‘The Great Taste of the Midwest’ returns to full capacity in Madison this weekend

The beer festival returns to full capacity in 2022 and being scaled back in 2021 and cancelled...
The beer festival returns to full capacity in 2022 and being scaled back in 2021 and cancelled in 2020.(Great Taste)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:45 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 4:58 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - One of the largest craft beer festivals in the country is returning to full capacity this weekend in Madison. The Great Taste of the Midwest is being held Saturday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Olin Park.

There will be more than 200 breweries from around the Midwest pouring about 1,400 different beers. But good luck getting in. Tickets are currently sold out.

“It’s a big deal. We sell tickets in early May and they sell out the first day, so that’s pretty remarkable,” said Jason Walters, chairman of the Great Taste.

The event is in its 35th year, making it the second longest running beer festival in the country, according to Walters. In 2020, the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the event was scaled back considerably. They hosted about half the amount of beer vendors and sold about half the normal number of tickets.

But this year, the event is back to full strength. Organizers expect 10,000 people to be at the event.

“I take a lot of pride in this job, and we are ready to host again,” said Walters.

Beer(Jon Parry)

Walters says patrons should come with their ID and should stay hydrated. He also suggests people come ready to try something new.

“You’ve already paid for your beer so go try something crazy. Beers you think you might not like. Try to expand your palate that way and if you don’t like it, please pour it out. Don’t drink beers that you don’t like. No one is offended by that, it’s perfectly fine,” said Walters.

As far as which style of beers Walters is looking forward to, he says there is too many to choose from. However, he says cold IPAs and fruited sours are the popular choices right now.

“Cold IPAs are kind of a trend right now. IPAs are fermented with a lager yeast and it’s a hybrid of an ale and a lager. But we are seeing a lot of sour beers, that’s an interesting trend right now, fruited sours especially. They’re great summer beers,” said Walters.

Again, tickets are currently sold out but you may be able to find people selling theirs last-minute for whatever reason. Just know, tickets are NOT electronic. So, if someone tries to email you a ticket, it’s probably a scam. A single ticket at face value is $70.

For more information about the event, check out their website here.

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