I get up to Lake Superior and Ashland at least a couple times a summer and since my family is from that neck of the woods, I have done so most of my life. Last trip was just a few days ago and I did a couple of signings for The Yogurt Man Cometh and The Wisconsin Beer Guide. The beer guide of course took me to Ashland’s microbrewery South Shore. Can’t be missed. After the signing at the library in town a guy who came out to buy my book came over and asked me if I wanted to go see a speakeasy in town. I smile thus concealing my first thought: “Um yeah, serial killer.” “It’s in my basement.” “Confirmed.” Well, figuring I have already had a pretty good life I thought I’d take the chance. He takes me to a big old house in town, something that would be a fortune and on perhaps on a historical list in Madison, and introduces me to his family. Very non-serial killery I thought. We go down to the basement which is made of large stones and mortar, very old school, and he goes to the back wall where there is a tool shelf. A couple cans of paint, some odds and ends, and a trowel. He grabs the trowel and pulls. The shelves roll forward and through the stone wall is a dark space. “Damn. Serial killer it is.” But no, inside is a nice small room with woodwork and a bar. A tommy gun on the wall. An old phone with the separate ear piece on a wire. And four homebrews on tap. Not just pilsners either. Belgian farmhouse and the big complicated beers. We sample a few and I have gone from thinking serial killer to believing Bo and Badger at South Shore have either an apprentice or a future competitor. Sorry, no photos or names here. It’s a speak easy for cryin’ out loud. What if da Feds was lissenin’?
- Take a Hike: Great Treks Around Madison
- Northland eats