Refer to it as mid-summer; the dog days; the height of summertime. Call it whatever you want, but the fact is that it’s hot outside in the Windy City. And so to beat the heat; we need a few refreshing beers. Whether you drink it watching a ball game while grilling or just basking in some air conditioning, it’s satisfying to have a beer that fits the season. Here are six Chicago summer beers sure to help keep the mind off the endless beads of sweat forming all over your skin.
One of the country’s most iconic beer brands, Bell’s Oberon is getting a slightly updated look to close out the summer. This morning, Bell’s Brewery announced that it will introduce a short run special edition label to run through the end of August.
Summer has finally arrived, and in the Midwest, we only have a few short months of sunshine and warm weather. What better way to enjoy the summer than to take a quiet stroll away from the concrete jungle of Chicago? In honor of Indiana Dunes receiving National Park status, I decided to dust off my hiking boots and head to northwest Indiana to see what fun a craft beer nerd and nature lover can have in Porter County.
Bread and beer have some very obvious connections. Which means there’s always plenty of breweries using bread as a clever ingredient or naming convention. And that is exactly what is happening in Cincinnati, Ohio, with Fretboard Brewing and Klosterman Baking Co.
I’m not sure about everybody else, but this summer seems to be going by way too quick. Sometimes, however, certain things come up that remind you of school in all the best ways. Drekker Brewing, out of Fargo, North Dakota (yes, that’s a real place) has given me a true sense of nostalgia with this fruited sour ale that I recently tried.
Crystal Lake Brewing may be located on the outer edges of the Chicago Metropolitan region, but the brewery is as much a “Chicago beer” as any brewery located within the city limits. So much so, the Crystal Lake Beach Blonde Lager has become a staple at the Signature Room, a posh restaurant & lounge located 1,000 feet above Chicago on the 95th & 96th floor of the John Hancock Center. And now, the brewery has created Top View Brew Golden Wheat Ale exclusively for the Signature Room and Signature Lounge. “Aside from occasionally being on draft at the Crystal Lake Tap Room, it’s only available 95 floors up in the Hancock building. Guests at the restaurant will be able to order this beer year-round while they enjoy the great menu and amazing views of Chicago,” explained Crystal Lake Sales Manager, Jesse Able.
Michigan’s magic is in its power to make locals forget winters exist. We suffer for half the year as ice-pops, then thaw for a couple months of good season. Thankfully, summers around here are peak. Life blooms, lakes warm, that ice cream truck jingle haunts our city streets. Best of all: fruit. We have bushels coming out the ears, blueberries and tart cherries especially, but also apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes—the list goes on. For brewers, it’s not a question of if they can find fruit for beer, but which ones they’ll pick. For Barrel + Beam Terre Magique, blackberry is our lucky winner.
Triptych Brewing started from a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012 but didn’t push out their first beers until February of 2013. Located in Savoy, IL (a small village just south of Champaign, in the middle of the state), the brewery has released more than 200 beers in the past six years and recently just expanded distribution so you can find them all across central and northern Illinois.
With the brewery’s recent expansion, I am finally able to enjoy its beers. Today, I found a four-pack of Triptych Brewing Wake Up, Neo: a Double IPA “brewed the hazy way.” This variation was brewed with Citra, Ekuanot and Mosaic hops and is sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans that cost $17. The good news is each pint has a solid 8.4% ABV.
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]
A few of the featured events occurring from July 8 – 21 are listed here. Enjoy.
Big Stouts and Barleywines are typically released in the fall and winter. The cold and sometimes downright freezing temperatures create a perfect atmosphere to drink beers that are more than 12% ABV. So naturally, when Revolution Brewing announced that two big English Barleywines are getting released in mid-July, it turned heads.
Great Lakes Brewing Company has been busy this year, releasing two new beers during the first few months of the year. So far, we have Great Lakes IPA now out for year-round distribution and Midnight Moses as a part of their Holy Moses variety pack. Late last month, a third offering arrived ready to meet our taste buds during this summer season. Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Buckin’ Mule Moscow Mule Ale is a unique and refreshing alternative to the mainstays one normally comes across in the beer cooler.
