Next Door Brewing Company: An Inside Look At What Will Be Madison’s Newest Nano-Brewery

nextdoorIn the last few years Madison has seen it’s number of breweries rise substantially. Karben 4, One Barrel Brewing Company, and House of Brews are the new kids on the block and Ale Asylum moved to it’s new facility. By the end of 2013, the building that housed the Appliance Service Center on Atwood Avenue will be transformed into the Next Door Brewing Company.

While BJCP Master Judge, experienced professional brewer, and Beerpocalypse Now co-host Keith Symonds is a traditionalist when it comes to judging beer, his brewing philosophy might surprise people.

“I am such a stickler for brewing to style as as judge,” said Symonds, “But as a brewer I am interested in making interesting beers.”

Symonds will have plenty of opportunity to experiment in his new three-barrel brewery which will allow for quick beer turnover and provide a lot of leeway for experimentation. While experimentation and creative brewing may fill a few of Next Door Brewing Company’s tap lines, Symonds plans on having three consistent brands available every day. He says one will be a lighter beer, one will be some form of an American Pale Ale, and one will be something a little higher in alcohol, perhaps around the seven percent range. Symonds didn’t give away too many secrets about his brewing plans, but talked more about the atmosphere he is hoping to create.

“We really want it to be a place where the community can come and talk to one another,” said Symonds. “We wanted it to be in a neighborhood where people could walk in…A place for political discourse.”


Symonds floor plan for Next Door Brewing Company

While 2439 Atwood Avenue is currently an empty building, Symonds hopes to remodel the space and install the brewery to begin brewing and serving to the public by the end of the year.


Untappd App

Untappd is a smart phone app powered by foursquare which allows users users to document and rate beers they are drinking as they drink them.

I have been using the Untappd for about three weeks now and I have already “checked in” 68 times, tried 55 distinct beers (this included a lot of small samples), and achieved 16 badges. *Badges are like little rewards for meeting certain criteria. For example: Checking in to five different Trappist beers.


beer-rating app powered by foursquare

I enjoy having a log of beers and what I thought of them in my pocket because I talk about beer a lot in my daily life as a brewer at One Barrel Brewing Company and as a bartender at the nearby Tex Tubbs Taco Palace. It is beneficial for someone like myself who tries to sample ever beer I can to have notes and some sort of record of how I rate certain beers in case I am unsure in retrospect how the beer was received during the time of its imbibing.  Honestly, I think I will grow tired of the app as I seem to with all apps, including its parent app foursquare, but I think it is a great way to track one’s beer drinking patterns if one so desires.

But you don’t have to make my word for it. Try it out for yourself.