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Revolution Brewing | Deep Wood Series: Ryeway to Heaven

Ryeway to Heaven

ABV: 14.5% | IBU: 20

Revolution Brewing explains its Deep Wood Series Ryeway to Heaven as perhaps a “doorway to an existential awakening, or maybe it’s just a damned fine beer.” One could argue it’s a little bit of both. This rye ale aged in rye barrels serves as the quintessential example of how the art and science of barrel-aged brewing can result in elevated deliciousness – and it’s a perfect treat for Thanksgiving and holiday festivities.

I think it was Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin who said,

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a Ryeway to Heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the liquor stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a Ryeway to Heaven.

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly right, but for Chicagoans and those able to engage in bottle shares, it’s a great brew to obtain.

For many Chicago breweries, November is barrel-aged month. So on November 9, Revolution released Ryeway to Heaven along with two variants served exclusively at its taproom – vanilla plum and nitro. Regardless if one had the regular version or the variants, Ryeway exemplifies why Revolution is so successful and continues to grow.

A common buzzword among brewers and beer writers involves the descriptor “balanced.” Describing Ryeway as balanced sells the beer short. Rather, Revolution’s rye ale is akin to a finely cooked stew – each ingredient is easily discernible, but it works harmoniously as a dish. Unlike stouts, this rye ale enjoys a lighter body and drinks more like a spirit than a beer, however no one will confuse this with Sam Adams’ Utopias; the booziness is gentle. The rye is also pronounced but refrains from masking the spices and other flavors found in the brew. It’s a beer that hits on several notes and can best be described as almost perfectly composed.

Ryeway to Heaven also eases the pains provided by each passing surge of Canadian cold air, thus it is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Speaking of pain, Ryeway to Heaven possesses 14.5% ABV, so it will help warm your soul as your uncle and new sister-in-law butt heads over this year’s election. As well, the lighter-bodied nature of this aged beer allows it to quench the thirst of anyone downing a turkey or ham dinner, but the flavor profile is far from dull – it’s an accompaniment to the meal, not an innocent bystander.

Ryeway to Heaven
Photo credit: Fox Broadcasting Network


Revolution Brewing, the 50th largest craft brewer according to the Brewers Association, has recently expanded to New York, but its name speaks to Chicago’s legacy of protest, from Haymarket to the ‘68 convention. And Revolution’s expansive menu is fitting for the City of Big Shoulders. But what makes Ryeway to Heaven good is not its brashness or boldness, but its finesse.

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