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Introducing Capital Brewery, Brewing Award Winning Beers in Middleton for 30 Years

By Allison Wilson

When it comes to local breweries in the Madison/Middleton area, Capital Brewery has become something of a hometown hero. Founded by a man named Ed Janus to brew traditional German style lager beer, Capital brewed its first batch in the spring of 1986. It was a Garten Brau Pilsner.

Today, offerings have expanded to include American style ales, barrel aged beers, IPAs and limited series brews. Popular sellers include the brewery's flagship Wisconsin Amber, Supper Club, Mutiny IPA and Island Wheat. Capital's large selection makes finding a favorite (or favorites) is pretty easy.

Known as "Middleton's Backyard," Capital's dog-and-family friendly Beer Garden is a big draw during the spring, summer and early fall, hosting free live music several days a week, community and private events, and more than 1,500 customers on most Fridays. Its indoor Bier Stube is open during the winter months, offering tours and availability for private events.

"Capital works closely with the city and tourism to promote the Middleton area which includes being on the Middleton Trolley route," says Cyndi Pisani, Director of Marketing and Special Events at Capital Brewery. "Events, such as Bockfest, weddings and fundraisers bring business to the Middleton and surrounding area businesses. Capital also works with many local non-profit organizations, hosting events to help them raise funds."

Bockfest is held the last Saturday in February and coincides with the release of Blonde Doppelbock. This one day event, featuring food and music, typically sells out quickly. In 2017, Capital will celebrate its 20th year hosting Bockfest. Similarly, Starbierfest, held in March, usually during the Lenten season, features different breweries that brew up special "strong" beers, as well as food and music.

The Capital Brewery Bike Club has been riding every Tuesday and Thursday (weather permitting) during the spring and summer season since 2009. The rides start and end at the brewery and offer different routes to accommodate many levels of riders. Music and food vendors offer up entertainment and food after the rides.

Another way Capital Brewery serves the community is through its commitment to sustainability. It has implemented many features and processes aimed at minimizing its impact on the environment by reducing energy and water consumption, as well as its carbon footprint. A 13K solar electric array was installed in 2014 and the Brewery has recently partnered with Focus on Energy and MG&E to pioneer an on-demand savings program.

For example, there have been numerous upgrades to the refrigeration system, switching to an air cooled system, thus reducing water and electric power consumption. The brewery also installed a new boiler, replacing a 40-plus-year-old piece of equipment, which utilizes natural gas to produce steam more efficiently. A new vessel to the brewhouse has decreased the time spent in the first step of the brewing process by 35 percent, reducing the use of electricity and steam. Soy ink is used in packaging, and production focuses on using local businesses and services.

"As part of the Green Tier program, we have designed and implemented an Environmental Management System that will continue our efforts toward operating sustainably," Pisani says. "It's a continuous review of brewery operations. We call it focusing on sustainability 'from grain to bottle.' We seek out every improvement for the customer, the community and the world around us. The green choice, we're constantly discovering, is often the best choice."

Capital Brewing is located at 7734 Terrace Ave. in Middleton.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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