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     Regional Brewery Reviews

Regional Brewery Details

Production: 17,000 bbl/year
Distribution: 4-6 States
Brewmaster: Kirby Nelson
Tasting Room: Yes
Beer Garden: Yes
Tours: Sat
Restaurant: Yes
No Smoking
Games: None

Capital Brewery

7734 Terrace Avenue
Middleton, Wisconsin  53562
(608) 836-7100

Reviewed by: dfunk
Saturday, January 12th, 2002

The Beer

Special Pilsner - Initial light taste, slight malt burst, then quick hops which slowly dissipate in the finish. Definitely a Pils. One of the better lighter beers around.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Capital 1900 - This recipe was taken from around the turn of the century, hence its name. The 2/3 traditional malt, 1/3 corn malt adjunct gives it a smooth, balanced flavor, almost powdery, and an understated.bitterness with a slightly grainy finish. It's like an American beerwith a bit more malt. Dan's favorite in bottles.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Bavarian Lager, Kloster Weizen - Unavailable on tap.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Wisconsin Amber - The Wisconsin Amber is Capital's flagship brew in terms of popularity and recognition. It's easy to see why, as the Amber is ultra-smooth. The taste starts light and becomes fuller as you drink. Al sensed cereal in the aroma and honey in the flavor. Quite simply, it's a good quality session beer.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Brown Ale - The only Ale on tap this day, the Brown features crystal malt/English hops and a black malt powder. Al detected a floral aroma, a toasted nutty flavor that seemed a little astringent over time, with a powdery/chalky, yet creamy aftertaste. Dan thought the malt tasted like that of a brown porter, with plenty of nut flavor, but with an overall mildness that makes it highly drinkable.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Dark - Brewed as a Dunkel, this dark lager was again much milder than most of that style. A typical mild malt flavor followed by a typically short and mild bitterness in the aftertaste. Somewhat creamy and very drinkable.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Maibock, Fest - Unavailable.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Oktoberfest - (Bottle) A good, solid Oktoberfest; better than most.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Winter Skal - Even-flavored with medium creaminess, spice, and hops. A bittersweet satiating fullness makes this a mid-level entry in the winter beer category. Roger, Beer and Poetry Site Administrator, is a huge proponent of the Skal. “It's my favorite Winter beer. I wouldn't drink it in the summer, but I love it.” Taste is subjective; Dan prefers Summit Winter, and Roger prefers Capital among the Midwest regionals.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Blonde Doppelbock, Dark Doppelbock, Wild Rice - Unavailable.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Weizen Doppelbock - A bold aroma of alcohol and bananas. Tasted like a wheat with the body of a robust porter/imperial stout. Wheat and orange in flavor, an idea might be to serve this with an orange slice. A nice warming feeling.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Autumnal Fire - (Bottle) This doppelbock/oktoberfest-style beer is a seasonal favorite. The Fire comes from the sunset-like hue when held up to light. Serve this warmer and enjoy the complex malt and spiciness.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Discussion with Kirby Nelson

Kirby Nelson is the Brewmaster. We were fortunate enough to spend the afternoon with Brewer Pat Wilke, which included a tour of the facilities. Being a regional and not a brewpub, Capital's goal is to be a traditional German-style brewery, which means lagers instead of ales. However, “We may do some ales soon.” They are going for “a more balanced approach, maybe tending more towards the malt than hops.” BTI rated Capital the #1 brewery in America in 1998, and 7th in the world. Pat was very honest and informative, and he even walked home to get us a few bottles that were not currently available. Gotta love Pat.

Afterthoughts

This is the regional kept on hand most by the staff. It's not necessarily for one particular beer, but for the overall quality they all share. All are drinkable, too, especially the Amber and Brown. For what it's worth, Roger served Capital 1900 on tap at his wedding reception last year. That's a darn good endorsement, since hopefully it's a once in a lifetime occasion.

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