Friday, July 19, 2013

Great Dane Eastside (Madison, WI)

Carpenter's Crop IPA at
Eastside Great Dane

After an epic three days in Chicago, I was happy to head home after a morning stop at Binny's in Schaumberg for liquid souvenirs, a bottle shop I've been buying from for years on the way home from Chicago or Purdue—never been disappointed. Can't even openly admit how much Al and I bought together, but the staff took notice. Check out Al's blog, as he's been review most every beer.

I've been to the Great Dane many times, but only the downtown location, never having a reason to stop at one of their more distant pubs.  We took the drive by opportunity to have a quick lunch and test one farther out: Eastside.

I put the address in my GPS while still on I-90.  Good thing, since, unknown to me, there's no exit from the freeway right at the Cottage Grove Rd.  The GPS took us off the freeway, seemingly, way early and gave us, necessarily, a tour of the Wisconsin countryside.  Not the easy-off, easy-on I had been planning, but it worked. In an earlier, pre-GPS world, it would have been more of a hassle.

To be expected, there's a much smaller selection of beers compared to the downtown location, but the quality was just as good from our two drafts.  The Carpenter's Crop IPA was better than reasonable and a shared glass of the Barley Wine Black was also very good.  For my meal, the appropriately lunch sized Wisconsin Cheddar Mac more than hit the spot, but I think I had had my expectations too high and it wasn't quite what I had hoped for.

To match up to the downtown Great Dane is a pretty high bar.  Eastside is too suburban and feels like a chain compared to the authentic grittiness of the downtown location. However, the quality of the smaller number of offered beers is the same, which fit our needs today. A worthy stop that was pretty much what I was hoping fora high quality, fast (relatively with the tour de cows) lunch stop while being able to move on down the highway.

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