The 2019 GABF Gold Medal for Chicago’s Begyle Brewing Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas gave credence to those who boasted of its excellence, and the award did wonders for its popularity. However, medals only go so far; Chicago’s beer crowd can be downright snobby about BBAs. The annual Imperial Pajamas release enjoys increasing fanfare because of its consistency, quality and a taproom party consisting of hour-by-hour variant tappings. Sadly, the global pandemic prevented Begyle from throwing its annual gathering. Nevertheless, the three packaged Pajamas stand as exemplary BBAs and evidence of why the program now hangs with the big boys and girls of the strong barrel-aging beer world.
This year’s three Imperial Pajamas release consists of the classic in Heaven Hill barrels, a vanilla variant and a special version aged in Booker Bourbon barrels. “We’ve had a lot of fun with release day variants, the way we handled those hourly releases allowed us to explore many different flavor combinations over the years. With our first foray into canning a barrel aged variant we chose vanilla as it is one of the most versatile ingredients we use in several of the variant combos we have done in the past. From the feedback we’ve gotten vanilla was always the most popular flavor, whether it was just vanilla, or vanilla combined with other ingredients,” said Kevin Cary, Begyle co-founder.
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.
Little Fish Brewing Company is coming to Dayton, OH.
When the news broke last week, beer fans across the Gem City let loose a celebratory cheer. The Athens, OH-based brewery known for its mixed-fermentation sour and farmhouse-style beers (they just won their first GABF medal for Cleft) has been distributing bottles to the Dayton market for years and has long been one of the most respected breweries in the state. Still, the two-and-a-half-hour drive along Ohio’s winding back roads was always a lot for Dayton beer fans who wanted to visit the Athens taproom. Now, Little Fish will be just a short walk from downtown.
Black Calder Brewing, a new brewery opening in Michigan, launches on Black Friday. As the first Black-owned brewery in Michigan, owners Terry Rostic and Jamaal Ewing recognize how significant this is for representation and diversity in craft beer. PorchDrinking chatted by email with Rostic and Ewing to find out more about Black Calder Brewing and what to expect from the brewery.
You probably don’t need and don’t want a reminder, but Thanksgiving is next week. Which means that it is basically 2021, because we all know how fast this time of year goes by. While I’m a firm believer that it’s “always Stout season,” breweries are starting to release all the Stouts that we can handle over the next few weeks! That might be one of the only silver linings to end 2020. Travel plans and family/friend hangouts have likely been postponed, for the better. Be mindful about supporting local as the weather continues to challenge outdoor options for your favorite breweries and restaurants. Some of our local favorites are present this week, so here is What We’re Drinking.
In a year that feels like it will never end, waiting almost a decade must feel like an eternity. Yet, some things are worth the wait. Case in point: the return of Pipeworks Brewing Co.’s Pastrami on Rye, which returns this month with a fun twist: a collaboration with local Chicago pastrami staple Manny’s Deli. First brewed in 2010, the eclectic ale is back again in 2020, thanks in small part to the beer-focused musings of one of our own writers: Mike Zoller (aka Instagram’s @ChicagoBeer) and the creative, collaborative spirit of two local Chicago businesses. Here are the details on what Chicago beer lovers can expect for the return of Pastrami on Rye.
Sometimes you need a beer, and sometimes you need to treat yourself to something special. This Wild Brew Spelt Saison, the result of a 2013 collab between Oklahoma’s Choc Beer Company, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM) and Prairie …
We’re getting ready for playoffs in most Fantasy Football seasons, and despite how your record looks, I’m sure that you could use a beer or six to finish out the season. Some of us are blitzing through our schedule with no issues, while others of us are cursing because of bad luck with matchups despite the points you consistently score.
New Holland Brewing Company Dragon’s Milk is something of a legend. Not only was it one of the first Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stouts, but it has crushed the competition since it’s release, remaining the #1 best selling BBA in the United States. It was unsurprising, then, throughout the years, when the brewery released its Dragon’s Milk and Dragon’s Milk Reserve lines, all focusing on variations of the original stout. However, legends evolve, and often the result of that evolution is unexpected. The newest addition to the original line, Dragon’s Milk Solera, shows just that. Although it fits the high expectations of a Dragon’s Milk beer, it’s not a stout.
Who says you can’t have your coffee and cakes… and drink them, too? The folks over at Hubbard’s Cave are here to prove that you can, in fact, do just that. This Chicago-based brewery has dished up something straight out of boozy brunch dreams and let’s just say: We’re here for it.
Young people and old folks across the nation may not agree on much these days, but we can agree that brunch is the best meal. Sure, you’ve got 2nd breakfast, elevensies, afternoon tea and 4th meal, but none of them can compete with brunch. Mimosas, Screwdrivers, and Bloody Marys are frequently the weapon of choice at brunch. However, for the beer fanatics, a coffee-imbued porter with breakfast focused adjuncts will be an enticing option.
The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild‘s annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB) competition, which hosts breweries from throughout the nation, is usually one where the Barrel-Aged Stouts get most of the focus. However, it was a surprising, different style that for the first time took home the top honor in FoBAB’s Best of Show category.
The culture of craft beer has always had a strong connection to the communities in which it thrives. For many of us, our neighborhood brewery is far more than merely a place that produces the things we enjoy drinking–it is a community center, a gathering place, and an intrinsic part of our daily lives, not to mention a foundational element for hobbies, relationships, and fostering a sense of place. Enter Cheers, Yinz!, a beer festival built to help beloved local breweries weather the economic (and emotional) effects of decreased sales and temporary closures.
Each year, Chicago’s Cruz Blanca continues to get bolder with its barrel-aged series, Luchador. In 2019 the brewery released six different variants and in 2020 upped that number to eight different masked bottles that will be released this Saturday.
When one thinks about the state of Indiana, a few things may immediately come to mind. Corn, basketball and the show “Parks and Recreation” are all likely answers but for many, craft beer is not necessarily one of them. That is a shame, considering that at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival competition, the Hoosier State picked up an impressive 10 medals and was home to the brewery with the highest number of winning beers overall: Sun King Brewing.
Why do people love craft beer? You could narrow it down to a few major factors: Quality ingredients, community support and promoting a local economy. Those reasons are why people gravitate to craft beer, to be a part of something bigger. If any beer can hold all of that under its belt, it’s El Paseo Pale Ale from south side Chicago-based Lo Rez Brewing.
Have you heard the Juicy Gossip? Turns out, Bell’s Brewery has a new beer just in time for the holidays. Nope, it’s not a coffee or dessert stout, or even a nice Christmas ale. In fact, the only thing Christmasy about this brew is the amount of tea you spill to your family members about how much you love this – pale ale? Yup. Juicy Gossip is just that – a juicy pale ale all ready to squeeze some good stuff out of your holidays.
It’s that time of year in Chicago where none of us are quite sure what season it is. Our 8 A.M. outfit is often inappropriate by noon. ‘BYOB’ now means ‘bring your own blanket’. Our Instagram feeds are either flooded with complaints about snow or praise for a random stint of sunshine. Should you still grasp onto the very few remaining Oktoberfest beers floating around the city, the often-polarizing pumpkin offerings, or go full-on stout season? There’s no wrong answer. However, may I offer a recommendation? Apricot Sour IPA.
Even as COVID restrictions continue to hamper businesses across the country, Chicago’s brewery scene has added another brewery to the always growing roster as Primary Colors Brewing has packaged their first mixed six-pack of eight-ounce beers.