On the day that Chicago’s Beermiscuous found out it was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, the owners had a huge sigh of relief. The city had changed the rules again to not allow taverns and bars that don’t serve food to have indoor dining, and the craft beer bar was nervous for its survival. And, even with the PPP loan, they aren’t out of the woods.
The sheer number of breweries within Chicago limits would lead you to believe you would never need to leave the city to get your craft beer fix. While this is technically true, there are many Chicagoland suburbs that have great breweries that, unless they distribute to the city, Chicagoans will miss out on.
On Thursday, the Illinois Craft Brewer’s Guild announced that their annual Festival of Barrel and Wood Aged Beer (FoBAB) will be among the many festivals to get cancelled because of the global pandemic. This news coincides with the cancellation of the 2021 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival held in Breckenridge, Colorado. The ICBG mentioned in their official announcement that the annual competition and awards ceremony would still be taking place virtually. Participating breweries will be asked to send their competition beers to FoBAB where they will be judged by 50 industry leaders and certified craft beer judges.
We know that Goose Island’s 2020 Bourbon County Stout lineup will go on sale this Black Friday as has been the tradition over the past 10 years. What we don’t know is how the release will be different this year with the pandemic. While we wait on the brewery to release those details, we can tell you about the variants for this year’s lineup.
Bad Dad Brewing Co. isn’t the sort of brewery you’re likely to stumble across accidentally. Barry Howard has no qualms saying that the brewery he and his sons founded in Fairmount, Indiana, isn’t in a location people generally think of as a destination. Instead, he’s proud of the fact that he made the brewery and its associated restaurant and brewpub into the destination.
Even in uncertain times, craft breweries and American ingenuity continue to create unique new ways to drink and enjoy craft beer. In Chicago, finding an establishment to sit outside and enjoy a cold one can still be hard to come by. Outdoor dining is limited, and people are lining up at the door to get a small dose of what feels like normalcy. However, with ample green space in and around the city, there is no shortage of places that provide some shade and plenty of space to spread out if relaxation and quiet are what you crave.
Just in time for the dog days of summer, Hop Butcher For The World released their highly sought after Blazed Orange Milkshake IPA, giving Chicagoland craft beer drinkers an IPA reminiscent of childhood summers and simpler times. Inspired by the classic frozen treat, Hop Butcher used their American ingenuity to bring you a Creamsicle in a glass.
Nobody wants to get labeled as a bandwagoner, pandering to whatever’s in vogue for the sake of staying trendy. When the New England IPA movement started gaining steam, brewers were quick to call out posers in a street cred battle that bordered on ridiculous. Well, the style is obviously here to stay, and with years of popularity under its belt, it’s fun to look back at some classics.
Striking a balance between tart and sweet is a difficult task. Fortunately for beer lovers, Riverlands Brewing Company has done just that with their Acid Prism: Buried in Berries. A companion to their Acid Rainbow, the Buried in Berries is a bold Fruited Sour with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, vanilla, and milk sugar.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in Columbus, OH has claimed many an Ohio beer drinker’s heart since opening in 2013 and their new core beer celebrates the agriculture of this state that calls itself “The Heart of It All.”
A rocker, a chef and a doctor walk into a bar. Normally, this would be the lead-in for a below-average joke. Instead, it’s the unique team behind the new creative enclave, community gathering space, and kitchen and brewery coming soon …
As Popeye the Sailor man would exclaim, “Well blow me down!” 1840 Brewing continues to make amazing beer in Milwaukee, and their Shelter in Case—a Belgian-inspired Saison fermented and aged in wine barrels—is no exception. Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.
Summer is lake season in Minnesota. While pursuing one of the state’s 11,842 lakes, one might be lucky enough to catch a view of Minnesota’s state bird — the loon. Inspired by the loon, Laser Loon Kolsch from Minneapolis’ Inbound BrewCo represents an ideal beer to pair with a lakeshore visit, pontoon or any Minnesota summer experience.
To mark this year’s pandemic-extended July 15 Tax Day, we talked with Bargersville, IN-based Taxman Brewing Company‘s co-owner and chief production officer, Colin McCloy. Normally the brewery hosts an annual Death & Taxes Day festival around April 15. However, much like the IRS, the brewery had to delay the festival. This year’s festival is planned for August 29, 2020.
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.
With a classic golden yellow tone, ALULU Brewery and Pub’s Aldona seems unassuming at first glance. A low head and the slightly transparent body leads a drinker to believe that the farmhouse ale may be simple, but the pint is …
In 2013 when Greg Shuff was getting ready to open DryHop Brewers, he had a vision to open up a series of brewpubs in different locations throughout Chicago. Over the past seven years, he’s opened up two more spots and is about to launch the fourth location, Crushed By Giants, on Friday, July 17.
My hometown of Griffith, Indiana is lucky enough to have two breweries that have seen strong support from the locals during the quarantine period. While other states have seen a spike in reported cases, the Chicagoland area and northwest Indiana have seen a much needed, steady decline in recent weeks. Many of the area’s smaller towns are starting to bustle with an activity that feels reminiscent of the days before a pandemic disrupted our lives. New Oberpfalz is a quintessential small-town brewery with a twist. Located in an old 1930s Main Street storefront building that has been renovated, the small taproom and patio is a cozy and comfortable place to spend an afternoon. While the main focus continues to be old-world German-Style Ales and Lagers, they do offer a variety of American style varieties as well.
Flagship beers are the lifeblood of any successful craft brewery. They provide sales consistency and additional sales points through variant releases that are familiar to the consumers, yet introduce new SKUs throughout the calendar year. New Holland Brewing’s cash-cow remains their Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout line, a decadently strong and barrel-forward beer that continues to generate acclaim for the Michigan-based brewery. Amidst a reimagining of the New Holland brand, the Dragon’s Milk brand continues to quietly hum along, generating positive sales year over year, thanks to the success of the original Stout and the popularity of new, buzzed-about variants.
Beermiscuous, a local beer cafe in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago (and another new location in Highwood, IL), recently celebrated their sixth anniversary, having opened on June 27, 2014. In years prior, they have hosted events ranging from tappings of special beers to raffles that give the winner two free beers each week. With the current state of COVID-19, Beermiscuous instead hosted a virtual tasting, hosted by co-owner, Austin Harvey.
Newport, Kentucky’s Wooden Cask Brewing Company doesn’t mess around when it comes to brewing traditional English, Irish and Scottish ales. As soon as you pick up one of their bottled beers, visit their website or step into their brewery (located on historic York street, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati), you are greeted with their motto: Time, Taste and Tradition. As their website notes, they are committed firmly to “quality not efficiency” and adds that “there is no point to brewing our beers unless we make taste superior products.” Their Reformation Scottish Stout clearly meets these standards as soon as it begins to ooze its thick, dark and malty richness into a glass.
The craft beer industry has diligently adapted taprooms, business processes and safety protocols to better serve patrons and adhere to current safety guidelines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Welcoming patrons back to drink outdoors (and, in some states, indoors) at a brewery’s location is a momentous task that cannot be understated. Being permitted to once again drink beer on-draft during Chicago’s Phase 3 and 4 reopenings has let some of Chicago’s beer drinkers experience a sense of cautious normalcy. One area of the craft beer scene that would typically draw crowds—and headaches—is a much-hyped beer release, like Revolution Brewing’s release of their latest Cafe Deth variant, Supermassive Cafe Deth. What does a beer release look like in the new normal? How do you execute one both safely and effectively? To find out, we asked Illinois’ largest independent brewer about how the release went.