Cleveland-based Great Lakes Brewing Company has created a vast array of beers over the many decades the brewery has been in existence. They recently resumed brewing and distributing an old favorite, Holy Moses Belgian White Ale, year-round in 2018. Not too long after that, raspberries were added to the recipe and we had Holy Moses Raspberry White Ale filling our glasses with fresh fruit and hints of summer. Not to be outdone, Great Lakes is bottling another variation of their original Moses recipe this year. Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Midnight Moses is a dark Belgian-style ale that rounds out the collection of Moses beers for one and all to sip and enjoy.
Burn ‘Em Brewing is located in Michigan City, Indiana, not far from the entrance of Indiana Dunes National Park. They have slowly made a name of themselves in the area as a brewery to be reckoned with, as the competition in the South Shore communities increases. The tourist destination in northwestern Indiana has quickly become a destination for nature lovers and craft beer enthusiasts alike. One of their most popular offerings is an easy-drinking cream ale with a uniquely Indiana twist. It should not come as a shock to you that the state of Indiana has a lot of corn, and Burn ‘Em Brewing found a very good use of the state’s abundant supply.
Lager, the beer that made St. Louis famous, is quickly making its return to my beer of summer. And being that this is my 50th summer on earth, I’m thrilled that Schlafly has decided to honor it as well as …
Deep Woods. Boathouse Reserve. Bourbon County. Barrel Aged Imperial Pajamas. Quiet Giant. The maturation and evolution of Chicago-Area craft breweries has not included a drift away from the style created in the Windy City — Bourbon Barrel Aging. And, breweries that have gained named recognition in the past few years commonly release of a lauded, coveted and oft-cellared BBA. For Imperial Oak Brewing, a continually expanding suburban-Chicago brewery that’s recently added an entire space dedicated to Foeders and other barrels (The Savage Oak Room), its best-selling beer is Quiet Giant. Each year, the beer once deemed a PorchDrinking.com favorite at Beer Under Glass (BUG) in 2017 arrives just in time for both BUG and its summertime anniversary party. This year Imperial Oak has five variants; one for each year its been open.
We at PorchDrinking were privvy to a special preview before Beer Under Glass, and are pleased to share our findings with you.
One of the most anticipated events on Chicago’s craft beer calendar is Beer Under Glass (BUG). Put on by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, the event kicks off Illinois Craft Beer Week each year and brings together breweries from all over Illinois.
Lo Rez Brewing released Apricot Knockout in March, but the weather in Chicago is just warming up enough to dive into this farmhouse ale fermented with apricots. This beer rounds out Chicago’s Pilsen-based neighborhood brewery’s current four-pack offerings that put tartness in the forefront.
Everyone has different reasoning for what separates a good beer from a great one. For me, it comes down to the human connection. Aside from physical characteristics like color, crispness, body, and finish, beer can be elevated from good to great when what you’re consuming distinguishes itself by a higher sense of meaning. Bent Paddle Brewing Company’s Cold Press Black Coffee Ale does just that.
Storytelling is nearly as prevalent in craft beer as hops. Ok, that may be a stretch but there’s no denying the importance of storytelling in the beer industry. A brewery’s narrative connects its mission and beer to its customers and community. Sonder Brewing, a young brewery located just north of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio, has fully embraced the value of a good story in every aspect of its business.
The legend of the radler dates back nearly a century to post World War I Germany, when an innkeeper named Franz Xaver Kugler, opened a tavern and tried to capitalize on the newest craze of bicycling by working to have a bike path built right to his establishment.
On the day that thousands of bicyclists showed up demanding a beer, Kugler realized he would not have enough. He quickly remembered a stash of lemon soda he had, cut it 50/50 with his beer supply, and ultimately saved the day and gave birth to a legend.
Sometimes you take the best things in life for granted. Chicago’s craft beer foundation is built on excellent ales like Anti-Hero and Daisy Cutter, but they no longer generate the lines and Untappd check-ins of past years. It’s not their fault—Chicago drinkers have so many great craft beer options at their disposal that it often becomes overwhelming. So how do you consistently churn out excellent flagships while appealing to the “newness” decree of today’s craft beer drinker?
One valid option is Revolution Brewing’s Hero series. With taproom-only releases, unique 6-pack offerings and comic-inspired variety packs, the Hero line has helped the city’s largest independent brewer stand out from the fray and consistently provide something new to the masses. Each new offering allows Head Brewer Jim Cibak a chance to flex his brewing muscles in new and exciting ways. His latest notable creation is Cryo-Hero. I spoke to Jim and the Revolution team about the new Hero variant, the complexities of that brewing process and what other exciting beers they have planned for the coming months.
