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Holiday

Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout Release from The Open Bottle & Hailstorm Brewing

November 26, 2020 |

Forget golden rings. On the fifth year of holiday collaboration, The Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing gave to us, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout. And, it’s adorned in gold labeling, with a special glass to match. The stout is decadent, creamy, full-bodied and somehow still crushable; a real holiday treat. Yet, the real gift goes to Tinley Wish because a portion of sales aids the south-suburban Chicago organization that gives aid to needy families.

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Ultimate 6er | A Beer For Each Family Member This Thanksgiving

November 25, 2020 |

With a deep love for family and friends and food, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday (until someone brings up politics). It also means that afterwards, I can blast All I Want for Christmas Is You as much as I want and no one can say anything. 

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Sycamore Brewing | Christmas Cookie Winter Ale

November 20, 2020 |

Sycamore Brewing releases their highly anticipated Christmas Cookie Winter Ale today, Friday November 20. Last year their cans sparked controversy and even prompted a visit from North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

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Phase Three Brewing to Deliver Halloween Beer Bag to Limited Areas

October 27, 2020 |

If this year’s Halloween has you bummed, Phase Three Brewery in Lake Zurich, IL is here to cheer you up! This year to spread Halloween cheer, Phase Three is making local deliveries to limited Chicagoland zip codes in the form of Trick or Treat beer bags. This might be beer fans’ last chance to get Phase Three’s popular Bushel of Apples. Order yours before it’s gone! Read More

Halloween Beer Treat | Spiteful Brewing Mrs. O’Leary’s Chocolate Stout

October 23, 2020 |

The famous Chicago Fire began on October 8, 1871, in a barn owned by Catherine and Patrick O’Leary. The city went ablaze for 36 hours, destroying 18,000 buildings and leaving 100,000 Chicagoans homeless. A frightful October story, to say the least! But, Spiteful Brewing has taken that story, mixed it with some cow-blaming folklore and turned into a sweet Halloween treat: Mrs. O’Leary’s Chocolate Stout.

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Oktoberfest Beer Showcase | Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier

September 22, 2020 |

The tradition of Hofbräu Munchen began on September 27, 1580, when Duke Wilhelm V founded the brewhouse in Munich. A little less three hundred years later on October 12, 1810, at the wedding of the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the “first” Oktoberfest was celebrated. Two years later the Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier was brewed.

In 2003, the Hofbräu concept crossed the Atlantic Ocean opening a mini-brewery and restaurant in the style of the original Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY, bringing the German beer to America.

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Oktoberfest Beer Showcase | Paulaner Oktoberfest Lager

September 15, 2020 |

The global pandemic has put a damper on our oom-pah-pahs and Zicke, zacke, hoi, hois. Indeed, Oktoberfest 2020 — whether it be in Munich or anywhere else — is not quite the same. Nevertheless, the six official Oktoberfest breweries in Munich have not ceased in creating their beers. The youngest of the six, Paulaner, offers not one, but two versions: the historic Märzen that’s available year-round and the Oktoberfest Lager served in Munich during the festivities. For extra fun, search for the special one-liter can and glass mug set.

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Oktoberfest Beer Showcase | Dry County Brewing Company Oktoberfest

September 14, 2020 | 1

Autumn weather is approaching — even here in Georgia — but before the bottle shop shelves are covered in pumpkin Ales, there are a plethora of Oktoberfest Lagers to try! One of the best statewide options each year is brewed by Dry County Brewing Company in Kennesaw, Georgia. Read More

Celebrate German Beer Day with America’s Best German-Style Breweries

April 23, 2020 | 2

German Beer Day, April 23, celebrates the enacting of the Bavarian Beer Purity Order, or Reinheitsgebot, which officially restricted beer ingredients to water, hops, and malt (the existence of yeast was not understood in 1516 but was later added). While it is impossible to say where German beer would be today without the Reinheitsgebot, it has helped make German beer synonymous with high quality and consistency across the five centuries since it was signed.

In honor of German Beer Day, we’ve put together a roundup of some of America’s best German-style breweries, who focus primarily on producing and preserving these historic German-styles. Read More

COVID-19 | Finding Inspiration in Irish Women on St. Paddy’s Day

March 17, 2020 |

The craft beer industry ordinarily revels in St. Paddy’s Day celebrations—everyone is Irish on March 17. And on this St. Paddy’s Day, it behooves us all to remember the Irish’s resolve and endurance. Indeed, Irish and Irish Americans have routinely dealt with periods of enormous difficulty due to famine, disease, imperialism and racism. And we can especially look to Irish women for inspiration as they have shined brightly during the most challenging times, both on the Emerald Isle and in America. So, as we find the beer world, and the entire human race, at a crossroads, we can find inspiration in those Irish women. As Mother Jones once proclaimed: “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has us indoors this St. Paddy’s day, here are four inspiring Irish women to celebrate the holiday. And, at the end, this Irish-American in Chicago will provide a little commentary and also mention a special beer that, while untraditional, captures the essence of Irish women’s tenacity and compassion — we can all use that right about now.
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Beers to Get Over Your Ex

February 11, 2020 |

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. The day can open up old wounds or make fresh ones sting a bit more when it’s a fresh heartbreak; you might even be cheers-ing to the end of a toxic and draining relationship. Regardless of the situation, having a beer in hand or a stocked fridge might help take the edge off.* Although I am personally in a relationship, I was curious to see what others would want to have on-hand, so I’ve rounded up some beers for anyone who is trying to get over an ex… or simply wants to make their Valentine’s date a frosty beer.

