Delta Beer Lab, located in Madison, Wisconsin, is a renowned craft brewery that has garnered a loyal following since its inception. Founded by Tim Piotrowski, affectionately known as “Pio” among the local beer community, Delta Beer Lab has become a beloved destination for beer enthusiasts and a testament to the rich history of craft brewing in the area.
Pio, born and raised in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, has had a diverse journey that has shaped his career in the craft beer industry. His passion for brewing led him to explore different regions of the United States, including California, Colorado, and Minnesota, where he honed his skills and gained invaluable experiences.
In 2010, Pio pursued advanced brewing education with the prestigious American Brewers Guild, further deepening his knowledge and understanding of the craft. This educational endeavor provided him with a solid foundation and equipped him with the necessary skills to excel in the industry.
Pio’s professional trajectory includes notable positions at prominent breweries and restaurants. He contributed his expertise and creativity to Oskar Blues Brewery, a well-respected craft brewery known for its innovative approach to beer. Pio’s dedication and talent allowed him to thrive in various roles, demonstrating his adaptability and commitment to his craft.
Additionally, Pio’s journey led him to several Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries, where he contributed significantly to the Minneapolis location as the Head Brewer. This experience allowed him to refine his brewing techniques and showcase his ability to craft exceptional beers that catered to the tastes of a discerning clientele.
Continuing his career trajectory, Pio embarked on a new venture at The Freehouse in Minneapolis. Not only did he design and build the brewery, but he also operated it to serve all 11 locations in the renowned Blue Plate Restaurant Company (BPRC). This endeavor showcased Pio’s entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to manage large-scale brewing operations while maintaining a commitment to quality and consistency.
Throughout his journey, Pio’s dedication to his craft and his continuous pursuit of excellence have been evident. His experiences in various regions and roles have shaped him into the talented and innovative brewer he is today. With each new endeavor, Pio has expanded his knowledge, refined his techniques, and contributed to the growth and development of the craft beer industry.
Pio’s diverse background and rich experiences have undoubtedly played a crucial role in shaping Delta Beer Lab into the exceptional brewery it is today. His passion, combined with his extensive industry knowledge and dedication to quality, has elevated Delta Beer Lab to become a beloved establishment within the Madison beer community.
After extensive planning and preparation, Delta Beer Lab officially opened its doors in February 2019. The name “Delta” reflects the scientific approach to brewing that Pio embraced. As an engineer, he sought to merge the precision of scientific experimentation with the artistry of craft brewing, resulting in a unique concept that sets Delta Beer Lab apart.
The space has been meticulously crafted to replicate a laboratory ambiance, focusing on both the art of brewing and fostering social interactions. The walls are pristine white, complemented by sleek black resin countertops. A striking two-story chalkboard proudly displays a plethora of recipe notes, serving as a visual feast for brewing enthusiasts. Moreover, an unobstructed view into the brew house allows patrons to witness the magic of beer production in action.
In a dedicated area, Delta have created a permanent platform to showcase ongoing local community initiatives and support non-profit causes. This serves as a constant reminder of their commitment to giving back and making a positive impact. The communal seating arrangement, intentionally devoid of excessive electronics, has been thoughtfully designed to promote socializing, outreach, and experimentation. It encourages patrons to engage in meaningful conversations, forge new connections, and embark on exciting beer adventures together.
What sets Delta Beer Lab apart from traditional breweries is its commitment to experimentation and innovation. Pio envisioned a place where brewing science, creativity, and community could intersect. The brewery’s name, “Delta,” also symbolizes change and exploration, reflecting the constant evolution and ingenuity at the heart of Delta Beer Lab’s philosophy.
Delta is dedicated to sustainable brewing practices and supporting local businesses. Pio’s commitment to environmental stewardship led the brewery to implement energy-efficient systems and minimize its carbon footprint. Moreover, the brewery actively collaborates with local farmers, maltsters, and hop growers to source ingredients, further strengthening its ties to the local community.
The proprietors of Delta prioritize their employees’ stake in the company’s success. Not only do they provide our staff with a fair and sustainable income, but they also involve them in revenue sharing, while abstaining from accepting conventional tips. In the event that guests express a desire to tip, Delta converts those contributions into donations for their chosen nonprofit partner for the current month.
Since their inception, they have experienced remarkable growth. Initially, Delta primarily sold their brews through the taproom, producing a modest 360 barrels annually. However, through dedication and hard work, Delta has managed to expand production to an impressive 1,000 barrels per year. This growth has been fueled by both self-distribution efforts and the steady expansion of their taproom.
From its inception, Delta Beer Lab has strived for excellence in taste and quality. Pio’s expertise in brewing science, coupled with his relentless pursuit of perfection, has resulted in a wide array of meticulously crafted beers. Whether it’s a hop-forward IPA, a smooth and malty stout, or a refreshing saison, each Delta beer is a testament to the brewer’s artistry and attention to detail.
IPA – American
West Coast IPA dry hopped with Amarillo and Mosaic Cryo hops; aroma includes notes of orange and pineapple. Flavor is dominated by orange, citrus peel, and tropical fruit and balanced with a bready malt backbone; finishes bitter with a hint of orange rind.
Sour – Fruited Gose
German sour wheat beer with tangerine, peach, and mango puree. Medium to light dry body, perfectly blended mango and peach flavors, aromas of fresh peeled orange, salt/brine, and malt. Tart and salivating sourness with a pH of 3.3. Kettle soured using natural bacteria.
Barleywine – English
2021 Barleywine aged in J. Henry and Sons Bourbon Barrels for over 6 months. Ruby colored ale; rich toffee, toasted aroma; caramel, toffee flavor with notes of raisin and a touch of molasses; smooth, creamy mouthfeel, medium-full bodied; gentle carbonation.
Pale Ale – American
Pours deep golden with a frothy white head and no cloudiness. Aroma is dominated by tropical fruit and pine in this light-bodied sessionable pale ale. Flavor bursts with notes of mango, grapefruit peel, and pine; finishes with a medium-bitter crisp, piney aftertaste.