Earlier this month Headquarters Beercade hosted its fourth annual Firkin Fest. 40 different breweries brought firkins of some of their well-known beer, giving those in attendance a chance to try a unique twist on the beer they’ve come to know.
Sometimes what you crave is the combination of sweet treat and delicious beer. Founders Brewing’s Lizard of Koz is the perfect intersection of just that. Released last year, the Imperial Blueberry Stout comes from the brilliant mind of Jeremey Kosmicki. Founders’ Brewmaster, Kosmicki created this sweet concoction for someone very dear to him. This imperial stout was made special for his little sister’s birthday. He included all her favorite ingredients: fresh Michigan blueberries, rich chocolate and vanilla aged in bourbon barrels. Needless to say, Kosmicki’s little sister, Liz, loved her brother’s creation.
Featured Image courtesy of Upland Brewing Company.
Bloomington, Indiana brewery Upland Brewing Company has partnered with Penn Beer to expand the distribution of their wood-aged sour beers to the Philadelphia area. The first of their brews to reach the City of Brotherly love will be Hopsynth, Iridescent and a limited quantity of Cursed Kettles, which will be available on tap at specialty craft beer bars and bottle shops.
Photo Credit: St. Louis Brewery/Schlafly Beer
Craft with a conscious. It’s the phrase commonly found on the underside of Schlafly Beer bottle caps, and it captures the essence of a brewery that recently celebrated 25 years in the business. Schlafly is Missouri’s largest locally-owned and independent craft brewery, and it’s dedicated to upholding the craft brewing industry values consisting of community, sustainability and innovation.
Known for its expanse of warehouses and industrial vibe, the West Town neighborhood in Chicago has become a hotbed for craft beer, including the recently opened On Tour Brewing. Positioned within walking distance of Forbidden Root, All Rise Brewery and Goose Island, On Tour Brewery is the perfect midway point for any West Town brewery crawl due to its relaxed vibe and its exceptionally well-rounded beer list.
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay
Cincinnati is known for its rich history with baseball and beer. In fact, Cincinnati was the first city to have a professional baseball team in 1869. And with a large German population, the city also had over 30 breweries during those early baseball years. This prompted the then Red Stockings to serve beer at baseball games, which was quite controversial at the time. So it’s easy to see that beer and Red’s baseball have been a critical part of Cincinnati’s history from the very beginning.
It is no different today; the Queen City is still in love with its baseball team and the city’s love for beer is evident by the nearly 40 breweries that now call Cincinnati home. That love for craft beer and baseball is displayed at Great American Ball Park (GABP) where there is an impressive beer list. For me, I immediately look toward the local craft beer on the list and two stand out: Rhinegeist‘s Hustle and MadTree Brewing’s Rounding Third. Not only are these tasty brews but they are also baseball themed.
Three friends, Jonathan Fritz, Stephen Bossu and Samantha Lee, went to the University of Illinois together and did some home brewing together. After college they went their separate ways, Stephen and Samantha got married, but they ultimately came back together and last year opened up Hopewell Brewing Company in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
Photo Credit: Noon Whistle Brewing via Facebook
The Noon Whistle Brewing story resembles one enjoyed by innumerable craft breweries, especially in Chicago. The brewery first sought to create a niche within the booming craft beer market by becoming Chicago’s premier session-beer location. But, now in its third year, abundant success has forced the Noon Whistle Brewing crew to adapt its vision, both to accommodate its growing business, and also satisfy a desire to brew a variety of great beer. Noon Whistle has transitioned from audience-seeker to a trusted name brand.
Featured image photo credit: David R. Frazier Photo library, Inc. / Alamy
Stationed one block north of historic Wrigley Field is Uncommon Ground, the restaurant pub that also houses Greenstar Brewing, Chicago’s first certified organic brewery. On any glorious Cubs game day, patrons flock to Uncommon Ground for a taste of something different than the macro tall boys and greasy grub found up and down Clark Street.
