Beer Ambassador Emmy Flinn, of Madison, runs the Mad Paddle Brewery counter at Thursday night’s grand opening. “I just got excited about a new brewery coming to town, not sure how much I’ll be working – we are still figuring that out – hopefully two or three times a week.” Flinn said. (Courier staff photo by Trenton Scroggins)
Beer Ambassador Emmy Flinn, of Madison, runs the Mad Paddle Brewery counter at Thursday night’s grand opening. “I just got excited about a new brewery coming to town, not sure how much I’ll be working – we are still figuring that out – hopefully two or three times a week.” Flinn said. (Courier staff photo by Trenton Scroggins)
The first micro-brewery in downtown Madison’s history opened Thursday night in an old feed mill with numerous guests crowded at the southeast corner of the building on West and Second streets to escape the rain.

With more than one year of searching, processing, and developing, the newfound micro-brewery, owned by Jerry Wade, an Indianapolis native, opened the doors for guests to experience the beginnings of Wade’s investments into what was once the Irwin Feed Mill.

Mad Paddle Brewery is operating now within “one-tenth” of the overall building, Wade said. He said he eventually plans to extend the seating area from the southeast corner into the northern hall that most recently was an art gallery. Guests will be able to purchase food and drinks in this space.

The building eventually will also have an area for meetings and, potentially, a wedding venue, Wade said.

Wade recently purchased a building next door that has been home to a mission to host his company’s brewing equipment. He said he may eventually use the mission’s old kitchen for a food service within Mad Paddle.

The business hosts its own collection of in-house brewed beer, including its newly debuted “Irwin Irish Red Ale,” bearing the former name of building it is brewed in.

Though food is not now available, snacks are, and, according to Mad Paddle’s website, guests are welcome to bring their own food.

The micro-brewery is open Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Fridays from 4:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Mad Paddle Brewery’s grand opening started Thursday night and will continue through the weekend. Today from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., The House of Brisket will be joining the grand opening with its food truck parked on Second Street, just outside Mad Paddle’s doors facing south.

Mad Paddle is staffed by what Wade termed, “beer ambassadors.” These individuals, Wade said, have a passion for the company and beer and work on a personalized schedule, some on location only a couple hours each month.

Courier staff writer Trenton Scroggins can be reached at (812) 265-3641 or at tscroggins@madisoncourier.com