The ability to sell growlers in the future looks bleak for some Minnesota breweries as a critical piece of legislation failed to move forward in the Minnesota Senate this year.
This Saturday, June 29, marks the fourth annual Ultra Fresh Fest, brought to you by our friends at The Hop Review. This Chicago craft beer festival is truly unique, featuring pours from (mostly) local breweries that have been packaged within one week of the event. You know what that means? Some ultra fresh beer!
Rhinegeist in Cincinnati is about the celebrate six years of brewing, and what a journey it has been. Three years ago, we featured the brewery’s Streaker Rye IPA and I wrote, “Streaker Rye IPA from Cincinnati’s up-and-coming Rhinegeist provides insight into why this Queen City brewery is enjoying such rapid success.” Well, three years later, it is no longer accurate to describe Rhinegeist as “up and coming.” They’ve arrived.
The brewery operating in the historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District in Cincinnati (from whence the brewery name is derived), has grown into one of the nation’s largest breweries. We had a chance to pose Five Questions to Bryant Goulding, Co-Founder and VP of Sales & Marketing for Rhinegeist, and ask about where the brewery is, where it’s been and where it’s going.
Michigan is one of those places that never stops. Despite jokes about two seasons (winter and road construction) the truth is, every season begins and ends and brings with it the sort of activities that seem as if they only happen in movies. There is skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, gardens of wildflowers and baby animals in spring, and hills and landscapes full of red, yellow and orange in the fall. It’s summer, however, when Michigan truly comes alive, mostly because the state is littered with natural and human-made beauties that couldn’t possibly be in one area of the world. It’s with this in mind that for this week’s Ultimate 6er, we have six Michigan summer adventures and the beers that will make them even better.
Well before we met Sam and Libby, we were familiar with the pair’s brand and products.
Their enamel pins are some of the most creative, unique and wear-able beer-related accessories we’ve seen. Katie wears her hop pin regularly, swapping it …
Down an alley, on the Northside of Chicago, school was in session as two neighbors invited their friend Brett over for a unique experiment.
Lake Effect Brewing Company founder, Clint Bautz, and Omega Yeast founder, Lance Shaner, became neighbors and …
A Saturday filled with thunderstorms and unseasonably cold weather did not stop a large crowd of craft beer enthusiasts from descending upon Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo after hours to enjoy the annual Crafts Brews at the Zoo.
The event featured several local Chicagoland breweries including a select few from across the country and beyond. VIP ticket holders were welcomed with a half hour-early admission complete with access to a light appetizer bar and special tappings from Pollyanna Brewing (including a thick, delicious Malted Milk Ball Pastry Stout). As we’ve come to expect from a Lou Dog Events! festival, the event was very well organized with brewery pouring stations located throughout the park, embedded into many of the zoo’s animal exhibits. This allowed ample space to move around, see some animals and sample some great beer.
The weather kept a few of the animals indoors, but festival attendees had the opportunity to see an eastern black rhinoceros, Japanese Macaque and, of course… penguins! In addition to entertainment, we had some great beers being poured from breweries both local and beyond.
Beer is poetry. It takes a great deal of understanding and thoughtfulness to make a beer that speaks to drinkers and keeps them coming back for more. Putting together a genuinely exquisite beer requires the consideration of each part individually, from the water to the hops, from the malt to the yeast. Over time, those elements become part of one, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, time will improve it even more. Poetry is much the same. With thorough understanding and thoughtfulness, a poem can last for generations, sitting on our tongues and inspiring whomever it touches. It was this inspiration that led Bell’s Brewery to honor one of Larry Bell’s favorite poets, Walt Whitman, with the launched of their Leaves of Grass series. The first release, Song of Myself, is a German-inspired American IPA. Its release in May 2019 coincided with Whitman’s 200th birthday.
Draped over a few rolling hills in eastern Ohio sits the property of a farmhouse brewery that comes by its agrarian title honestly. Wooly Pig Farm Brewery’s name isn’t marketing; the brewery is a working farm growing livestock and hop bines. Founder and brewmaster Kevin Ely specializes in rustic German lagers, and his bestseller is Rustic Helles, a Munich Helles served unfiltered and cloudy straight from the lagering tanks.