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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

Illinois Craft Beer Week Set to Kick Off May 18

March 20, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

As the number of craft breweries expanded rapidly in not only the suburbs of Chicago but all across the state of Illinois, there was talk if Chicago Craft Beer Week was feeling a little restrictive.

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Two Brothers Adds Three New Beers to Their Lineup

March 5, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

For over two decades, Two Brothers Brewing Company has been making solid beer and is a mainstay in the Chicago beer scene. Just recently, they added a new year-round beer to their rotation as well as two seasonal/limited releases.

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More Brewing | Henna S’MoRE (Batch 3)

March 2, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Rarely do I geek out over a specific beer. There’s a lot of great beer out there and getting to live in Chicago, we get the next “must-have” beer more often than not. But when I had More Brewing’s Henna Batch 3, I had a beer that I knew was truly special.

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Chicago Chefs Talk Pairing Food with Craft Beer

February 28, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 4 min

Will you serve food? It’s a question every brewery that’s getting ready to open a taproom will be asked.

In Chicago, there are a lot of taprooms. Food is a necessity when drinking, and taprooms handle this issue in all different ways. While some have a full menu, others work with food trucks to stop by on a regular schedule and others are simply BYOF (bring your own food).

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Surly Brewing Co. | 2017 Barrel Aged Darkness

February 27, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

While barrel-aged season peaks in November, there are still great barrel-aged beers being released into early 2018. Surly Brewing is known for a variety of beers, but their stout series, Darkness, is one of the best known beers the Minneapolis brewery releases. The barrel-aged version of Darkness hit shelves recently, so naturally we cut through the wax and poured a glass to see how this year’s version came out.

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Marz Community Brewing Officially Opens a Taproom in Chicago

February 26, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

Just minutes before Marz Community Brewing Company was set to open for the first time this past Saturday, a line stretched from the door and around the corner with craft beer fans ready to welcome the long-awaited taproom to the Chicago beer scene.

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Surly Brewing Releases New Hop Shifter Gluten-Reduced IPA

February 23, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Crack open two Surly Brewing Hop Shifter IPAs and they might taste different from one another. No, nothing is wrong with either can, the taste difference is by design.

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Stem Ciders Celebrates One Year in Chicago, Looks Ahead to 2018

February 19, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

At the 2017 Cider Summit in Chicago, Denver’s Stem Ciders was officially introduced into the Chicago market. One year later, they’ve carved out a nice foothold in the growing cider offerings throughout the city and have been able to stand out in a very crowded space.

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Event Preview | Scratch Brewing Company’s Fifth Anniversary Party

February 13, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Over the past five years Scratch Brewing Company has done some remarkable things with not only beer, but food and botanicals as well. On March 3 and 4 the brewery will celebrate their fifth anniversary with a big celebration that will include a lot of Scratch beer, of course, but also food and local art as well.

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Wooden Bear Brewing | Barrel-Aged Midnight Mauler

February 13, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

One night shortly after my mother-in-law moved to the small town of Greenfield, Indiana, I found myself itching to explore the area. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot in the way of craft beer, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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Cigar City Set to Begin Chicago Distribution

January 31, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Chicago beer drinkers, whose only hope of grabbing a Cigar City Jai Alai IPA involved a flight to Florida, can now save themselves a trip when the brewery begins Chicago distribution February 19.

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Inside the Tank | Open Outcry Brewing

January 23, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 11 min

One day on Twitter I asked our followers which brewery we should visit for the next Inside the Tank. Almost immediately my notifications went off with people telling me to visit Open Outcry Brewing. I’ll admit I had never even heard of the brewery, but the support they got on Twitter got me curious.

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Ultimate 6er | Government Shutdown

January 20, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Now that the government has shutdown for the first time since October 2013, we’ll have to wait and see if this one lasts longer than 17 days. Until then, there’s really not a lot we can do but crack open some beer. Here are six beers you can drink during the latest government shutdown.

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Off Color Brewing | Coffee Dino S’mores with Dark Matter Coffee

January 14, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Over the past three to four months Chicago has seen a plethora of great coffee stouts released from local breweries. Off Color Brewing’s Coffee Dino S’mores made with Dark Matter coffee continues the boom we’ve seen of java-forward beer.

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Crystal Lake Brewing | 2016 & 2017 Boathouse Reserve

January 3, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

As the days get shorter and the temperatures continue to drop, I continue to look to barrel-aged beers to make the winters bearable. When 2016 and 2017 Boathouse Reserve from Crystal Lake Brewing Company showed up on my front door I was excited to open them up.

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Why I’m Done Cellaring Beer—An Update

January 2, 2018 | Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

About a year ago I wrote how in 2017 I was going to stop cellaring beers and enjoy them fresh. The article got way more exposure than I would have ever thought and it brought out some pretty strong emotions in people—both for and against cellaring.

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Our Favorite Chicago Beers From 2017

December 26, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 5 min

2017 will undoubtedly go down as the year of the tap room for Chicago craft beer. Big names that have become synonymous with beer in the city finally opened their doors to the public. Off Color Brewing, Metropolitan Brewing, Maplewood and Half Acre’s new production facility are just to name a handful of places you can now go drink where you couldn’t before. Read More

Inside the Tank | Alarmist Brewing

December 18, 2017 | 1 Avg. Reading Time: 14 min

Whenever I thought of Alarmist Brewing, its Entrenched IPA can stuck out. It’s probably the brewery’s most highly available beer and is distributed in the city. Located in the Sauganash neighborhood of Chicago – an area I typically don’t visit often, I had never been to the brewery before.
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Founders Brewing Announces 2018 Beer Release Calendar

December 8, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 1 min

You can add Founders Brewing to the list of breweries that have put out their 2018 beer release calendar. And Founders is looking to build on a massive 2017 with another big year of releases and additions to their lineup.

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Chicago Quick Sips | December 4

December 4, 2017 | Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at

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