Supper Club Beer by Capital Brewing

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The most important thing about Capital Brewery’s new Supper Club beer is its name. The beer itself is good summer drinking — a light, joyful, summery American-style lager that’s got a touch of malty depth and a bit of apricot-like brightness.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

“Not Bad,” declares the label, and that’s basically right — it’s not redefining the style nor trying particularly hard to do so. It’s good on a hot day and doesn’t demand specialized glassware. It’s not a hop monster; it’s not an extreme flavor; it’s familiar and drinkable without being soulless or watery.

The Madison, WI-based Capital Brewery describes the beer (which sells for $8 a six-pack) as follows:

“Harking back to an era where Supper Clubs were In Vogue and Wisconsin had numerous regional breweries making their version of American Style Lagers.  You know, back when these types of beers exhibited regional soul.”

Thus the name — it’s a conscious callback to Upper Midwestern food heritage, a courageous step when many local producers’ first instinct is to somehow namecheck just about anything but the distinctly less-than-sexy but undeniably authentic place that starts at our backyard and stretches out to the Great Plains and the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

A Supper Club-pegged beer isn’t a lone voice in the wilderness; look, for example at the names of some of the newer breweries popping up locally: Lift Bridge, tied to the Stillwater landmark of the same name. 612 Brew. Harriet Brewing. Lake Superior Brewing.

It’s echoed by restaurants like the Red Stag, Craftsman, and HauteDish, which fuse a young, high-end food sensibility with a firm grounding in the region — both in terms of ingredients and image.

All good stuff, but it’ll likely take another decade or three before the homeland of beer, sausage, and cheese gets its propers from either coast. Until then, we can hoist a Supper Club and enjoy the peace and quiet.


  1. BrianJ

    I dig the name and the packaging and would probably give it a shot but you don’t see Capital carried in many places around here.

    This seems like the same kind of idea that Schell had with Lake Maid (and to a lesser degree Full Sail with Session). Take a basic but well made pale lager and give it some novel packaging. It’s a good idea I just wish they were a bit cheaper.

  2. Michael

    Favorite beer of the season! Thanks for giving it its due! I think its well deserved.

    Of course, my love for this beer might be a bit biased since I am a Wisconsite with a predisposition towards both lagers and supper clubs, but being somewhat of a lager enthusiast I gotta say that this one ranks among the best I’ve ever had. Lagers are rarely given the respect they deserve, and maybe that’s because it takes a subtle hand to create a truly unique and delicious one. In a world overpopulated by sugary, hopped-up ales, Supper Club is refreshing in more ways than one.

  3. Jonny

    Be fun to find this one locally, but the brewery undergone a change in their Twin Cities-area wholesale relationship — Hudson, WI here I come!

  4. bob wojnarowski

    i love supper club beer im about 15 miles west of chicago i know binneys sells it does any one else sell it around here and also does woodmans food store or piggly wiggly sell it like i said i would make this my regular beer but they charge to much near chicago how about a few coupons or if u have any supper club beer related items ide love to have them thank you

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