I travel all over Chicagoland for my job, and work trips out to the suburbs offers me the chance to stop by a local brewery off the beaten path that I otherwise would overlook. Recently, I found myself lost in Bloomingdale, Illinois and it was here that I discovered the hidden gem of Wolfden Brewing, located in an old, haunted, building built-in 1851.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich we all enjoyed growing up. Or perhaps it’s because peanut butter and beer is an incredible combination- when executed correctly. Whatever it is, I can’t stop thinking about Saugatuck Brewing Co. Peanut Butter Porter.
The women of Mikerphone Brewing do not play the role of background singers at the musical-inspired brewery, but instead work harmoniously with the men; they are integral to the entire operation. And, on February 8, Mike Pallen and his skilled assistants handed over the brewhouse to the women of Mikerphone in order to brew Drippin’ So Much Sauce Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA. The beer will not only be tasty but also support The Wings Program, which aims to end the cycle of domestic violence and give aid to those who have suffered.
An Inaugural to Remember
It’s been almost two weeks since the Side Project Invitational, and attendees’ heads are still spinning over the experience. Subtitled as “A Festival of Barrel-Aged Stouts & Barleywines,” it was immediately advertised as not for the faint of heart. Strategically placed on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd, as the kickoff to Side Project’s annual Stout Week, it brought people from all over the United States to Maplewood, Missouri to see what all the hype was about.
When you walk into a White Elm Brewing Company taproom in Lincoln, Nebraska and ask for the Fluffaluffagus, you’ll notice a few things about this beer. First, Fluffaluffagus is very fun to say. Second, this is a beautifully dark beer that pours with a tall, tan head. Third, as you lift the glass to your nose for a sniff, you’ll note that it smells familiar. Perhaps like a cereal you ate as a kid. No (you go in for another sniff) not the cereal. It smells like after you ate the cereal, and all you had left was the reward of the marshmallows floating around in the last of the milk.
Suburban Chicago’s Imperial Oak Brewing will celebrate its 6th anniversary this May, and that will be the last one as a single-location brewery. Imperial Oak will open a second location about ten miles north of its current taproom this summer; the brewery purchased Brixie’s Craft Beer Bar, a family-run bar that first opened in 1934.
Imperial Oak (Willow Springs) joins several other of Chicago’s west- and south-suburban breweries that opened in a roughly fifteen-month stretch from late 2013 though early 2015 in expanding, and in the process have grow into name-brands. Imperial Oak, Hailstorm, Pollyanna, Noon Whistle, and Werk Force have all expanded their original spaces, and some are now adding second and third locations.
I realize I always go on about how hard it is for breweries to stand out in Michigan because there are so many of them. But Michigan is fifth in the nation with more than 300 breweries, so it’s not hard to imagine how easy it is for a brewery to fall through the cracks. In 2015, this was likely on the minds of Travis Fritts and Nate Rykse when they founded Old Nation Brewing Company in Williamston, Michigan. As it turns out, they had absolutely nothing to worry about, even after a bit of a slow start.
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.
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).
Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year. My friends and I gather for an evening of celebration and friendly competition: the annual Dip Party. The football plays on mute for any plus ones who care about sports, and the game is only un-muted for the half-time show. Everyone attending brings a homemade dip and dunker, with first, second, and third place prizes based on a popular vote.
From sweet to savory, nostalgic classics to fresh takes, the party is all about the dip — a quintessential snack at any gathering. And as dip is the perfect party food, beer is an obvious beverage choice. This is especially true on Super Bowl Sunday when the industry is inundated with heightened awareness for beer’s biggest players. Whether enjoying a small spread or hosting a dip feast of your own, below are fail-safe beer pairings for some classic party dips.
Land-Grant Brewing Company in Columbus, Ohio, has launched a new beer celebrating the career of astronaut and Columbus resident Dr. Katharine D. Sullivan.
While Dr. Sullivan had been to the Land-Grant taproom before this partnership, she’s not normally a big beer drinker, says Land-Grant co-founder and Creative Director Walt Keys. He points out though that the accomplished astronaut is “always up for trying new things.”
Mighty Axe Hops is an 80-acre hop farm located near Foley, Minnesota, roughly a 90-minute drive northwest from Minneapolis. It’s the largest hop farm from Michigan to Idaho and grows 13 varieties of hops.
It’s no secret on this site that I’m a fan of Fair State Brewing Cooperative. Whether classic styles like their Pils or Hefeweizen, their famous Roselle kettle sour or their beautiful hazy creations like Spirit Foul and Mirror Universe, the Minneapolis cooperative cranks out some of the best in the area.
But as much as I appreciate the beer coming out of Fair State, I always admire what’s outside the can. To celebrate Beer Can Appreciation Day, let’s take a deeper dive into Fair State’s label art.
One of the Twin Cities’ best-kept craft beer secrets sits in the middle of a South Minneapolis industrial district. Where I-35 meets Highway 62, amid concrete contractors and industrial steel fabricators, you’ll come across Wild Mind Artisan Ales.
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 …
Beer School is officially in session. To ease your nerves on the first day, I’d like to remind you why you’re here – for the love of beer, of course. No matter how technical beer school can get, just keep that in mind.
Today is about answering some questions about yourself. What do you want to do with beer? Why are you here? Is this something that you’d like to use as a future fun fact about yourself during an awkward work ice breakers or would you like to use beer school as a stepping stone for your future in beer? Let’s get started.
Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) recently announced their lineup for 2020. Some of the highlights from their announcement includes canning Dortmunder Gold Lager, Great Lakes IPA, and Mexican Lager with Lime, as well as two new Legendary Series offerings and a Limited Release bottle series.
From what I can gather, HOMES doesn’t give a rat’s ass about pleasing the masses. Visit their ultra-mod taproom in Ann Arbor—golden-age hip-hop bumping, precious little bao for the eating—and you’ll notice a distinct lack of styles to try. No ambers, no browns, no stouts, no wheats. Their draft list features almost exclusively fruited sours, such as their Sherbet Series, hazy IPAs and maybe a stray sour IPA for good measure.