It is always easy just to follow in the footsteps of a path instead of creating your own. In all aspects of life this rings true. To discover new flavors and possibilities though in the world of craft beer, brewers must challenge the status quo. While others continue to just zig, Sterling Pig Brewery thought why not zag?
While thousands of Chicago residents and many area breweries continue to mourn and speak out against last week’s police murder of Minnesota resident George Floyd, systemic racism, and police brutality, one Chicago brewery has taken a controversial stance.
Manteno, IL’s Steam Hollow Brewing, whose co-owner, Natalie White proclaimed on Facebook, “George Floyd isn’t dead, he is a porn star/actor who knows the officer, who isn’t even a real officer. Wake the f up.” That response comes in stark contrast to Illinois breweries like Half Acre, which posted: “We support our neighbors locally and nationally in the demand for justice and lasting change. Should you choose, you could donate the money you would have spent on beer today to one of the solid organizations helping to create equality for all. Black Lives Matter.”
In the face of adversity and trying times, it is always an encouraging sight to witness those who press forward and beat the odds. Solaris Beer & Blending in Murrieta, California, is one of such stories. Though they have no tasting room and are still under construction, the brewery was able to put the proper licensing in place in the midst of a pandemic. And despite having limited weekly releases as their sole income, the quality of Solaris’s offerings are nearly unparalleled, especially given the size of their operation.
One of the first beers Solaris released was Pink Flowers – Rose Petals, part of their Sour & Flower series. This sour golden ale was brewed with rose petals, Turkish apricots, kumquats and conditioned on French oak.
The passing of Memorial Day signals the start of yet another summer and another period of delicious seasonal craft beer offerings. While canned lagers, mostly in the Macro-format, still reign supreme in any cooler or patio session for many, craft breweries across the nation continue to churn out a bevy of light, easy-drinking and flavor-forward sessionable offerings that appeal to any summertime day-drinking session. Chicago’s passion for beer is equally matched by its passion to get the most out of the few warm summer months that make the onslaught of freezing temperatures and cold worthwhile. As the city cautiously reopens its parks and outdoor spaces in the coming days, here are six Chicago sippers available in cans that you can comfortably drink from your home or from an appropriate social distance outside on a nice summer’s day.
Breweries have taken the initiative to distribute their beer due to the restrictions of COVID-19. In turn, craft beer fans should support as many nearby breweries as possible as they push through uncertain times. Not only are you doing what is right for local businesses but you may discover your new favorite beer from down the block! That’s how I came into contact with Restless Moons Brewing Company Harrisonbürger Pilsner.
The senseless murder of George Floyd, a 46 year-year-old black man, suffocated under the bended knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, has ignited political demonstrations, protests, and calls for reform around police brutality across the nation.
On Friday, May 29, the full COVID-19 lockdown came to an end for numerous breweries across suburban Chicago, as long as they could offer outdoor seating and follow social distancing protocols (The city proper would have to wait a little longer). The questions were: How would breweries adjust to operating during a pandemic and would beer drinkers comply and behave?
Think back to those lazy days of summer, when it’s so hot and humid that moving seems like a chore. However, the sound of the Mister Softee truck is like a siren’s call. There’s the rush of the song, the scrambling and the truck-chasing, even as an adult. When you reach the truck, then comes the tough decision of what comes next. An all-ages favorite (and mine as well) is the creamsicle, a sweet and chilly treat that’s typically orange but really can be any fruit flavor on the outside with a vanilla center. Decadent Ales from Mamaroneck, NY, which has made a name for itself brewing “desserty” beers, seems to share my love of them as well. The proof? Take a look at the cream pop series of beers and, more specifically, Blueberry Cream Pop.
While many Illinois breweries were able to reopen with outdoor seating on May 29, Chicago-based breweries have had to wait a bit longer. However, this Wednesday, the city’s beer scene will finally begin breathing new life as brewpubs have been granted permission to reopen June 3.
In the city, things will operate under different guidelines than the rest of the state. As of right now, if a brewery location doesn’t serve food, they will not be able to reopen, even with outdoor seating. That will drastically limit which breweries in the city can reopen starting Wednesday.
