Strategically located in downtown Madison, Angelic Brewing Company is a close walk for either that power lunch from the state capitol or an after class social gathering by students from the University of Wisconsin. Opened in 1994, the interior layout offers just enough room to feel spacious while still providing seclusion when required. The left side of the lower level houses the stainless steel brewhouse with 10 shiny tanks clearly visible from throughout the room. Plaid carpet covers some of the hardwood floors and the brown stone tiles. Seating is mixed between wooden tables and a dozen raised booths. The later feature black vinyl cushioning. Raised a bit from the lower level, the rectangular bar offers two five-tap towers mounted to its lacquered, stained wood surface. The names of the five available beers hang overhead. Light Rock & Roll and Jazz sounds spread throughout the room, unspoiled by the one projection screen TV. Framed "angelic" paintings populate the surrounding walls.
The Trident Trippel is dark amber, with a slight lace lingering on the glass. This full-bodied brew exudes estery aromas and a hearty fermentation character. At 9%, this one is served only in 10 ounce glasses. The Paradise Lost Porter is opaque, with a light lace, light body, dry, coffee-like malty flavor, with a subtly hoppiness, and clean finish. The Believer's Bitter is a clear dark amber with a nice hop-over-malt flavor where the a big maltiness comes through at the finish. The '99 Shilling Scotch Ale is a clear mahogany with an even flavor balance. The great smooth mouthfeel from the 80/20 N/CO2 mix works well, with the subtle alcohol character only noticeable in the finish. The Purgatory Pale Ale is a clear amber with a hoppy aroma, and clean hoppy flavor balance.
The twenty-something crowd tend to smoke everywhere and the overhead "smoke-eater" can't quite keep up in the evenings. The small patio may offer a more breathing-friendly environment. Inside lie the electric darts and video golf games along with pooltables. A large draw is the Late Night Menu from 10 p.m. to Midnight that features Pizzas ($6-$8); and Appetizers such as Nachos, Fries, Quesadillas, Wings, and Breads ($5-$7). A great way to begin is with the $3.50 sampler tray. Five four-ounce glasses come served on a wooden tray with individual cards describing each beer. Assistant Brewer Shane Welsh reports growler sales are popular until the 9 p.m. city cut-off time. Sampling in 10-ounce glasses will cost $2.50 each, with pints $3.50. With the flavorful beers it's no surprise to see why Angelic Brewing is usually "standing room only" most evenings.
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Photos by Tom Ciccateri
Angelic Brewing Co.
322 W. Johnson
Madison, WI 53703-2219
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - August 2000
Home Brewpub Reviews