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Pipeworks | Blood of the Unicorn

Pipeworks | Blood of the Unicorn
Mike Wronski

Here at Porchdrinking, Pipeworks Brewing has been mentioned numerous times over the past couple years. But somehow, showcasing a Pipeworks beer has yet to happen. Granted, they’re known for their smaller batch, one-and-done beers that would sell out quickly. So by the time a beer could be reviewed, it’d most likely already be sold out, and we’d just leave you wanting.

But that will all be changing now.

Pipeworks has been making huge strides since it launched its initial Kickstarter campaign. And the whole of Chicago’s beer fans have been rooting for these guys since the days you could drop by the brewery on Wabansia with a 6-pack of Old Style, offer a helping hand, and walk out with a fresh bomber of whatever new beer they had available. Their initial approach was producing some weird beers with non-traditional ingredients in small batches that would never be replicated. And they received heaps of praise the world over. Demand continued to grow with their bombers exploding off the shelves before the next batch of stuff could arrive.

Which is why the announcement last year that they will be expanding into a new and larger location was so exciting. (Fun Fact: they’re sharing a wall with Off Color Brewing, which now [in this writer’s opinion] makes this the best beer block in America). The extra capacity would allow them to produce their flagship beers more consistently through the year, and introduce a new format: 16oz cans.

And now the moment that Chicagoans have been waiting for anxiously the past year has arrived. Would the beer brewed at the new location be as good? Would the new canned format work?

Holy shit, yes, to both questions. I can’t count the number of people I heard bring this up over the past couple weeks. And every gathering I went to the past two weekends had at least one 4pk of Ninja vs. Unicorn on hand.

The next batch of canned beers came out this past week: Blood of the Unicorn. It’s billed as a Hoppy Red Ale, and pours a rusty red topped with thick tan foam. The aroma is very piney and a little citrusy with some malt sweetness in the background. After first taste, the malt comes forward through some toffee and caramel, but fades behind the earthy, grassy bitterness of the hops. It finishes dry with a lingering hoppiness appreciated by every hophead. The beer is well-balanced while still being hop-forward, and is a must-try for any hop fan.

And to save the best news for last— Colorado and New York based readers, you guys are set for distribution next! Pipeline plans to can Ninja vs. Unicorn, Blood of the Unicorn, Lizard King, Close Encounter and War Bird. Keep your eye out for 16oz cans in the next few weeks and definitely grab one when you see it.

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