MadTree 2.0 was a massive project, one that I anticipate is hard for a lot of us beer geeks to really wrap our heads around. The brewery took a well oiled machine, scaled it up tenfold, moved it a few miles down the street, and injected every piece of their operation with adrenaline and growth hormones. All of this was done without missing a beat as far as us drinkers here in the city were concerned.
It’s impressive when you really think about it.
The problem is that during all of this incredible growth, a new thing started happening here in town – something that we see now as commonplace every weekend wasn’t really happening in the same way when MadTree began this journey. We call it the taproom release. We like packaging. We like beer releases. MadTree didn’t necessarily have the infrastructure ready to go into this realm (let alone the tank space) while they were in the midst of moving everything from 1.0 over, and while they were working on a maxed out brewery back at 1.0.
Until the smoke cleared. The massive fermenters at 2.0 started to bubble away and the new pilot brewhouse started to shine under the lights in the big hanger of MadTree’s new production facility. They were ready.
Embracing The Package
The recent release of Hero’s & Voyagers and it’s Sensorium Series announcement is just the tip of the iceberg for what packaging means for MadTree. They are looking at packaging, and packaging releases completely different now (now that they are able to). The look of the packaging lineup at MadTree used to just be core and seasonal beers in 12oz cans, with random releases of trunk and funk series beers in large format bottles. Now? Now, we’ve got all kinds of stuff going on:
- Core releases in 6 packs of 12oz cans
- Lift in 12packs of 12oz cans
- Exclusive FCC 16oz cans of lift at the games
- Quarterly releases of The Sensorium Series of 16oz cans
- “Random” releases of specialty beers (high Series, etc) in 12oz cans
- Trunk and Funk series bottles released when the barrels allow it to happen
- A new series of special releases (I’ll get there in a second…)
It looks like MadTree has finally “moved in” and is ready to show us what 2.0 is all about.
Wait Gnome… A New Can? What’s This About?
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah – let’s get to the point. A new label slid across my inbox today that points at the final bullet above – a new series of special releases available out of the MadTree taproom. People have been very vocal that while they love the variety of special offerings at MadTree, they don’t want them just to be draft only all the time. They want these in packaging to take home. Of course MadTree has been listening! Did you think they had forsaken you?
Behold! It begins!
This is the first ‘one off’ of what will become many in the future, and it’s a solid one to kick things off.
Pilsner, for so long was the most misunderstood beer style a craft beer nerd could even mention. The name brought forth images of Spuds MacKenzie, bikini girls wrestling in fountains, and the Clydesdales, hauling beer or playing football (whatever it is they do these days). Craft breweries have fought to bring the honor that Pilsner deserves back to the style, and MadTree’s is called MadPils. 5.3%, crisp, easy drinking… crushable as the kids say. It’s a work of art.
Mad Pils was first tapped in early 2015 (if my notes are correct) and has been a favorite of the folks at MadTree ever since. The problem with the beer for the brewery was that it requires extra time in a tank for proper lagering, which means for a brewery that for so long was maxed out… it just didn’t get made. The brewery is finally able to stretch out a bit, and do things they have wanted to for a while, and to celebrate they are canning up Mad Pils for a special release in packaging – just in time for the summer sunshine.
The beer will hit 16oz pint cans on 6/11, and the cans will not only be released in the taproom, but should see a bit of distribution as well. The look for these doesn’t follow their current can design, instead opting for a bright, clean design that mimics the crisp effervescence of the beer itself with a nice minimalist approach. At $8.99 for a four pack, you can certainly buy a few of these to stock up your cooler the next time the summer sun is calling.