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Off Color Brewing | Beer for Dealing with Your Family (Malt Liquor)

November 23, 2022 | 1

The holidays are among us and there’s no better Thanksgiving beer paring than Beer for Dealing with Your Family by Off Color Brewing. Technically, it’s not beer; it’s malt liquor. However, it’s included in the brewery’s “beer for” series and plays off of what everyone knows and loves about Off Color. It’s complex, well-rounded, multi-dimensional, and high ABV, but without carrying the heat. Additionally, and most importantly (to some), the can art is absolutely incredible.

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2022 Chicago Area Black Wednesday and Black Friday Beer Events Guide

November 22, 2022 |

A multitude of bottle shops and breweries are celebrating the entire Thanksgiving weekend with beer releases, special cellar finds and offering a host of indulgences. While the bulk of the activities will occur on Black Wednesday and Black Friday, one can find good beer from Wednesday through Sunday. And, although dark beer (notably strong, barrel-aged) reigns supreme this weekend, there are a few alternative beer choices, too. If we missed an event, by all means let us know — the idea is to make sure everyone knows where to go this weekend to satisfy their beer cravings. Without further ado, here’s the comprehensive 2022 Chicago Area Black Wednesday and Black Friday beer events guide.

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2022 FoBAB Results | Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beers Award Winners

November 5, 2022 |

The results are IN and we now know all of the big award winners from this year’s 2022 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers (FoBAB). This year’s 20th anniversary of FoBAB was once again a spectacular success with over 160 breweries showcasing the country’s absolute best producers in the wood and barrel-aged beer categories.

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District Brew Yards Now Open in Wheeling, IL

November 4, 2022 |

District Brew Yards is well-known within the West Loop of Chicago as a pour-your-own beer hall with four different breweries in operation. After looking for expansion opportunities throughout the past year, the previous Ram Brewing location in Wheeling, Illinois was the perfect fit. The current West Loop location has four breweries in residency: Around the Bend Beer Co, Burnt City Brewing, Twisted Hippo and Casa Humilde Cerveceria. At the Wheeling location, customers will find these four breweries, as well as Histrionic Brewlab. In addition to these five breweries, there is an Added Libations Tab, where ciders and wines will be available.

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Six Under the Radar Breweries Worth Trying at FoBAB

November 4, 2022 |

As we noted in our Tips to Have a Great Time at FoBAB article, The Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB) is a challenging festival to navigate. The sheer magnitude of breweries alone make it tough. And, the vast majority of beers served are either high-ABV or require one to consume some Tums. Do you want to be stumbling or rumbling? One might wonder why anyone would dare attend an event that challenges the liver, the gut, and the mind. Well, because it’s some of the best beer in the world. It’s where brewers meet distillers and where chemistry meets artistry. It’s good to try the beers you know, but it’s also good to try something new — but which ones?

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City Barrel Brewing | Neon Flamingos IPA

November 4, 2022 |

Recent GABF silver medal winner City Barrel Brewing in Kansas City, Missouri is known locally for numerous attributes — Innovative beer, gourmet food and a stellar taproom to name a few. Their beers usually don’t stay on bottle shop shelves very long, and their newest release, Neon Flamingos IPA,  flew off of shelves quicker than usual once local enthusiasts found out it was a collaboration with soon-to-open brewery Vine Street Brewing.

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Temperance Beer Co. Announces 2022 Might Meets Right Barrel-Aged Stout Lineup

November 3, 2022 |

Located in Chicago’s near-north suburbs, Temperance Beer Co. and FEW Spirits enjoy distinction as Evanston, Illinois’ first brewery and distillery. They have come together to create the 2022 Temperance Might Meets Right Barrel-Aged Stout collection. Temperance placed its Imperial Stout … Read More

Bean to Barstool Podcast | Cleveland Chocolate with Noble Beast Brewing

November 3, 2022 |

In this episode of Bean to Barstool David Nilsen talks with Rebecca Hess, the founder and chocolate maker at Cleveland Chocolate Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Rebecca was a classically trained fine dining chef who fell in love with bean to bar chocolate and changed her career to make chocolate her life. Cleveland Chocolate produces classic single origin bars that let their cacao shine through, as well as a thoughtfully curated rotation of imaginative inclusion bars.

In this episode David and Rebecca discuss her transition from chef to chocolate maker, her favorite cacao origins and collaborating with Noble Beast Brewing in Cleveland on their elegant chocolate beers. We’ll also hear from Shaun Yasaki, founder of Noble Beast Brewing, about working with Cleveland Chocolate’s single origin cacao. Read More

Barrel Room Spotlight | Pulpit Rock Brewing

November 2, 2022 |

While many breweries may claim it to be unspoken, there has undoubtedly been good-spirited competition across the country when it comes to the realm of barrel-aging. Whether it be the value placed on selected barrels versus adjuncts, formulas for length of aging time to establish a specific finishing gravity, tweaking the interplay of base malt and barrel, or the variation of countless other factors throughout the process, every brewery has their own way of creating a product that is both unique and marketable.

