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Whiner Beer Co | Miaou

Whiner Beer Co. Miaou
Ana Plefka

Lately I find myself gravitating toward a trustworthy core of Chicago craft beers I’ve befriended over the years. Brews like Begyle Blonde, Dovetail Helles and Whiner Miaou. These beers won’t surprise me—something I typically love when trying the latest from local breweries. These days, it’s all about familiarity and reliability. Whiner Beer makes a few beers I’d be content to have in my fridge on the regular, but this singular Belgian Wheat Ale is one of the brewery’s finest. 

One of Whiner’s year-round, core brews, Miaou was one of the wild-producing, coolship-building brewery’s first beers, solidifying Ria Neri & Brian Taylor’s place in the Chicago market. Miaou is a Belgian-Style Wheat Ale on the surface, but Whiner puts its signature spin on the style by dry-hopping and aging the brew in cabernet barrels, providing a much fuller body than your average witbier and a warming sensation that is quite wine-like. 

Citrus and earthy yeast aromas greet you before taking the first sip, which begins with lightly toasty malt notes. Its golden color would suggest no different. That sweet, warm spice flavor, likely due to the yeast and aging, gives way to a hop-forward finish that has just the right amount of bitterness to keep you on your toes, waiting for the next sip. Miaou has bubbles that don’t quit, and their effervescence makes the beer quite energizing―even at its higher than average 6.5% ABV.

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This beer has enough complexity to hold my interest during this weird lockdown life in which I nurse a beer for an hour, maybe more, on any given evening. But Miaou also doesn’t make me think or react too strenuously as I watch a movie, cook dinner, read, play Animal Crossing, check work emails, scribble some to dos I’ll put off until next week and pick the next movie. Its character and flavor isn’t diminished when I realize it’s been quite long and my pour has grown quite warm. 

Not to mention Miaou’s can art features some mischievous but cute cats. And those are the comforting qualities we all need right now in a beer.   

Miaou is available in 12-ounce cans throughout the Chicagoland area and in parts of Ohio. You can also enjoy Miaou on tap at Whiner’s taproom in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The taproom and brewery are both housed inside The Plant, a building containing a variety of food-related small businesses and start-ups operating on a closed-loop system, such as a bakery, urban farm, algae sciences lab and kombucha brewery.

To enjoy a more floral version of Miaou, don’t miss the summer seasonal Chamo-Meow, a variation brewed with fresh chamomile.


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