By Jody Renaud, Eastside News
Forward Craft and Coffee, 2166 Atwood Ave., brings a unique twist to the typical brew pub or coffee house. Owners Dan Podell, Chad Walhood and Melissa Moss, who all met at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, are excited to bring their mix of craft beers and a variety of coffee brews to the neighborhood.
Most days you can find either Podell or Walhood working behind the counter along with their friendly staff. Moss brings financial expertise and works behind the scenes.
When the location at the corner of Atwood Avenue and Dunning Street formerly occupied by Barriques became available, they jumped at the opportunity to become part of the developing east side of Madison.
Opened June 13, they have already experienced the welcoming community feel of the area. People are stopping in and returning to enjoy the atmosphere. Being able to be a part of the east side festivals is a plus. A convenient walk-up window was open to Atwood Fest goers.
The owners designed the space to accommodate a variety of uses. It is a place where those people who want a fun place to hang out with friends and those who want a quiet environment can be comfortable. The main community room has a bar, tables and booths. Side rooms provide more privacy and additional seating. One of the rooms has soft furniture and is perfect for those who want to work or study. A local poetry group has begun using Forward Craft and Coffee as a regular venue for their gatherings.
In addition to a large variety of craft beer offerings and a rotating selection of coffee from Brewhaha (a coffee roaster in Spring Green), an assortment of cold brew flavors sourced from Pilcrow Coffee in Milwaukee give customers a fun and delicious choice of beverages. Cold brew offerings rotate, and have included such favors as Peanut Butter Puffs, Vanilla Creamy and Root Beer Float. Nitro cold brew is also on tap.
“The peanut butter cold brew was so good,” said first time customer Therese, who stopped by to study and will return to try other flavors.
A flight of four cold brews is available for $14. Customers can mix and match beers or even coffees and beers. Nonalcoholic beverages are also available. Bags of Brewhaha coffee and some beer can be purchased to go.
Several food options are available, including scones, muffins, cookies and a granola bowl containing oats and fruit. Plans to serve cheese and charcuterie plates are in the works.
In keeping with the owners’ commitment to support small and local businesses, a local chef has been helping find vendors for locally sourced food. The bakery items, as well as fresh cream, come from sources in Sun Prairie.
Forward Craft and Coffee is open daily. For hours, visit forwardcraft.com.
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