Barrel-aged stouts were once a rarity but have now become increasingly easier to procure. But, just like all craft beer styles, the flavors that define these stouts have evolved. For the longest time, high ABV and intense flavors of spirits was the goal. Now, many breweries are making barrel-aged stouts that mimic candy and desserts.
Coffee, chocolate, or coconut stouts are wonderful things in and of themselves. But in the hands of Boiler Brewing Company, these three big flavors combine to create one winning Stout: the Hawaiian Trifecta.
The beauty of craft beer is in how intensely local it feels. Supporting your local brewery means supporting your city. While many breweries expand and grow in distribution, there’s something unique and familiar about drinking a beer that’s brewed close to you. With unique names and labels, breweries across the country lean into this understanding of what it means to be fiercely local. Illinois’ largest independently-owned brewery, Revolution Brewing, is interwoven into the tapestry of Chicago’s rich beer scene. Now, it’s going one step farther with the release of its City Series packaging refresh, which pairs iconic images of Chicago with some Revolution’s most popular session beers.
I first wrote about Forager Brewery’s plan to launch Humble Forager Brewery in November 2019. Forager’s new brand and distribution brewery, Humble Forager, was a necessary move by co-owners Austin Jevne and Annie Henderson to begin distributing their beers to Minnesota, Wisconsin and select locations in the Southeast beginning this year.
In honor of what would have been Tax Day, April 15, it seemed appropriate to chat with co-owner and chief production officer Colin McCloy of Taxman Brewing Company in Bargersville, Indiana. This is normally a celebratory time for the brewery as it hosts the annual Death & Taxes Day festival. However, much like the IRS has extended Tax Day to July, the brewery had to reschedule the festival for late August.
Taxman’s Belgian-style Ales and farm-to-table restaurant menu reflect the owners’ love and passion for Belgian culture. Their enthusiasm for beer also extends into American farmhouse Ales and Midwest Saisons, along with a strong barrel-aging program. The brewery operates a 20-barrel brewhouse plus several satellite restaurant/taprooms in central Indiana.
The days march on and become murkier in the midst of COVID-19. However, as our situation is ever changing, craft breweries resilience and community support remains steadfast. Our local favorites continue to adapt new business models, solidifying ecommerce sites and delivery routes in a matter of days. Our Instagram stories continue to fill with lines, and even pyramids, of crowlers in people’s homes after returning from beer runs.
Chicagoans cherish their patios as much as their tavern-style pizza or beef sandwiches. While we’re all staying inside to help flatten the curve and get through this pandemic as safely as possible, I couldn’t help but make a list of the patios I want to visit as soon as it’s safe to do so.
During these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that many breweries are still working on new flavors and beers to be consumed in the safety of one’s home. Energy City Brewing, located in the Chicagoland suburb of Batavia, Illinois, is reliable in its innovation of beer recipes and desire to release new brews to the public regularly. Relatively new to the brewery game, they received their official license on St. Patrick’s Day 2017, and brewed their first stout that same day. The stout in question actually began as an award-winning homebrew of co-founder David Files, who began homebrewing in 2005.
There’s a lot to love about Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub. Their wings are voted one of the best in the Twin Cities, their fried chicken sandwich is Food Network famous and their patio is one of the best places to bring your four-legged friend in Minnesota’s treasured patio months.
As we continue to adapt to the changes that are occurring seemingly everyday, curbside pick-up from your local brewery is the new normal.
Chicagoans are lucky to have so many local breweries to choose from but like the city itself, they’re spread out. So we created four routes to help you visit as many breweries as possible that’re doing curbside pick-up.
The fabric of our world is changing by the hour. As the structure around us shifts, one can sometimes feel helpless seeing friends, family and businesses that they love face significant uncertainty. While self-isolating and staying inside, one of the largest roles that many of us can help fill is supporting local business.
As Michiganders acclimate to sheltering in place, it’s important we find the right beer to hibernate with. Something dark, something sweet, something boozy. Something to lend a reprieve from the newsfeed. Lo and behold, City Built Brewing Company’s 5 Hour Stout, a pastry stout brewed with obscene amounts of coconut and vanilla. It’s thick enough to put a bear to sleep so it should do the trick for those intent on napping away the next few weeks.
