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Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild's holiday party: Something to experience

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The annual holiday party that is put on by the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild (MHTG) is certainly an event to see, taste and experience. This year's holiday party was held at the Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin, on December 10th. There was a wide, wide assortment of beers to try, including commercially and homebrewed beers. These beers were offered from MHTG's own "strategic reserve" of stored beers. Some of these beers are rare, cellared, or just not available at stores. Various meads were also to be had, including some homemade ones. I brought my own homebrewed brewskies, adding in my Oatmeal Stout, 90-minute IPA and Watermelon Wheat to the varied homebrews available.

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The MHTG also set up a cheese table that contained many local and out-of-state cheeses, including cheddars, farmer's cheeses, blue cheeses, goudas, Swisses, and much more. Little knives were placed nearby each cheese so that one could get a taste of everything. Again, this buffet was sponsored and offered by the MHTG itself.

MHTG members were asked to bring potluck items for the holiday dinner. I concocted and brought a batch of my Stout-Infused Onion Soup, along with some sourdough croutons. Other folks brought chicken wings, shrimp cocktail, stuffed pork, taco dip, deviled eggs, chips and guacamole, cheese dips, etc. There were also several fantastic beer breads on hand.

Desserts were impossible to choose from, although the Buche de Noel was certainly a winner. It is featured in my accompanying MHTG slideshow. There were also brownies, cookies, Stollen bread, fruitcake and cake to be had. Unfortunately, we did not have barleywine-infused ice cream this year...

The MHTG also had a White Elephant gift exchange of...what else but beer? I decided to bring my Hinterland selection, and I left with a variety 6-pack of beers from Capital Brewery, Sprecher and Avery. I think that I made an excellent trade.

Capital Brewery also got into the spirit of things by keeping its inside bar open and serving all its tap beers (plus sodas) to MHTG members. It was nice to sit back at the bar and just sip a Capital Amber or a Capital Wheat while debating which novel MHTG homebrews to try. Incidentally, the club also provided a cab fare reimbursement for those who would be unable to safely drive back home.

The MHTG's annual holiday party is an event that most of its members attend de rigeur. The better known Great Taste of the Midwest (held in Madison, Wisconsin) is also put on by the same organization, and that event draws tremendous crowds (with tickets sold out in a matter of hours). However, for a more toned down and accessible beer social, the MHTG holiday party is a great choice.

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