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by (now former) Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, the Twin Cities has been the center of peaceful protest and calls for justice and reform. However, Minneapolis and St. Paul, along with other cities around the country, are experiencing civil unrest, as, throughout the week, peaceful protests during the day turned violent and chaotic in the night.
As the Twin Cities community looks to mourn, heal, rebuild and lead change after a horrific tragedy, a specific, but significant part of that community — the area’s craft beer scene — is responding.
In addition to donations from Modist Brewing and Bauhaus Brew Labs, the Minnesota craft beer community is standing in solidarity behind the message for further justice and systemic change as our country mourns, rebuilds, and reforms. The responses have been rapid and unifying to repair the fabric of a torn community.
We took a look at how breweries across Minnesota, as well as the rest of the country, have spoken out against the brutal slaying of George Floyd, and joined in support of their Twin City communities.
This beer was bought, saved and finally drank with hope. Hope that baseball will come back in some capacity this season. However, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting further away as the MLBPA and MLB struggle for power in their latest negotiations. So while waiting with bated breath and crossed fingers we can at least pop a few crisp beers and reminisce about some of our favorite McCovey Cove bombs.
Earlier this week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis included breweries along with restaurants in his update of businesses that could begin re-opening this week in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In following the guidelines set forth for both restaurants and …
Imagine going to your favorite local liquor store, before COVID-19 or even now (as safely able), and standing in front of the beer wall. It’s a beautiful sight. There are seemingly hundreds of options from every color to any design imaginable. Some simple, some intricate. This was my experience with Pontoon Brewing Company’s Extra Extra Irish Extra Stout as the simplicity of the label grabbed my attention among the plethora of options.
Sometimes, no matter the weather or season, a brewery can score major brownie points if it offers a comforting brew that provides all-around enjoyment. Be it hiking, playing cards, attending a barbecue or perhaps sitting around a bonfire — a beer for seemingly all occasions, especially one that won’t particularly floor you after a few. One such beer is an Abbey Dubbel brewed by Flying Fish Brewing Company, located in Somerdale, New Jersey.
This article has been updated to note that Governor Jared Polis’ updated easing of restrictions directly applies for restaurants but also addresses brewery re-opening provisions.
Since mid-March, breweries, and businesses across the state have been forced to alter their business …
For those of us still living in many major U.S. cities, we’re still in a state of near-complete lockdown. While we can finally start breathing a cautious sigh of relief here in Chicago soon, the experience of dining out, eating pizza and drinking a cold one at one of Chicago’s famous pizza joints may never look the same. However, a similar, all-day experience can still be had in the comfort and safety of your own home in the form of pizza making.
There is one universal truth in this world: the Bon Appetit YouTube channel is perfect. From Claire Saffitz attempting to recreate your favorite snack foods to Brad Leone’s chaotic fermentation process, the chefs at Bon Appetit have become minor celebrities. What better way to honor the hours spent in quarantine binging their videos than to pair each chef with a beer? So, next time you press play on Chris Morocco recreating Guy Fieri’s trash can nachos, make sure you have the perfect beer in hand.
Despite taprooms continuing to stay closed in light of COVID-19, there’s no shortage of local beer releases, especially as we approach the summer months. Although May hardly counts as a “summer month” here in Chicago, we’re staying optimistic for warmer days. Courtesy of Copenhagen is a recent pick-up that will bring you to that feeling of enjoying a sunny summer day.
Maibock, also known as Helles Bock, might be the perfect representation of a beer for life after quarantine. This medium-bodied pale lager is conditioned over the winter then released in the spring, specifically May (Mai). That long lagering time makes for a clean flavor and smooth mouthfeel.
Similar to German Oktoberfest beers, Maibock is brewed to celebrate the end of a long, cold hibernation. As the world thaws, coming to life again, this strong but welcoming style is there waiting to be enjoyed. In many ways, this quarantine feels like a long hibernation. While “stay in place” orders aren’t exactly lagering, we can all appreciate the idea of getting back to enjoying life after patiently waiting for quite some time. Fortunately for folks in Colorado, we have a handful of great Maibocks right in our own backyard.
While Kiitos Brewing consistently delivers tasty year-round beers, the Salt Lake brewery isn’t against experimenting in the brewhouse. Kiitos’ (KEE-tose) latest Triple Dry Hopped Hazy IPA shows off its desire to mix-and-match different hops combinations.