The Capital Tap Haus, a familiar presence in the 100 block of State Street since 2010, will be undergoing a big change after Jan. 1. The tavern, which has since its inception featured only tap beers from Capital Brewery of Middleton, will be switching to feature beer exclusively from Wisconsin Brewing Company of Verona.
“It’s never been strictly a tied house,” says Bill Ford, director of development at the Noble Chef Hospitality Group, the parent company of the Capital Tap Haus. Tied houses are taverns that sell the beer of one particular brewery but are owned by the brewery. “This was a loose agreement between Jack Sosnowski, the owner, and Carl Nolen, then-president at Capital.”
Nolen left Capital and started the Wisconsin Brewing Company in 2012, and Capital brewmaster Kirby Nelson left Capital that same year to head up the program at WBC.
Nothing much will change at the State Street location except the name (Wisconsin Brewing Tap Haus) and the beer; the menu will stay pretty much the same, says Ford.
The bar will be getting a new tap system. There will be 12 WBC taps; six will be year-round beers from the brewery, and six will be seasonals and limited releases from WBC’s In & Out series.
Ford describes the switch as based on the ongoing positive and personal relationship between Sosnowski and WBC’s Nolen and Nelson. “They moved, and we retained those relationships,” says Ford.
Ford says that the new Wisconsin Brewing Tap Haus will also get access to one-off brews that Nelson makes with WBC’s small one-barrel test system, nicknamed “Old Abe.”