The Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild is a nonprofit organization, located in Madison Wisconsin, which was created “to aid and educate members in the appreciation and legal production of fermented malt beverages, including those brewed at home and those brewed commercially.”
This mission statement does not, of course, truly reflect the many nuances of our group. Ours is, first and foremost, a social organization. Our meetings are lively! Our members come from very diverse backgrounds and have interests just as diverse. One thing we all agree on is that we appreciate quality fermented beverages. The list of these beverages has grown to include tasty concoctions such as mead, cider, cyser, and melomel. Some of us do indeed make these fine beverages, some to the exclusion of beer. Can you believe it? No beer? Well, we let them get away with it because we also learn from what they do. The processes are similar, and complementary. The results are often nothing short of spectacular! It’s this diversity that makes ours such a vibrant club.
A lot of our effort throughout the year goes into producing The Great Taste of the Midwest beer festival. We are justifiably proud of this event. It is a massive undertaking, and is a highlight of the summer for many of the brewers attending. We make it attractive to them, so that it’s attractive to beer devotees too. If the brewers come, then their fans will follow! It’s been fun enough for everyone to have attracted a sold-out gate for many years. Attendance is capped at 6000, and the number of brewers is usually a little over 100. Each summer, we look forward to sampling some of the 600+ beers that are usually displayed.
Beer education is also a large part of what we’re about. We love beer, we love to learn about it and we love to teach about it. We tour breweries to see how people are making the great commercial beer that’s driving the current brewing revival here in the USA. We organize The Great Taste of the Midwest so you, the beer consumer, can learn about styles and breweries with which you’re unfamiliar. We help other groups with their beer festivals for the same reason. We hold brew-ins so homebrewers can learn from each other. There’s nothing like brewing a batch as a group to foster the exchange of techniques! Many of our members are BJCP-certified beer judges. We hold competitions and informal judging sessions so that we all can learn more about the many nuances of flavor, aroma, and other characteristics of our favorite beverage.