Featured image courtesy of Schlafly’s Facebook page.
There are very few beers I can honestly say are my wife’s favorites. But I can safely say Schlafly Beer‘s White Lager is one, and she will be very happy to learn that it has been added to the growing list of year-round releases. White Lager joins this exclusive list featuring Pale Ale, Kölsch, Oatmeal Stout, Grapefruit IPA and Expo IPA (exclusive to St. Louis).
The Craft Kave at Guaranteed Rate Field has taken the traditional baseball and beer concept and improved it mightily. Fans can enter the bar, order any of the 75 craft/quasi-craft beers, eat chef-inspired food or order from the full bar menu. Early indications are that the new relationship between the Chicago White Sox and its new stadium owner, Guaranteed Rates, are taking craft beer seriously. This is no gimmick, this is a celebration of good beer.
The continued meteoric rise of craft breweries affords beer drinkers an opportunity to enjoy special releases with unfathomable regularity. But, once in a while, a classic “gotta have it,” beer rolls around; be it Pliny the Younger, Utopias, or in this case — KBS.
Since 2002, Founders Brewing has been putting its coffee-chocolate-malty stout in whiskey barrels and then storing them below its Grand Rapids home for a year. Each spring, just as tulips emerge from the soil, KBS escapes the caves so it can be enjoyed by throngs of fans. Welcome to spring; welcome to KBS season.
Sometime in the mid-1990s, when I first returned to St. Louis as a legal drinker, my friend Mike Green took me to the Black Thorn Pub located on the corner of Wyoming and south Spring in South St. Louis. Unknown to me at the time, this visit started my secret obsession with corner bars.
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 4.3
When people think of Cleveland beer, the first name that comes to mind is Great Lakes Brewing Company – and rightly so. However, as the craft beer market in Cleveland has flourished, other names are coming to the forefront.
Firkin Fest: April 2, 12pm to 4pm | Tickets: $42 GA / $57 All-Access
The litany of festivals these days is almost overwhelming, which is why it behooves beer drinkers to pick and choose festivals that provide something unique. That’s just what Chicago’s Headquarters (HQ) Beercade is doing with its 4th Annual Firkin Fest — 40 Breweries bringing unique selections, only available for festival goers. For those willing to pay a little extra, food will be served, too. And the best part? Ticket proceeds will support the Chicago Food Depository.
I thought I had suppressed the memory. I thought I buried it deep within the micro-depths of my subconscious mind, only to have it shoot straight to the top of my brain after receiving an email that mentioned those three words – Pinewood Derby Race.
ABV: 4.3 | IBU: 40
New to the strong craft beer arsenal at Begyle Brewing is Lakeview, a dry yet drinkable American pale ale. Begyle is so much a part of the local community that they brewed Lakeview specifically to coincide with the Whole Foods store opening in the neighborhood.
A true celebration of fermentation — centuries of craft knowledge enjoyed one boilermaker at a time. I mean, who needs leprechauns and pots of gold when Tullamore D.E.W. rolls into town on March 15 with its decked-out tour bus and visits BuckleDown Brewing in the suburbs of Chicago? A host of people with thick Irish accents provided music to thirsty patrons’ ears with a chorus of Irish toasts and whiskey. Even better, the whiskey paired harmoniously with BuckleDown Brewing beer, orchestrated by its brewmaster and founder, Irish-American Sean Mahoney.
A new Chicago Craft Beer Week event is set to highlight the breweries on Chicago’s South side. The inaugural South Side Craft Beer Fest will take place Saturday May 20th outside of Baderbräu and bring together the breweries that call the South side home.
Cover Photo Credit: Begyle Brewing
Now in its sixth year of operation, Begyle Brewing has become a community-favorite of Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. Like any optimistic brewerery in its early years, expansion is key, which is why it’s exciting for Begyle fans to see the brewery taking the next big step by announcing that it has begun to can its beers.