In honor of Madison's often cantankerous mayor, a Downtown french fry restaurant is offering a beer from Surly Brewing Co. called CynicAle. And they've named it "Paul."
"It's me being as cheeky as I think I can be," said Taylor Beebe, 23, the owner of Mad City Frites, 320 State St.
The Belgian-style pale ale named after Mayor Paul Soglin is selling really well, she said.
Beebe launched her beer menu nearly two weeks ago, after the Madison City Council overrode a mayoral veto by a 19-1 vote and granted the fry shop a beer license.
Soglin opposed the license for Mad City Frites even more strongly than he railed against an alcohol license for the 130-tap HopCat earlier this year, arguing the city should prevent new alcohol licenses for State Street in favor of preserving more retail establishments.
Speaking against Mad City Frites' beer license, Soglin said, "People are not coming downtown because as you take the walk down State Street, like missing teeth, all of those stores that have licenses are gaps, further deteriorating the future viability of the existing retail."
Mad City Frites now has seven craft beers that will rotate monthly. All have human first names and descriptions. For instance, a West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing goes by "Tanner, the cool, surfer guy."
The CynicAle from Minneapolis' Surly Brewing Co., "Paul," is described on the menu as "bitter, reminds you of the good ol’ times."
Beebe also offers some domestic beers like Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller Lite, but might eliminate them because they're not selling.
"By no means are we turning into a bar," she said, noting that she only sells a few beers a day, and a little more on Badgers football Saturdays.
Her license restricts her from selling beer after 11 p.m., but so far beer sales have helped her business, she said, because beer pairs well with her Belgian-style frites.
"All is good," Beebe said.