If there’s ever been a more urgent time to clone yourself, it’s now. With summer on the horizon in Chicago (despite the weekend snow storm), there’s LOTS coming up on the beer front. Illinois Craft Beer Week kicks off with Beer Under Glass (BUG) May 10, but there’s also plenty to celebrate before then, and why wait? It’s already a big weekend for Star Wars and taco fans, but there’s three important beer events coming up this Saturday, May 4.
In 2018 a lot of changes happened to Illinois’ celebration of craft beer. For the first time, Chicago Craft Beer Week was renamed to Illinois Craft Beer Week (ICBW), Beer Under Glass (BUG) moved to a Friday and the event lasted two weeks.
2019’s Illinois Craft Beer Week will follow suit to the 2018 event as BUG will continue to kick-off the festivities on Friday, May 10, at the Garfield Park Conservatory. However, ICBW will last just one week.
A new chapbook by Scratch Brewing co-founder and brewer Marika Josephson lays out a blueprint for what it means to run a true farmhouse brewery in the 21st century.
“There is an ironic disconnect in craft beer in which drinkers care a lot about beer being made locally but don’t know or don’t care about where the ingredients themselves are from,” said Josephson when I interviewed her for a story for Civil Eats in November 2017.
The quote could serve as a thesis statement for her new chapbook Keeping the “Farm” in “Farmhouse Beer”, published by Good Beer Hunting in 2018.
Supposedly, we are entering the warmer months of the year. Colorado seems to have forgotten that, as we have been getting cold weather, overcast skies and some last minute snowstorms, which calls for a dark beer to help you batten down the hatches.
As I perused a local liquor store for something malty and roasted, I noticed a striking can design. Black, with a five-word beer title and a regal-looking insignia. Horny Goat Brewing Company’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Imperial Porter clocks in at a no-nonsense 8.5% ABV, a perfect level when trying to fight the latest installment in 2019’s Bomb Cyclones.
Creativity breeds creativity, so it’s no wonder that Katie and Krys Wolf, with their pension for design and art, have turned an 1850s home into a profoundly unique craft brewery — Wolfden Brewing. The exterior is that of a spacious, suburban home while the inside reminds one of a lodge one enters in Wisconsin or the mountains of Wyoming — with plenty of beer, to boot.
“We wanted it to feel like home, or like a vacation getaway spot,” explained Katie Wolf.
Who would have thought, underneath all that foam, Barney really is like you and me—filled with blood. If his really tastes this good, somebody get an IV drip funneled into my mouth, stat.
Barney Blood isn’t Short’s Brewing Company’s first stab at pairing whimsy with the macabre. Look to the Thirstie Mutilator for that, its label featuring a unicorn wielding chainsaws for hooves, and yet, the concept here makes even more sense. If you processed Barney through an industrial blender, I bet this is what you’d get. Don’t worry though, Short’s assures no dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this beer.
Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at [email protected].
The Women of Suburban Chicago, who took part in the Pink Boots Live Brew Day at Skeleton Key Brewing for International Women’s Day in March, had one thing in mind: make good beer. The brewers and brewery professionals, who happened to be women, came together to do what all beer fans love: transform yeast, malt, hops and water into a wonderful, fermented beverage. As a byproduct of brewing in the Pink Boots’ event, the women did accomplish one extra item: they demonstrated (again) that brewing prowess has zero to do with gender. Any doubt that women can brew was immediately stripped away when patrons enjoyed the nine varieties (of the 10 made) of Hold My Crown Rustic Lithuanian Pale Ale, released April 5 at Iron & Glass bottle shop. From base beer to Kombucha, the variants proved to not only be delicious, but a geeky exploration of flavor combinations.
Two hours northeast of St. Louis, in central Illinois, lies a brewery that’s been impressing since its first visit to Great American Beer Fest® (GABF) n 2011. Although the brewery’s Wild Sour series is usually the first thing that comes to mind, Destihl brews a wide variety of styles including its spring seasonal selections.
Since opening in June 2018, Branch & Bone Artisan Ales in Dayton, Ohio, has created eye-opening beers in a wide range of styles, including bright and juicy IPAs, crisp and inquisitive session sours, and velvety smooth stouts and coffee beers. Head brewer Brett Smith loves them all, having carried many recipes over from his homebrewing days, but the beers that really have his heart pour from two wooden vessels in the back room of the brewery: oak wine foeders Smith picked up from American Solera in Oklahoma City. They once held Italian Vin Santo.