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About- Mike Zoller

Mike Zoller

Mike Zoller

After trying to retire after a lucrative two-year career in sports journalism, Mike got back into sports but in the administration side. He currently works for the Northwestern University Athletic Department as an account executive working directly with football and men's basketball. At Miami University Mike was the sports editor for the The Miami Student and also did radio play-by-play for RedHawk ice hockey, football and baseball. Mike is still waiting to see Northwestern basketball play in the NCAA Tournament and the Cubs win the World Series.

Posts By Mike Zoller

Five Chicagoland Patios for Craft Beer We Can’t Wait to Visit Again

April 7, 2020 |

Chicagoans cherish their patios as much as their tavern-style pizza or beef sandwiches. While we’re all staying inside to help flatten the curve and get through this pandemic as safely as possible, I couldn’t help but make a list of the patios I want to visit as soon as it’s safe to do so.

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4 Chicago Routes for Brewery Curbside Pick-Up

March 30, 2020 | 2

As we continue to adapt to the changes that are occurring seemingly everyday, curbside pick-up from your local brewery is the new normal.

Chicagoans are lucky to have so many local breweries to choose from but like the city itself, they’re spread out. So we created four routes to help you visit as many breweries as possible that’re doing curbside pick-up.

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How Breweries, Beer Festivals, & the Craft Beer Community have Responded to COVID-19

March 13, 2020 |

As businesses across the country are taking extra precautions because of the COVID-19 virus, breweries are putting in new procedures and canceling events altogether in order to keep the public safe and prevent unnecessary risks.

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Event Recap | 2020 Uppers and Downers

February 26, 2020 |

Probably one of the smallest venues for a beer festival out there, the intimacy of Thalia Hall creates part of the charm of Uppers and Downers, one of the top festivals showcasing the versatility of coffee. Moving to a Sunday for the first time since the inaugural event, the day change didn’t impact the crowd size as once again beer and coffee lovers alike packed the Pilsen music venue for two sessions of coffee beers, cocktails, and more.

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Event Preview | 2020 Uppers & Downers

February 6, 2020 |

What started out as a beer festival for coffee beers has evolved into a full-blown celebration of coffee and all the unique ways it can be used in a wide variety of liquids.

After yet another successful event last year, Good Beer Hunting’s Uppers and Downers returns to Thalia Hall on February 23 with two sessions bringing together some of the most iconic coffee roasters, breweries, and distilleries under one roof. 

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Inside Revolution Brewing’s Barrel Program Ahead of Cuvée De Grâce & Ten Year Beer

January 22, 2020 |

From late September through the end of February Revolution Brewing’s Marty Scott has one thing on his mind – barrel-aged beer. As the brewery’s Barrel Program Lead, he’s been working with the Deep Wood Series since the first bottle … Read More

Revolution Celebrates Legalized Marijuana in Illinois with Legal Hero

January 7, 2020 |

Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020 and it was a big deal. People lined up early in the morning, waiting for hours in order to be one of the first to legally purchase weed in the state, not unlike a beer release. Several breweries were preparing to release a special beer to mark the landmark occasion; the first one released was Revolution’s Legal Hero.

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A Year Without Hazy IPAs

December 30, 2019 |

At the end of last year, I wrote a piece on how in 2019 I was going to stop drinking hazy IPAs. Many people didn’t read past the headline and assumed it was just a purely negative piece on hazy IPAs; however, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

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Our Favorite Chicago and Midwestern Beers from 2019

December 20, 2019 |

As another year comes to a close, we’d like to look back at the past 12 months on some of our favorite beers we had that came out of Midwest breweries.

With the number of breweries increasing, it becomes harder and harder to narrow down a list, but we have a handful of Midwest writers who contributed their favorite beers of 2019.

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Inside Samuel Adams Utopias

December 18, 2019 |

Every two years, Samuel Adams releases a beer, in an uniquely-shaped and expensive bottle, that tastes like nothing you’ve ever had before. Utopias has the highest naturally fermenting ABV at 28% and while it can best be described as a port or cognac, it is indeed a beer.

