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Ale Asylum


Brewing traditional, bold beers with an edgy point of view

Founded in 2006 by Otto Dilba and Dean Coffey, Ale Asylum quickly established itself among Madison, Wisconsin’s craft beer enthusiasts. From its distinctive hoppy brews like Hopalicious and Ballistic to the Belgian styles of Bedlam and Diablo, Ale Asylum’s edgy-sounding beers have earned a loyal following and made the craft brewery a standout in the entire state.

Otto and Dean met while working together at the Angelic brewpub in downtown Madison. When the brewery changed its focus to become more of a campus-area bar (and jettisoned the brewing), the buddies decided to go about it on their own. They acquired some of Angelic’s former equipment, found a location in an industrial park near the airport, and began the footwork of creating Ale Asylum. Dean took the reins as brewmaster and Otto took over the business side.

It was immediately clear that Ale Asylum would be successful. The beers were wickedly good, the brewery image was edgy and unique, and the locals just couldn’t get enough. Ale Asylum was so popular in fact, that they could barely keep up with demand, and their little starter-facility didn’t have the capacity they knew they needed.

In September of 2012, Ale Asylum moved into its much larger and current location just a mile down the road. The expansion offers the team five times the brewing space and four and a half times the production capacity as their initial brewing space. Plus, the brewery offers a menu with a wide range of appetizers and entrees fit to feed their thirsty (and hungry) beer enthusiasts.

Self-described ‘beer geeks’ Otto and Dean have definitely succeeded in differentiating their brand from other microbreweries, not only because of their fresh look and cool beer names, but with their unique beer recipes as well. Ale Asylum focuses on the four main ingredients that are used to brew beer - water, malt (barley), hops, and yeast. They don’t throw any additional fruits, spices, or flavorings into the mix and are dedicated to being style purists, making individual beers that are excellent representations of style. With the amount of success Ale Asylum has seen this far, it’s easy to note that they are definitely doing something right.

We hope our Craft Beer of the Month Club members enjoy these 2 fantastic selections! Cheers!

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Trivia Time

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1. What is the real difference between a Porter and a Stout?
The short answer is, it’s complicated. Trying to understand the difference between a Porter and Stout in today’s craft beer world can be a pretty dizzying experience. In fact, over the last few years, the names have been used interchangeably when categorizing darker beers and it’s pretty hard to find someone now who really knows the difference. These days, most would argue that the true difference is in the recipe (Porters use standard malted barley, while Stouts use mostly unmalted roasted barley, which gives them their characteristic dark coffee flavors). This still doesn’t always settle the debate, and some brewers believe there is really no difference between the two.

2. What does ‘high gravity’ or ‘low gravity’ have to do with beer?
Beers described as ‘high gravity’ are typically stronger and higher in alcohol, while ‘low gravity’ beers are ‘session’ or lower alcohol beers.

3. Which is the largest hop-producing country in the world?
The United States! In 2016, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the US became the world’s biggest hop-growing county by acreage, ousting Germany from the top spot for the first time since 1967.