Best Craft Beer Spots in Madison During the CrossFit Games
Being a CrossFit Games spectator is not for the faint of heart; four action-packed days of shopping for gym gear, making new fit friends, sneaking in a workout and making the coliseum buzz with cheers — phew!
While you might not be one of the fittest men or women on earth duking it out all weekend, your hard work still deserves a cold one. After all, what’s a competition without a celebratory beverage? We’ve got you covered: Here are the five places to grab craft beer in Madison.
1. Delta Beer Lab
Now this is a libation you can feel good about! This “Social Laboratory and taproom” as they call it, conveniently located 1-mile from Alliant Energy Center, is welcoming and inclusive to say the least. Their website states: “We strive to expand community through quality, local craft beer without barriers to gender, race, or sexual orientation.” Employees are paid a living wage plus revenue sharing, and all tips are donated to the monthly non-profit partner.
In addition to the 10+ craft beers on tap, you can also indulge in house-made pizza or B.Y.O.F (bring your own food) to the patio, all while supporting the environment. Delta Beer Lab is a member of 1% for the Planet, which means 1% of total revenue goes to environmental organizations focused on climate change issues. Salud to that!
Address: 167 E Badger Rd, Madison WI 53713
2. Young Blood Beer Co.
Open later than most (until 10pm Monday-Thursday and midnight on Friday/Saturday), it’s the perfect gathering spot for those late competition events. Located just a block away from the iconic capitol building, the menu also boasts tasty looking street food, snacks and sweets to pair with your drink.
Address: 112 King St, Madison, WI 53703
3. Capital Brewery
With Madison’s average outdoor temperature of 78°F – 82°F this time of year and a beer garden that holds 700 people — we’ll grab a seat on the patio, please! The Fittest on Earth aren’t the only ones going home with gold, the brewery has won over 240 medals since being established in 1984.
“Our 7-time platinum award winning Blonde Doppelbock is not to be missed,” Scott Wiener, Capital Brewery President and Chairman said.
Address: 7734 Terrace Ave, Middleton, WI 53562
4. The Malt House
Don’t let the indistinct building fool you; dim lighting, soft music and a little something for everyone makes this the perfect spot to relax after an energetic day. Self-proclaimed as “Madison’s craft beer oasis”, 18 rotating craft and import draft beers, 100+ bottled beers, 70+ premium whiskies and a full bar is sure to please even the pickiest in your group. Plus, the old-timey, civil-war era vibe and tv-free experience is a unique break from the norm!
Address: 2609 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53704
5. Great Dane Pub and Brewing
Serving up tasty drinks and hand-crafted food for over 25 years, Great Dane (named after Dane County) was Madison’s first brew pub, founded by two college friends who wanted to create a space to bring people together. To get the full experience, pair one of their many available beers on tap with locally-famous cheese curds.
- Funk Factory Geuzeria
- Ale Asylum
- Working Draft Beer Company
- Garth’s Beer Bar
- Vintage Brewing Co.
It wasn’t easy narrowing down this list given the variety of options in the city, and Wiener says it’s for good reason: “Our aquifers provide abundant clean water with a high mineral content. We are close to one of the largest and oldest malt producers in America (Briess Malting), and the climate is perfect for growing hops.”
Not drinking right now? Don’t be afraid to ask your bartender for their favorite mocktail option; in our experience, there’s always something tasty and refreshing available that’s aligned with your goals. Athletic Brewing is a solid NA (non-alcoholic) beer option, and you can find it in Madison at Vintage Spirits and Grill, The Madison Lounge and Graft, to name a few.
Note that few establishments accept reservations so if you’re with a big group, consider calling ahead. However, most breweries offer to-go cans and orders, so snagging some packs for the road can be a great option if you’re at an Airbnb or hanging out at the hotel.
- And, for our night-owls, note that per Wisconsin state law, beer is only available for take-out purchases until midnight (liquor and wine until 9pm).
Forward this article to your travel buddies and get excited, it’s almost game(s) time. Cheers! 🍻