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Revolution’s Boss Jacket Stars in the Third Deep Wood Release

December 10, 2019 |

While the barrel-aged releases are dying down as we get closer to the end of the year, Chicago’s Revolution Brewing still has two more for their Deep Wood series and the third release (of four) happens this Friday at the taproom on Kedzie.

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Kings & Convicts Brewing Co-Founder on Today’s Ballast Point Acquisition

December 3, 2019 |

When Ballast Point was sold to Constellation Brands in 2015 for $1 billion it made big news. It made even bigger news this afternoon when tiny Chicagoland brewery, Kings & Convicts Brewing announced they had purchased the San Diego-based brewery.

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Chicagoland Best Stout Alternatives to BCBS This Black Friday

November 27, 2019 |

For years, Black Friday has been a day for craft beer fans to hunt down Goose Island Bourbon County and its variants. 

But as more and more breweries pop-up, the options for prolific barrel-aged beers are becoming greater and greater. If you don’t want to stand in line or feed big beer’s coffers by purchasing BCBS in Chicago, you have plenty of other options. Here’s our roundup of barrel-aged beers available in the Chicagoland area that you don’t have to wait in line for.

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Old Irving Brewing Set to Release Barrel-Aged Krampus

November 25, 2019 |

The brewery that took gold in the hazy IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival is getting ready to release its barrel-aged series this week as Old Irving Brewing’s Krampus is out of the barrels.

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Moody Tongue Opens New Brewpub in Chicago’s South Loop

November 25, 2019 |

Upon walking into the new Moody Tongue space, the only thing that would slightly remind you that the building once housed the old Baderbrau brewery would be the stairs you walk up. Otherwise, a full transformation has brought the feel of the Pilsen location to the South Loop.

The new space opened just a couple of weeks ago and allows for owner and head brewer Jared Rouben to finally pair his two passions of food and beer together.

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Staff Picks | The Festival of Barrel-Aged Beer’s (FoBAB) Best of the Best

November 14, 2019 |

Once again the UIC Forum was packed with breweries from all over the country pouring some of their best barrel-aged beers at this weekend’s Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers. In 17th annual showcase of country’s elite barrel-aged beers, Bottle Logic repeated in taking home Best-in-Show honors for Arcane Ritual.

Photo by Eric Dirksen

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FoBAB Judges Avoiding Heavily Adjuncted Pastry Stouts

November 13, 2019 | 1

While those big pastry stouts that go heavy on the adjuncts might command the hype, long lines, big prices, and high trade value, they’re lacking one thing – FoBAB medals.

A message was sent from the  FoBAB judges once again in 2019: medal-winning beers need to show balance in the ingredients used and they need to feature the barrel. This isn’t a new message though. Looking back at the history of FoBAB medal winners (thank you to the guys at ABV Chicago for compiling the data) pastry stouts have not had a lot of success at FoBAB.

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Revolution’s Gold Medal Beer FoBAB Winner V.S.O.R. Releases Friday

November 13, 2019 |

Before Revolution Brewing releases the next two entries in their highly vaunted Deep Wood series, they’ll already be able to boast a FoBAB gold medal for one of those two. Very Special Old Ryeway (V.S.O.R.) and Straight Jacket will be released at the brewery after V.S.O.R. earned top marks in the Other Strong Dark Beer Category at this weekends Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers.

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Maplewood Set to Release First Barrel-Aged Cuppa Beers

November 8, 2019 |

Known for their thick body, heavy adjuncts and deep flavors, the Cuppa beers from Maplewood Brewery and Distillery enter a new chapter tomorrow with the release of their first barrel-aged versions in the series.

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Illinois Breweries are Preparing for FoBAB

November 4, 2019 |

In any industry, to be recognized for exemplary work is an incredible feeling. To win a medal at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB), one of the country’s premier barrel-aged beer festivals, is a massive accomplishment.

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