Last night I started my Madison Craft Beer week journey trying some Belgian Beer. But that wasn’t enough. I wasn’t quite satisfied yet, so I looked at the schedule for the week and saw that Karben4, a new brewery in Madison that was recommended to me by a college friend had a bunch of beers on draft at Dexter’s Pub. This place was a nice little bar complete with friendly wait staff, volleyball, cheap food prices, and a punch card for frequent pitcher purchasers.
The place was filled with some real excited hipster beer enthusiasts, and a few folks who had just finished volleyball. I hadn’t heard about Karben4 before last week – but I’ve read good reviews, so I was excited.
The first one I tried was their Undercover Session Ale. This was a gem. It was light, crisp, & great for summer, but has enough complexities in the taste to satisfy a craft beer lover. This is one I appreciated because I expected it to be totally generic based on how it looked, but it was sweet with a hoppy edge to make for a subtle, but really pretty creative flavor. You can also toss one of these at your Miller Light friends, and they just might like it and start getting their life back on track. Moral of the story: don’t judge a book by it’s cover – just because you can see through it, doesn’t mean it’s terrible.
Next – because I’d been missing them all night, I tried SamuRye Pale Ale. This was a little heavy for the flavor, and I wouldn’t recommend having it with your food – especially if you’re eating carbs. I will say the flavor is nice – citrus hops and ryes are a good pair that these guys put together really well. I would really recommend this highly for someone who is starting to like pale ales and is a wannabe imperial IPA drinker. My taste buds wanted more hops – but I also wouldn’t run around giving it to my non beer loving pals.
This is about the time we started getting a little hungry and naturally ordered a soft pretzel and asked the bartender to give us his favorite mustard with it. It was a really good balance of tangy and spicy – and wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. The pretzel was also nice, chewy & warm. This one seriously hit the spot.
We had the chance to grab one more before we went – it was the Block Party Amber Ale. This one was popular in pitchers with the folks around us coming in from playing volleyball – and I found out why. The Amber Ale was full flavored milky, caramelly, hoppy goodness. Words of warning – drink this one slowly, and don’t give in to peer pressure and chug it, ever. You’ll want to enjoy the flavor, and let it settle in your stomach before you give it too much love.
I wish I had the time to try more – but overall if these guys know how to do anything, they can balance a lot of ingredients in their beer to make a solid flavor whether it’s strong or subtle – their beer is artistic, and I’m excited to try more of it.
More Information on the place & the beer:
Karben4’s Beer: http://karben4.com/beers/
Karben4 on Twitter: @Karben4
Dexter’s Pub: http://www.dexterspubmadison.com/
Dexter’s Pub on Twitter: @DextersMadison
Fun Things to Google before you go (to either or both places):
How to dress like a hipster
Carbon Four Bonds