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Torn Label Brewing Co. | The Witch (Gruit Ale)

October 26, 2022 |

Once per year, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow long and cold, her coven gathers for their annual worship. Her face appears on the clothes of her devotees as they flock under the Autumn Equinox, anxiously awaiting her return.

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Steeple Brewing Co. | International Preacher IPA

October 21, 2022 |

Steeple Brewing Co. opened in Hastings, Nebraska in 2017. From the start, the founders of Steeple Brewing knew they wanted an IPA on tap. But this was Hastings, Nebraska: a place known as the birthplace of Kool-Aid. Not a place known for adventurous beer offerings. Enter, “International Preacher IPA.”

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The Illinois Breweries That Produce GABF-Winning Hazy Beers (And That’s Not All They Do)

October 18, 2022 |

The Brewers Association introduced the Hazy/Juicy IPA category for the Great American Beer Fest awards in 2018, reflecting the style’s presence and impact within the brewing world — and the first gold medal went to Chicago’s Alarmist Brewing with its Le Jus. Eris Brewery & Cider won bronze in that same category for its Folken Haze. The next year, Old Irving followed with another gold for its ever-popular Beezer. Indeed, Chicago stood as king of the hazy-beer hill. All told, seven Illinois breweries have received a total of nine medals (four gold) in five years for the hazy/juicy Pale Ale, Strong Pale Ale, IPA and Imperial IPA categories. Here are the The Illinois Breweries that Produce GABF-winning Hazy Beers, and a little more about what they brew, serve, and offer.

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Ohio Breweries Find Repeat Success at GABF

October 13, 2022 |

Ohio craft breweries once again performed well on the national stage, bringing home eight medals from the 2022 Great American Beer Festival. Notably, every Ohio winner had previously been recognized at GABF or the World Beer Cup.

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Revolution Brewing Set to Release Three Familiar Deep Wood Beers

October 11, 2022 |

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The next Revolution Brewing Deep Wood release will feature a trio of returning entries including two classics and one other highly popular returner.

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Illinois Breweries Who Won Big at 2022 GABF Competition

October 8, 2022 |

Illinois breweries, including nine within the Chicago metro area, came away with 10 medals at the Great American Beer Fest, with Double Clutch Brewing emulating what On Tour Brewing did in 2017: win two beer medals and the “Brewery of the Year” for a small brewery award (0-250 barrels). The only gold went to Maplewood Brewing for its Oatmeal Stout. The 10 beer medals is down from the robust 16 Illinois breweries won in 2021, but still a more than respectable showing.
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Oktoberfest in Wisconsin | 8 Best Festbiers

October 7, 2022 |

It’s the most wunderbar time of the year in Wisconsin!

No, not Christmas… It’s Oktoberfest! For those of us who love a malty, amber-colored lager with a hint of noble hops, Oktoberfest basically is Christmas.

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Great American Beer Festival Pouring Guide | Ohio Breweries

September 22, 2022 |

Ohio craft beer is booming, with over 400 craft breweries pumping out enough great beer to rank the state fifth in the country in craft beer production. The Great American Beer Festival is the perfect opportunity to taste some of the best beers from the Buckeye State. Here’s our guide to the Ohio breweries at GABF and the beers you don’t want to miss.

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The Return of Great Lakes Blackout Stout

September 9, 2022 |

On the evening of August 14, 2003, an electrical blackout caused by a simple software bug plunged over 50 million people in the eastern United States and Ontario into darkness. While some places had power back within a couple hours, many were left without electricity for two days. Much of the media attention focused on covering the disaster in New York City, but other regional cities were similarly affected, including Cleveland in the northeast corner of Ohio. Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company immortalized the event by releasing a dark-as-night Imperial Stout they called Blackout Stout later that year. After a three year hiatus, Blackout Stout is now back for 2022.

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Little Fish Dayton Station Opens Its Doors

September 5, 2022 |

It’s been nearly two years since Little Fish Brewing of Athens, Ohio, announced they would open a new taproom in Dayton, but the wait is finally over for beer fans in the Gem City. Little Fish Dayton Station in the Webster Station neighborhood just east of downtown is now open, and will host a Grand Opening party on Saturday, September 17.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Branch & Bone Against a Violet Sky

September 2, 2022 |

In this episode of the Bean to Barstool podcast, host David Nilsen talk with Hans Westerink of Violet Sky Chocolate in South Bend, Indiana, who creates fantastic single origin and inclusion chocolate bars and frequently collaborates with craft brewers. We also talk with Brett Smith of Branch & Bone Artisan Ales in Dayton, Ohio, who produces a wide variety of excellent and unique beers, including many using cacao from Violet Sky. Both discuss their own inspirations and the unlikely scenario that brought them together.

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