Madison Gets Another Brewery: One Barrel Nanobrewery

They aren’t kidding around with the name. Madison’s newest microbrewery is actually a nanobrewery, and as the name suggests, they brew one barrel at a time. (31 gallons, or two half barrels). Located right on historic Schenk’s Corners, this brings the Madison area total to nine breweries (if we include the Fitchburg Dane and Middleton’s Capital). Not bad at all, and there are more on the way, folks! (more on that later when it’s official!) Madison is solidly a beer destination.

Featuring the brewing skills of Peter Gentry, a second-generation resident of this east side Madison neighborhood, One Barrel Brewery finally opened its doors last Friday. I stopped in just a few minutes early for some photos. When I got there the street was empty. When they opened the door like 3 minutes later, FIFTY people had materialized out of nowhere and poured into the room to take their turns patiently at the bar. Madison really supports its local brewers.

One Barrel had three of their own beers on tap: Summer Ale, Commuter Kölsch, and #2 Strong Ale (which won a couple awards). Within fifteen minutes of opening, that crowd had doubled. I stopped in the next day to get some info for the eventual third edition of my book Wisconsin’s Best Beer Guide, and Tyler, the manager informed me they had sold out the Summer Ale and had been packed the whole evening.

The Strong Ale and Kölsch will be regular beers, and when they get up to speed One Barrel will have 6 more constantly changing brews on tap, plus a couple of other Wisconsin microbrews. There’s a bit of bar food here and some pizzas, but if you want to grab some Texas Tubb’s taco fare from next door, carry-ins are allowed. The new brewery officially becomes the closest brewery to my house. Although I may have to measure when Ale Asylum moves into their new facility. A nice toss up!

But this week I head east across the big lake to Michigan, where I am touring a boatload of breweries for another book: Michigan’s Best Beer Guide! Follow along here and/or on Facebook and Twitter…