Great Dane Pub Carpenter IPA

The Great Dane Pub reminds me quite a bit of my favorite pair of ancient jeans – comfortable, casual, and reliable, with total disregard for contemporary fashion.

Fittingly, I’ve been frequenting the Great Dane just about as long as I’ve owned this now-ragged pair of pants. In the 10 years since my first visit, the Dane has grown from a single brewpub in downtown Madison to an empire of 5 dining and drinking establishments scattered across the city and suburbs, and even into the wilds of Wausau. A sixth mini-Dane fortifies weary travelers at the Dane County airport.

Sadly, my favorite pants have not realized comparable achievements during the past decade, but they do remain mostly intact. In a curious alignment of the cosmos, today’s tasting obligations were fulfilled at the Great Dane while wearing these beloved pants.


Classiest shuffle table in town

I love the Great Dane for many reasons, including its cozy, comfy atmosphere, reliably tasty pub food, and, of course, a first-rate shuffleboard table. Its beer, however, is not among these reasons. While the Great Dane’s high-alcohol beers, like Stone of Scone Scotch Ale, tend to be pretty decent, others are inconsistent or just boring. Emerald Isle Stout, for example, is one of the least-interesting stouts I’ve encountered; its lack of depth leaves it tasting something like stout-flavored water.

Today’s selection, Carpenter IPA, was unfortunately only slightly more appealing than the lifeless Emerald Isle Stout. A seasonal offering, Carpenter was light-colored and light-bodied, with minimal carbonation. Lack of fizz, combined with a strong soapy flavor made for a fairly unpleasant experience. A yeasty (but not in a good way), slightly metallic aftertaste compounded the suffering. For a more palatable IPA experience, steer clear of this seasonal and stick to a standard, like Speedway IPA. Or better yet, forgo the beer all together and head straight for the barley wine.

Great Dane Carpenter IPA

Style: IPA
Availability: Seasonal
ABV: Not specified
Hops: Not specified
Notes: Light bodied with little carbonation; soapy-tasting with a metallic, yeasty aftertaste
More Info: No info on this particular beer, but here’s some on Great Dane beers in general:
My Take: Skip this and head for the barley wine.