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Illuminated Brew Works | Fnord Wit Beer

Illuminated Brew Works | Fnord Wit Beer
Mike Wronski

7.3% ABV | 0 IBUs

I’ve never been a big fan of Wit beer. The true to style witbier seems to have a flavor that reminds me of boiled hot dog water, which in turn reminds me of the Limp Bizkit album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water which then floods me with memories of my 8th grade year. I can’t figure out if it’s the coriander that most seem to feature or a yeast strain issue, but whatever it is, it usually bubbles up some long repressed teenage embarrassment that I haven’t yet reconciled emotionally.

Yeah, I know. A lot to blame on a beer style. But it’s been enough for me to avoid ordering them.

But recently I decided to give wits another shot. There’s been some hesitation, though luckily the few I’ve tried have tasted great. But there is one that has stuck out and given me hope for wit beers. And that’s IBW’s Fnord wit beer.

Hot Dog Water
A wit beer halfway through its brewing process.

Illuminated Brew Works operates out of a small space in an industrial section of the West Loop. Their focus is mainly on farmhouse style franco-belgian beers, but also offer other standards with a special twist or two. Their head brewer, Brian Buckman, is a Siebel grad with a focus on yeast cultivation and fermentation techniques which are clearly on display in IBW’s beers. The brewery is completely self funded, so they’re forced to be scrappy and resourceful to ensure they aren’t in debt to investors. But by no means does that scrappiness show up in their beer. Clean and flavorful beers are continually flowing out of their doors.

But the one that really grabbed me was the Fnord. This clean and crisp beer pours a hazy gold

The Fnord tastes like this image.
The Fnord tastes like this image.

with a bright fluffy white head. The aromas were intensely floral, with a little citrus and slight grassy and grainy notes coming through. The taste though, was where my eyes opened to what I’ve never seen before in a wit. I don’t know how to describe the taste other than it was reminiscent of the spring thaw. Every sip tasted like melting snow. Which conjures up undeniably better memories than a Limp Bizkit album. And a lot more promise of things to come than an 8th grade graduation.

I’d highly recommend finding it fresh on draft. If you can. But no worries, because if you can’t see the Fnord, there’s more for me. DON’T SEE THE FNORD! DON’T SEE THE FNORD!


Label by Illuminated Brew Works Fnord



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