About- Mike Zoller
I’ll never forget waiting in the drive-thru lane of a White Castle at 12:45 a.m. after immediately seeing Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. It wasn’t my first time, but it was my most memorable time eating those delicious little sliders with onions that really do pop with flavor.
There are beer festivals centered around hazy beers, big stouts, sours and other styles, but rarely is there a festival around a strand of yeast. Burnt City Brewing teamed up with Omega Yeast Labs to showcase the Kveik strand of yeast and show just how versatile it is.
30 breweries were on hand at District Brew Yards, the home of Burnt City in Chicago, to pour more than 60 beers, a majority using the Kveik yeast. Everything from hazy IPAs to stouts to barleywines were on hand at the festival.
Mathew Powers and I were both there for PorchDrinking.com and we were also joined by Jack Muldowney from The Hop Review; we’d like to share some of our favorite beers from the afternoon.
One of Chicago’s most notable series of beers is getting a new year-round addition. Revolution Brewing’s Hero Series which features their iconic Anti-Hero is welcoming a hazy IPA, aptly named Hazy-Hero.
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 [email protected].
After weeks of speculation and multiple labels filed to the TTB that didn’t quite make the cut, Goose Island has announced its 2019 Bourbon County Stout lineup. Like last year, there will be the original Bourbon County with seven variants, eight beers in total.
No stranger to the Chicago culinary food scene, Spiaggia’s Executive Chef Joe Flamm, made a name for himself nationally after winning Top Chef in 2018.
Flamm was part of the original crew at Stephanie Izard’s Girl and the Goat in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, he also worked with Bill Kim, known for his Asian-fusion restaurants in the city before landing at Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia, a Michelin star restaurant.
Like many in the culinary industry, Flamm is a huge fan of Miller High Life. From his days as a line cook to now, it’s his beer of choice and has been apart of many of the biggest moments in his life.
Every year my company does a big float trip about 90 minutes south of the city of Chicago. We hop into canoes and spend anywhere from three to four hours floating down a river. Of course, while you’re floating you need drinks, that’s pretty much half the fun otherwise, you’re just canoeing. So for this Ultimate 6er, I picked six beers great for an afternoon on the river.
In June, I made the trip to New Glarus Brewing to visit the iconic Wisconsin-only brewery that’s coveted all over the midwest. While there, I overheard two guys talking about how they wish New Glarus distributed to Illinois and so they could buy it all the time. But would they?
Big Stouts and Barleywines are typically released in the fall and winter. The cold and sometimes downright freezing temperatures create a perfect atmosphere to drink beers that are more than 12% ABV. So naturally, when Revolution Brewing announced that two big English Barleywines are getting released in mid-July, it turned heads.
With his culinary background and his craft beer experience, it was only a matter of time before Moody Tongue’s Jared Rouben opened a full-service restaurant to bring together two of his passions.
New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk is an iconic stout in the craft beer industry. It’s the most widely produced barrel-aged stout in the country and is the featured beer in the Michigan brewery’s arsenal.
A few weeks ago as I walked into my office, I noticed a massive line stretching around the block. It was just after 7 a.m. in the middle of the week; clearly, these people had been waiting either overnight or since very early in the morning. It wasn’t freezing out, but it wasn’t warm. I later found out they were waiting for the BTS, the Korean music group, pop-up store to open up. I thought they were all crazy.
One of the most anticipated events on Chicago’s craft beer calendar is Beer Under Glass (BUG). Put on by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, the event kicks off Illinois Craft Beer Week each year and brings together breweries from all over Illinois.
In 2018 a lot of changes happened to Illinois’ celebration of craft beer. For the first time, Chicago Craft Beer Week was renamed to Illinois Craft Beer Week (ICBW), Beer Under Glass (BUG) moved to a Friday and the event lasted two weeks.
2019’s Illinois Craft Beer Week will follow suit to the 2018 event as BUG will continue to kick-off the festivities on Friday, May 10, at the Garfield Park Conservatory. However, ICBW will last just one week.
In just about any direction from Chicago, you can do a short drive and experience a fun, beer-filled weekend. About a 3.5-hour drive north of the city and you’ll hit Stevens Point, Wisconsin, home of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective.
As more and more breweries pop up, the idea of the neighborhood brewery is becoming increasingly popular. To wit: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales’ only location outside of Michigan, their Hyde Park location which opened in 2017, is quickly become a gathering space for the community.
While there are a lot of big name breweries operating inside the city of limits of Chicago today, the surrounding suburbs are producing notable beers that often fly under the radar.
Since 2014, Crystal Lake Brewing has been producing beers that have become a mainstay for McHenry County. In that time, the brewery has begun to make more of a name for itself outside of Crystal Lake, IL.
Two years to the day Mikerphone Brewing opened its taproom, the brewery officially opened its new addition, called the Mikerphone Blue Room. The expansion more than doubles the total square footage of the brewery, triples the seating capacity, and opens the door to a future that founder and owner Mike Pallen never could have imagined.