be said for the cheese.  They had this amazing cheese table that we all walked around like a herd of sheep (I think I heard some baa-ing) … We sampled some phenomenal Wisconsin cheeses and then headed  back to the lighter beers to wash all that lactose down.

There were some dueling pianists playing the whole time and that was loads of fun, however the venue was this humongous hall that was really echo-y.  It was a little overwhelming to the senses.  Really bright, really loud and just full of people.  I have only ever been to outdoor beer fests and I realize being outdoors with a bunch of beer drinkers is a good thing.  Beer drinkers are loud.

So I am glad I went up to Madison for this fun festival and if you are a real beer connoisseur I highly recommend you hit it up one year, but I’m not sure I will go back next year.  Right now I have my eye on Suds and Snow up in Traverse City, MI.   That is a much more intimate beer fest and it’s in the most amazing (albeit chilly) setting.