Sometimes you just need a night where you can go somewhere and enjoy a good beer, or two, or three, or more (we wont' judge). You know which nights we're talking about.
Like on nights where the weekend couldn't come soon enough.
Or when grammy and gramps have the kiddos.
Your buddies from college are in town and you're all overdue for some catching up.
Maybe work has been driving you up the wall.
Perhaps you've been on point with your diet all week and just a little cheat would help you keep your sanity.
Whatever your reasons may be, rest assured that
Cafe Hollander in Madison, WI will be there for you.
We had one of those nights, and we decided that we were going to intentionally go somewhere and purposely drink some really good bier.
Really good BIER.
Cafe Hollander is located in the Hilldale Shopping Center in Madison, WI. It's fairly new, and most car services get the location confused when they plug it into their Google Maps. It somehow takes them to Middleton. It happened to us twice, once on our way there (but we were able to re-direct our driver quickly), and another on our way home. Our Uber went to the Middleton address on his way to pick us up.
We were determined to sample a few beers, and eat some grub on our night of unadulterated leisure.
And we did just that.
We drank the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse
If you're into malt beers, you should give this one a try. It's malted wheat rather than barley, and it's quite tasty. We like to drink this with a few squeezes of orange or lemon.
We sampled the High Speed Wit, Tandem Dubbel, Hollander IPA, and the Centraal Quadder
The High Sped Wit is a Belgian bier, and definitely had citrus notes. Surprisingly creamy for a beer, but good none the less. You'll like this if you're a fan of Leinenkugel's® Summer Shandy.
The Tandem Dubbel is a Belgian malt tsunami! No distinguishable hoppy notes in this one. This is a dark, rich, and creamy dubbel with chocolate notes. This was one of our favs in the sampler.
If you consider yourself a 'hop-head', then you'll enjoy the Hollander IPA. It's just sweet enough to balance out the bitter notes.
The Centraal Quadder is a bit of an anomaly on this sampler list. It's by all means Belgian, but brewed locally in Wisconsin. This was the easiest to drink out of the four.
We drank the Ayinger Celebrator
This is a German bier and super malty, with almost no bitterness. This drinks like a meal and is 6.7% alcohol by volume. This definitely isn't a chugger. You're going to want to sip this bier and savor the bold and rich flavor. This one was another fav for the evening. If you're a fan of Capital Brewery's Dark Doppelbock, you'll enjoy this one.
And, it came with a cool little goat trinket!
We drank the Piraat Triple Hop
This bier made us VERY hoppy! See what we did there? This is a Belgian bier with 4 different hops that are added at specific times of the brewing process, and it continues to ferment even AFTER it's been brewed and bottled. If you're a fan of Amber Ales, then you'll enjoy this one.
We drank the Door County Polka King Porter
This porter is brewed in Door County, WI. Served in a mason jar, this one is another malty beer, with chocolate notes. Yum! If you typically shy away from dark beer but are willing to try it, this would be a good one to dip your toe into. Not literally. Obvi.
We drank the Grimbergen Dubbel
This is another malty Belgian bier on the sweet and tart side with a prominent Brandy finish. We quite enjoyed this one, and was easier to drink than we thought.
We ate a bunch of food too!
Take a look at everything we ate, but pay particular attention to our absolute favorites the Big Soft Pretzel and the Sriracha Cider Wings. BOTH WERE AMAZEBALLS! With any of the food offerings here, each dish on the menu has a suggested pairing to take the guess work out of choosing a bier.
Overall, we had a fabulous time at Cafe Hollander. It was a very large venue, with an impressive beer selection, and an equally impressive menu. There's plenty of parking (if you're the DD), and there's quite a buzz of energy that is quite infectious once you're seated. This is perfect for a group gathering! There is plenty of seating (there are 2 floors), and the decor is a perfect balance of modern and vintage with nods to the Netherlands of course.
Cafe Hollander gets the thumbs up from us.
Stop in and knock back a few for us, and don't forget, it's B-I-E-R here... but you'll see why, and we're sure you'll happily comply. Tell them Epicurean Chronicles sent you.