Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Friday, March 23, 2018
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or

ANNOUNCING CES-001 JUICY RETURN IPA by Civic Exchange Society

Craft Beer Release Event, May 4, 2018, 8–10 pm


The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) is excited to announce the formation of Civic Exchange Society (CES), a multi-faceted and collaborative project initiated by artist Meg Mitchell, Octopi Brewing, Art & Sons, and the museum. The purpose of CES is to call attention to the art of creative exchange—the multiple ways individuals and organizations can combine talents, resources, and innovative thinking to encourage human connection through shared experiences. An outcome of this effort is the development of a new line of craft beverages, the first of which will be released at MMoCA on May 4, 2018. A hazy IPA packaged in an interactive can, CES-001 Juicy Return IPA signals the public launch of CES’s joint endeavors.



May 4, 2018 • 8-10 pm

Taking place on Gallery Night, this free event will be held in MMoCA’s lobby and Rooftop Sculpture Garden (weather permitting). At 8 pm museum visitors can be the first to taste CES-001 Juicy Return IPA, CES’s brand new, limited release beer brewed by Octopi, and participate in a surprise artist-led activity conceived by Meg Mitchell. In addition to sampling CES’s specialty craft beer, guests can enjoy live music from DJ Phil Money, and passed hors d’oeuvres from Fresco.



Civic Exchange Society evolved from Meg Mitchell’s large-scale sculptural installation, Tenacious Numismatic Hops Exchange: a hop garden for unyielding people, which MMoCA commissioned and installed in the spring of 2017. Mitchell’s Hops Exchange is composed of six identical aluminum beams extending up the brick wall in the museum’s rooftop garden. It is also a trellis system, a living artwork seasonally covered by a wild tangle of hop vines. The need to find a functional use for the rooftop hops prompted Mitchell and MMoCA to pursue the possibility of brewing beer—an idea that became a reality when Art & Sons and Octopi Brewing signed on as creative partners.  

In the spirit of Allen Kaprow’s pioneering “happenings” of the 1960s and Joseph Beuys’s Fluxus-inspired “action art,” CES blurs the line between art and everyday life. In doing so, this group of Madison-based creative producers playfully taps into the social function of beer drinking as a means of bringing people together. Brewed by Octopi and based on flavor profiles developed by the brewery and Mitchell, CES’s specialty line of beer will be available first at MMoCA in conjunction with an interactive performance. Much like Kaprow’s expansive vision of art, these events extend art into the realm of daily experience where human interactions are themselves the work of art. CES-001 Juicy Return IPA, the first of three hop-based beverages CES will release this year, is a hazy IPA with tropical aromas and a citrusy taste. 

Mitchell’s overarching project narrative is intended to spark imaginative thought about the economic, political, social, and creative systems of exchange that currently govern our society. She worked with Art & Sons to develop a product design for the beer that complements this larger concept and hints at a parallel society where self-sustaining communities are built on barter and trade. Taking Sir Thomas More’s fictional “Utopia” (1516) as a starting point, she questions what a more civically oriented culture might look like. Perhaps, as envisioned by More, it could be a place where “Nobody owns anything but everyone is rich—for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom from anxiety?” At the same time, Mitchell, the design studio, and the brewery embrace the irony of their commercial venture. Satisfying aesthetic and consumer impulses through the common exchange of buying and consuming beer, they simultaneously encourage us to reexamine our consumptive habits and desires, and to probe our relationship to labor, capitalism, and each other.


Housed in a soaring, iconic building on State Street, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers free admission to exhibitions and education programs that engage visitors in modern and contemporary art. The four galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The award-winning Museum Store offers contemporary American craft and handmade jewelry, while Fresco, the museum’s rooftop restaurant, features local, seasonal ingredients in fine American cuisine.

Hours at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art are Tuesday–Thursday (noon–5 pm); Friday (noon–8 pm); Saturday (10 am–8 pm); and Sunday (noon–5 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays.

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