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‘I bought a taproom!’ Inside the grand reopening of the Madison Taproom

MADISON – Lauren Coles didn’t plan to buy the Madison Taproom when she stopped by with a friend six months ago.  

“We hadn’t been to the taproom in a long time and I saw a sign,” she said. “Thinking they were moving, I asked where but instead they were looking to sell.

“I said ‘tell me more’ and the rest is history.”

Ron and Doretta Terrell owned the Madison Taproom, formerly Wish You Were Beer, for five years before passing the pint to Coles last month.     

Coles, a University of Alabama graduate from Memphis, moved to Madison two years ago for her work in medical sales.

“I love this place,” she said. “Everybody’s so nice. It’s very diverse here. The area continues to grow but has kept a strong sense of community.”  

“And there’s a lot of Alabama fans,” she said with a laugh.   

Coles has been busy in the past few weeks getting the business ready for its grand reopening Friday.  

“I decided to go big or go home,” said Coles. “It’s Saint Patty’s Day weekend, we’re going to have green beer and specials.

“The Madison Taproom will now also offer food. We have bar food options and, if you don’t drink, there will be nonalcoholic options as well.”

The newly reopened taproom will offer 24 beers on tap, coolers full of beer and a new feature – wine on tap.  

“Wine on tap is actually very common in Memphis, but it is something that is very new to the Huntsville area and I’m so excited to be one of the first couple of people to actually bring that to Huntsville,” Cole said.

Admitting she has visited many taprooms but never owned one, Coles said she is nervous but even more so excited.  

“This is a brand new adventure for me and I am so excited to learn,” she said. “We’ve got a great staff that has been in the industry for a while, so I’m very excited.”

Coles talks about the Madison Taproom team like family, which is particularly significant to her following the loss of two family members within weeks of each other in the past year. 

“The last year was probably the hardest year of my life,” she said. “On April 27, I lost my one and only aunt. She was my Aunt Laney, and she called me her Honey Bunny. And four weeks to the day later, I  unexpectedly lost my mom.”

Coles believes her aunt and mother played a part in her new adventure.  

“Last year was really rough, but I know that they had something in the works with this all happening,” said Coles. “It hadn’t even been six months when I found out about the taproom selling. So I know that they had something to do with it and I know that they are very proud and they’re excited for me, too.” 

Her vision for the Madison Taproom is to create a welcoming community where people can connect and form friendships. 

“I hope that it kind of becomes its own welcoming community where people can make new friends and hang out,” Coles said.

She hopes to foster a fun and inclusive atmosphere that appeals to everyone. She likens it to the TV show “Cheers” – a place where everybody knows your name.

“If anybody around our ages even knows what that is,” Coles said laughing at her reference to the 1980s sitcom. “But I want it to be a family-friendly, fun, welcoming place to everybody.”

The Madison Taproom is at 7407 U.S. 72, just west of the Slaughter/Jeff Road intersection.  The grand reopening celebration kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday. 

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