Specific gravity is a measure of the density of the beer wort (unfermented beer) compared to water. It indicates the amount of sugar present, which affects the alcohol content. Original Gravity (OG) measures the sugar content before fermentation, while Final Gravity (FG) measures it after fermentation.
Off-flavors are undesirable tastes or aromas that can develop in beer due to various factors like improper brewing techniques, contamination, or aging. Common off-flavors include skunkiness, diacetyl (buttery flavor), acetaldehyde (green apple flavor), and oxidation (stale or cardboard-like taste).
Proper pouring techniques can enhance the presentation and taste of beer. General guidelines include holding the glass at a slight angle while pouring, allowing a moderate amount of foam (head) to form, and serving the appropriate amount in the glass. Pouring methods can vary depending on the beer style.
Malting is the process of converting barley (or other grains) into malt. It involves steeping the grains in water, allowing them to germinate, and then halting the germination by drying them with hot air. This activates enzymes that convert starches into fermentable sugars, which are essential for brewing.
Beer culture encompasses the social, historical, and cultural aspects associated with beer. This includes the traditions, brewing techniques, beer festivals, and the role of beer in different societies. Exploring beer culture can be fascinating and provide insights into regional beer styles and customs.
Located in the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara neighborhood, the aptly named Starkweather Brewing Company made its debut on February 10, 2022. This establishment took over the premises formerly occupied by Next Door Brewing Company.
Originally established in 2013, Next Door Brewing had set up shop in a building that had previously served as an appliance repair store. The initial partnership of Crystal and Aric Dieter, Phil Dieter, Keith Symonds, and Pepper Stebbins contributed to its success, with Crystal and Aric Dieter becoming the primary owners in 2014. Known for its excellent beer, delectable food, and cozy atmosphere, Next Door had garnered a loyal following.
Although Next Door closed its physical location in 2021, the brand continued to thrive through distribution. Potosi Brewery now contract brews their beer, which remains available in bottles and cans at local stores throughout Wisconsin.
Tom Gosse, Thomas McVary, Michael Chronister, and Brewmaster Peter Schroder, all residents of Madison’s east side and with a shared passion for brewing, came together as the owners and general managing partners of Starkweather Brewing. Even before securing the location, they had chosen the name Starkweather Brewing as a homage to the nearby creek. McVary and Schroder had met at Next Door and had previously discussed the idea of opening a brewery together, while Chronister and Gosse were regular patrons of Next Door and members of the mug club. The opportunity to own a brewery aligned perfectly with their aspirations.
While considering various options for their business, including an attempt to acquire One Barrel Brewing on Atwood Avenue, the partners ultimately found the ideal fit in the available Next Door location. They were captivated by its appeal and believed it met all their requirements. This venture marked the first foray into business ownership for all four partners, and they were enthusiastic about establishing their brewery as a neighborhood hotspot. They did not make any major renovations and was only closed for a short spell while they did some rebranding and light remodeling before their grand opening in Feb 22.
Starkweather Brewing primarily features beers crafted by Brewmaster Peter Schroder, a decorated professional and home brewer. Although they may occasionally offer other local brews, the majority of the tap list showcases Schroder’s creations. Additionally, one tap line is dedicated to gluten-free beer. Schroder’s experience spans several local breweries in the Madison area, and he served as the former president of the Sun Prairie Wort Hogs Home Brewing Club.
Schroder, originally from the Netherlands, attributes his passion for experimenting with flavors to growing up in a place with limited beer choices. Surprisingly, he initially lacked interest in brewing until his wife gifted him a home brewing kit over a decade ago, sparking his curiosity and igniting his brewing journey.
Well-versed in the local beer scene, Schroder has collaborated with various Madison-area brewers over the past decade, including Ale Asylum, House of Brews, MobCraft, Dead Bird, and Rockhound. He even brewed at Next Door in 2014 alongside Keith Symonds, the brewer at the time. Prior to launching Starkweather, Schroder managed the brewhouse at One Barrel Brewing for a period.
Starkweather Brewing’s inaugural year has been characterized by Schroder’s eclectic approach, resulting in over 66 unique beers, most of which are one-offs. A select few, such as the Lake Loop cream ale, HOP-MYHZ hazy IPA, and Sweet Heat gose with scorpion pepper and pineapple, are available more frequently.
Additionally, Starkweather Brewing has engaged in discussions with Olbrich Gardens regarding the incorporation of their spices, herbs, and fruits in their beers. The plan is to feature Olbrich products in three brews each year, further enhancing their distinct flavors.
Embodying the legacy of the Starkwater name, the brewery remains dedicated to utilizing locally-sourced ingredients and crafting beers that strike the perfect balance between rich flavors and wide accessibility.
Starkweather Brewing Company serves as a community-focused gathering place in the heart of Madison’s East Side and a welcoming destination for all to explore a dynamic, ever-changing menu of finely crafted beer.Starkwater
Blonde Ale with peaches
Wheat Beer – Other
Blueberry wheat ale
Barleywine – American
American style Barley wine, a brew guest brew master Peter Schroder wanted to demonstrate. Big malt forward ale with citrus and some nutty notes.
IPA – American
An American IPA with Mango Habanero added.
Porter – American
Robust Chocolate Porter.
IPA – New England / Hazy
First hazy IPA from your favorite local brewery! This hazy IPA is brewed with Moutere hops, creating a versatile aroma including passionfruit and citrus.