THE BEER BEAT: Mad Paddle Brewery is coming to Madison, and there’s a New Albany connection.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

For an amuse-bouche in two parts, Strong Towns offers an explanation of economic growth through “craft” beer.

What the Craft Brewing Boom Can Teach Other Local Industries: Part 1

What the Craft Brewing Boom Can Teach Other Local Industries: Part 2

Having tickled the taste buds, let’s have a glance to the northeast. If you ask me, Madison has always deserved a good brewery.

The town’s first go-around was Mobreki; for a while it worked, but ultimately sank, with the brewing equipment ending up at Red Foot/Yeti in Jeffersonville. Frankly, the beer quality at Mobreki never achieved a predictable equilibrium, and therein lies the message of pertinence for the owners of Mad Paddle.

As detailed in this article, their plans are very ambitious, not to mention expensive. There’s an old building to rehab, and a brewery to be purchased. They already have a beer truck being tricked-out. State of the art self-pouring mechanisms are discussed.

Granted, most major problems and nagging details can be resolved with massive cash infusions. However, as I once learned, reinventing the wheel isn’t always the best idea whatever the size of one’s stash. Mobreki’s lesson is that the beer has to be of quality and consistent, as dispensed by great people — and even great people can’t salvage inconsistent beer.

It’s all about the beer. Truly, this is job one.

I’m intrigued to see the mention of Josh Hill and NABC, which signals a contract brewing arrangement, and I’ve no reason to nitpick a business plan that surely will evolve with passing time, so just a cautionary note: the Mad Paddle beers needn’t be avant garde, but they need to be solid, and everything else should rest on this pivot.

Best of luck to everyone involved, and congrats to NABC for taking my contract-brewing advice.

(Insert raised eyebrow here … and read this update at the same newspaper, which reveals that NABC’s contract brew for Mad Paddle will be packaged via mobile canning. Now THERE’S an idea.)

BREWPUB IN WORKS FOR MADISON FEED MILL, by Peggy Vlerebome (Madison Courier)

Brothers with Indiana ties tell Mad Paddle plans

Plans are under way for a brewery and pub in downtown Madison in a former feed mill on the northwest corner of West and Second streets.

Brothers Jerry and Larry Wade said they are developers and investors, not brewers or restaurateurs, so they will get the space ready for partnerships with a brewer and a pub operator. They said they are scheduled to close on the purchase of the building from Peter Ellis this week and hope to have the beer flowing at Mad Paddle Brewery early next year and already have a beer and wine permit from the state.

But the Wades said they plan to make Mad Paddle’s presence known much sooner than that with a 1942 fire truck converted to a beer truck. They bought the fire truck in Osgood and the vehicle is in New Albany for conversion. The truck’s debut will be at the RiverRoots Music & Arts Festival in June, where it will be parked near the festival with a roped-off area to sell beer to customers. It will be at all the festivals, operating with one-day permits from the state Alcohol Beverage Commission, Jerry Wade said.

Until Mad Paddle Brewery is up and running at 301 West St., its first batch will be brewed by Josh Hill, head of brewing operations at The New Albanian Brewing Company in New Albany, Jerry Wade said …