Amid the familiar IPAs, stouts, and lagers on the tap list at Eudora Brewing Company in Dayton, Ohio, sits an outlier, a Belgian charmer full of muscular grace. Le Cheval Magique is a Belgian Golden Strong Ale that balances expressive yeast character and formidable strength with deceptive drinkability. This “magic horse” is light on its hooves, but at 8.5% ABV, you’d best treat it with respect if you don’t want to get thrown from the saddle.
You enter the store and wait through the excruciating line, the fog of early morning clouding your eyes. You get to the counter and place your order, saying, “I’ll take a grande, nonfat, Porter with a side of vanilla.”
It may not be Starbucks, but Phase Three Brewing Company, in Lake Zurich, Illinois, is brewing a series of beers that blur the line between coffee shop and brewery. Maple. Vanilla. Chocolate. Hazelnut. Coffee. Each is incredible on its own, but when brewed into a beer, they can become amazing if approached correctly. Phase Three is remarkable, and is fighting its way into your glass.
Now more than ever, the craft beer industry needs good news One bright light in this period of uncertainty comes from America’s oldest brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son, which recently celebrated International Women’s Day with the announcement of the Yuengling Women in Brewing Scholarship Program for spring 2020. The goal of the scholarship, a collaborative effort between Yuengling and the Pink Boots Society, is to advance the careers of female brewers in the U.S through educational opportunities. The scholarship also reflects Yuengling’s unique place in today’s brewing industry: Led by Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations and 6th generation family member, the D.G. Yuengling & Son of today is comprised of the brewery’s first generation of all-female leadership.
Every once in a while, a truly insane beer comes around and delights the masses. Chicago Craft Gin Week Is A Real Thing (CCGWIART) from Off Color Brewing is one of these beers—if the masses love a sour, that is. Off Color brews up some of the best beers in the Windy City, from their experimental Miller High Life collaboration, Eek!, to the delicious dessert that is Dino S’mores Russian Imperial Stout. With CCGWIART, the brewery has yet another unconventional (yet delectable) feather in its cap.
This was supposed to be a post about how the perfect March Beer was found; A bright St. Patrick’s green colored can that would help the run MSU was sure to go on in the NCAA tourney. But then the world decided to melt down. While unfortunately you can’t obnoxiously scream “GO GREEN” “GO WHITE” with your friends, it’s still possible to enjoy Big Lake Brewing‘s Sparti Parti IPA while barricaded in your own home.
HeadFlyer Brewing holds a special place in my heart. When it opened in April 2017 in my then neighborhood of Northeast (Nordeast) Minneapolis, the brewery instantly became one of my go-to watering holes for happy hours, celebrations and just the everyday beer. It’s one of my happy places.
Things are a lot different now than they were in 2017 in a whole host of ways. However, as they approach their third anniversary, the high quality, thoughtful and flavorful craft brew coming out of HeadFlyer remains steadfast.
So, as we face uncertainty and discomfort, I used this opportunity to turn to a beer that provides me solace — HeadFlyer’s Vanilla Bean Porter.
Growing up in Michigan, March was always a month of excitement and anticipation for me. After a long, cold winter, I always found myself eager to spend time outdoors on the first day of sunshine, and my spirits were lifted along with the slowly rising temperatures. In addition to the excitement that the spring season brings, the beginning of another one of my favorite “seasons” was filling me with anticipation this time of year: March Madness! However, as we all know, everything that we had planned on has abruptly been halted by COVID-19. School has been closed, spring break plans have been canceled and March Madness has taken on a new meaning. However, instead of complaining about how this has inconvenienced our lives, why not look at this opportunity as a chance to slow down?
I originally wrote this article with the intention of reaching for one of these light beers while cheering on my favorite basketball team. Instead, I’ll offer you six recommendations on light beers that you can enjoy while binge-watching Netflix, working on projects around the house or otherwise entertaining yourself during this unique time of social distancing.
Over the past three years, HOMES Brewery out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about breweries in the country. Two shining examples of their proficiency with hoppy beers can be found in Cat Person and Peaked.