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Box of Chocolates Beer Collaboration | Four Chicago-Area Breweries Celebrate Valentine’s Day

February 5, 2020 |

Move over Cupid. Oswego Brewing, Riverlands Brewing, Skeleton Key Brewing and Wolfden Brewing have concocted the perfect method for which to achieve romantic bliss: the Box of Chocolates Beer Collaboration. The multi-brewery Valentine’s Day beer package is more than just a treat, though, because the beers also serve as beautiful demonstrations of the versatility of stouts (or stout-like ales), which is fitting for February (a.k.a. Stout Month).

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Christmas Classics | Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux

December 24, 2019 | 1

By far, my favorite holiday beer is Brasserie Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux (translated as “with good wishes”). It’s made year-round, but only brought to the United States during winter. The beer began as a treat to brewery visitors during the holidays and, as it only makes its way to the United States around the holidays, it remains a special treat for us. Read More

Pairing Stem Ciders with Your Perfect Holiday Celebration

December 23, 2019 |

While putting out milk and cookies for Santa may have been enough to satisfy old Saint Nick back when we were kids, Santa of 2019 is likely looking for a little more variety. Much like the fact that there are … Read More

Christmas Classics | Triptych Brewing O Christmas Meme

December 23, 2019 |

It’s a well regarded fact that the best beer to make you recall fond memories of Christmases of yore is a terrifically dark, malty ale. Perhaps it’s spiced, like Great Lake Christmas Ale. Maybe it’s minty with deep chocolate notes. Or it could be barrel-aged, resulting in a boozy, syrupy confection that’s meant to inoculate you from the inevitable holiday hangover. But what if, just this one time, you wanted to enjoy a Christmas beer that embodies the current haze craze? Well, we’ve found the beer for you.

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Beer Lovers Christmas Gift Guide | Unwrap Something Unique This Year

December 20, 2019 |

The season ‘tis upon us again—Christmas shopping season, that is. And that means shopping for the craft beer lover in your life—or perhaps just treating yourself. This year, make a resolution to get away from the old standards like customized glassware and tap handles and put something different and more interesting under the tree! We’ve listed our top 10 unique gifts below, along with a few more traditional options just in case. Best part, none of these will bust your Christmas budget.

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Christmas Classics | Spoetzl Brewery Shiner Holiday Cheer

December 20, 2019 |

Dear Santa,

I’ve done my best this year. Sure, I may have had a few bumps in the road on my way to the Nice List, but what can I say? I’m only human. Besides, a few parking tickets never hurt anyone! Look Santa, I want to reason with you. I don’t need anything too fancy, so you can save the diamond earrings and shiny new cars for the real heroes out there. There is really only one thing I want to find in my stocking this year, and it’s a shiny new bottle of Shiner Holiday Cheer from Spoetzl Brewery. Now, they probably don’t sell this one where you’re from up North, so I’ll give you a few pointers to make sure you know what you’re looking for. 

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Christmas Classics | Deschutes Brewing Jubelale

December 19, 2019 |

When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, our taste buds seem to sense the change in barometric pressure and start to crave those darker, roasted malts. There is a coziness that is associated with a stout by the fireside or watching rainfall while sipping on a malty winter mistress of a Cascadian dark ale. The winter seasonals start to hit the shelves just in time for the holidays and are invariably associated with happy, festive memories.

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Ultimate 6er | Gluten-Free Holiday Beers

December 18, 2019 |

‘Tis season to be jolly, but don’t ignore the gluten-free folks! Finding the perfect beer gift for the gluten-free person in your life isn’t as daunting as it seems. Here’s a list of truly gluten-free beers available across the country, brewed with naturally gluten-free malted ingredients such as corn, quinoa, buckwheat, and sorghum.

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Christmas Classics | New Belgium Brewing Foeder Frambozen

December 18, 2019 |

When it comes to holiday beers, New Belgium Brewing had the market cornered for years with Frambozen: a medium-bodied brown ale awash with fresh raspberries and a delightfully festive pinkish head. The seasonal release was eagerly anticipated every year, and when they discontinued this brew back in 2015, I mourned the loss deeply.

Luckily, though, fans of the tartly fruited brown ale have been treated to new iterations of the classic over the past few years. An imperial version with cocoa was delightfully similar to the original, with subtle hints of chocolate that deepened the overall flavor without adding too much sweetness. I suspect it was the success of that iteration that brings us to the current limited release: New Belgium Brewing Foeder Frambozen.

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