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Hop Head Beer Tours

Hop Head Beer Tours has a 14 passenger bus for its tours in Madison and in June will begin offering tours in Milwaukee with a second bus.

Hasn't it been a pain arranging rides to -- but, really, home from -- all these Madison Craft Beer Week events?

Hop Head Beer Tours has got you covered tonight, with its small shuttle bus running between five Beer Week venues from Capitol Square to the East and North sides from 7 p.m. to midnight. Responsibility dictates that we lead off with events at these venues first, and keep in mind that many other venues are a short walk away from these spots.

Alchemy Cafe: A new bourbon barrel-aged beer, each one a gem, will be tapped each hour on the hour from 7-11 p.m.: Epic Big Bad Baptist, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Central Waters Peruvian Morning and Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. 1980 Atwood Ave., shuttle departs on the hour and half-hour. 

The Malt House: Upland Brewing, the true pride of Bloomington, Indiana, showcases its 9-year-old sour program with what The Malt House calls the largest collection of these beers ever assembled in Wisconsin. There's also six other Upland beers on tap. 2609 E. Washington Ave., shuttle leaves at :03 and :33. Bonus: Just a short walk away, Dexter's Pub, 301 North St., is pouring 24 taps (!) of Dogfish Head.

Drackenberg's Cigar Bar: There's not much info on this event, promising "hippy beer" from Green Flash of San Diego and Sand Creek of Black River Falls -- an odd couple if ever there was one. 605 N. Sherman Ave., shuttle leaves at :10 and :40.

The Cooper's Tavern: Tap takeover by Colorado's Left Hand Hand Brewing begins at 5 p.m. 20 W. Mifflin St., shuttle departs at :20 and :50.

Natt Spil: Karben4 and Next Door Brewing unveil their Beer Week collaboration, a ginger saison named Soleil, at 6 p.m. 211 King St., shuttle departs at :23 and :53. 

That's good stuff, but not all:

Belgian overload: The Flying Hound in Fitchburg has been featuring Belgian beers throughout Beer Week, but it goes whole hog tonight with all 22 taps pouring beer from some of the world's greatest breweries, including Val Dieu, Jacobins, De Proef, Petrus and Kasteel. Belgian food specials will accompany the liquid. 6317 McKee Road, 4 p.m.-midnight.

Pig and Sheeps: Gates and Brovi is offering flights of pork from Roller Coaster Farms of Darlington prepared three ways, each paired with a beer from Sheboygan's 3 Sheeps Brewing. 3502 Monroe St., 5-10 p.m.

Belgian throwdown: Two venues are hosting separate tastings pitting Belgian-style beers crafted in America against those from the home country. At Brasserie V, St. Louis’ Perennial Artisan Ales carries the flag for stateside brewers. The event is $25 (reserve a spot at 608-255-8500) for 12 short pours. It's from 6-8:30 p.m. at 1923 Monroe St. Over at The Mason Lounge, it’s a blind tasting where $12 gets you 3-ounce samples of eight beers. See if you can tell the American Belgian from the Belgian Belgian. 416 S. Park St., 5:30-8 p.m.

Founders vintages: A tap takeover featuring Michigan's Founders Brewing is intriguing enough, but this one brings cellared kegs of 2014 Kentucky Bourbon Stout, 2013 Imperial Stout, 2012 Backwoods Bastard barrel-aged scotch ale and Sweet Repute, a wheat wine brewed in 2013. 2916 Atwood Ave., 6-9:30 p.m.

"Life with Beer": Ignite Madison takes on our favorite liquid subject with 10 people who brew, serve, deliver, or just plain love beer telling their personal stories. The five-minute tales are told in Ignite's format of 20 PowerPoint-type slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Tickets are $9 in advance or $14 at the door. Proceeds from the event benefit the Wisconsin River Alliance. Held at the High Noon Saloon, 701 E. Washington Ave., 8-10 p.m.

There's much more going on; check out today's full schedule here. Some of the best events require a little planning; check out the Beer Baron's overview of Beer Week events here

Look for the Beer Baron's preview of the day's top Madison Craft Beer Week events each morning at during Beer Week, May 1-11. Contact Chris Drosner at or follow on Twitter @WSJbeerbaron.


Chris Drosner writes the Beer Baron column for the Wisconsin State Journal.