Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? Not the boxed variety, with multiple pieces that we are all too familiar with recently. Instead, one involving riddles, obscure references and ever-evolving hints. Typically, new breweries want to be discovered, pairing opening weekends with long lines, endless tags on Instagram and sold out items. For Hidden Hand Brewing, however, the allure is driven by the secrecy, coded messages and small batch offerings. It’s more than a new beer offering. It’s a masterly crafted limited release highlighting the top hop variants in the industry. The beer is as hard to get your hands on as it is to decipher the riddles—unless you’re paying attention.
Chicago’s Hopewell Brewing Co. is probably best known for their modern take on beer. Their goal as a brewery is to make beer that is bright and clean. Hopewell was a nearly decade-long creation, with the owners always knowing that their dreams would come to fruition as they proceeded through the years. With their intensive approach, they’ve created some amazing and unique showstoppers. Their seasonal spring/summer sour ale, Clover Club, proclaims the entirety of Hopewell’s mission in every sip.
The COVID-19 pandemic was instrumental in shining a light on the importance of mental health. While society was taking steps in raising awareness of mental health before COVID-19, it became even more important during COVID-19. It especially became important in the craft beer world, an industry that was extremely affected by the shutdowns and restrictions.
To continue to normalize mental health in the craft beer industry and community, Hope For The Day, a non-profit movement empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education, has partnered with Eagle Park Brewing, Hopsmash, Malteurop Malting Co., Egoproof and Hollingbery & Son Hops for an international beer collaboration.
The pandemic reminded us about the importance of supporting small, local and family-owned businesses. SchillingBridge is a family-run operation that claims to be the nation’s first farm winery/microbrewery. They are located in Pawnee City, NE, a small town less than 10 miles north of the Kansas border.
It’s been a hell of a two weeks in the craft beer world since we’ve last had a drink check. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then head over to Brienne (@ratmagnet) on Instagram and read the thousands of accounts of sexual harassment, misogyny and unfair treatment to women all across the industry. This movement isn’t something to be funny or cute about, so here’s some of the beers that our staff have had during the last two weeks. Guys — specifically white bearded dudes in the industry who look just like me — be better. Here is What We’re Drinking:
The rivalry between Missouri’s two biggest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, is well-known and long-standing. From the Royals and the Cardinals to toasted ravioli and barbecue, ask any resident which city is the best, and you’ll be met with an impassioned and detailed defense of their hometown. You’re either a Kansas City person or a St. Louis person — never both.
However, the rivalry is all in good fun — with the exception of the 1985 World Series — and while fierce, it’s not uncommon for the two cities to unite for a greater cause. Whether Team St. Louis or Team Kansas City, residents have a few things in common: they love beer, they love their city and they love their home state.
Have you ever had a “Cold IPA?” No, we are not talking about the one that you just pulled from the refrigerator. The history of a Cold IPA is relatively new, but the development is credited to Wayfinder Beer out of Portland, Ore. Cold IPAs are a thing of beauty and smell the part too. On one side, you have that smell of the hoppiness from an IPA. On the other, you have that clean, crisp style of a lager. Do not mistake these as IPLs, which seems to be a common thread.
They say nostalgia is a hell of a drug, and it certainly brought a shockwave along with it when compiling this list. From movies and songs to world events, the year 2000 did not skimp on the excitement. Get out your party hats and year-shaped goggles while we take a trip down memory lane and hand out some beers to six moments from 2000 now old enough to drink:
Chicago’s largest independent brewer, Revolution Brewing, and its most polarizing liquor brand Jeppson’s Malort (made by local CH Distillery), are again teaming up for some boozy shenanigans this summer. The two Chicago staples first teamed up for an Anti Hero Malort ‘variant’ last spring to save some unused kegs of Revolution’s flagship Anti Hero IPA that weren’t being used due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they’ve decided to expand their collaboration further. Starting in June, adventurous drinkers in the city can expect four unique limited edition labels of Anti Hero Malort that house the famed wormwood-forward liquor with a bit more barrel-character added this time. Here are the details.
After an eight hour day of riding every roller coaster and ride possible at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, there was nothing better than ending your day with the infamous blue ice cream while sitting under the Eiffel Tower look-alike overlooking the fountain. While attempting to not spill the blue ice cream on yourself, you realize how much your feet hurt and that you forgot to apply that second coat of sunscreen. At that point, nothing tasted better.
Just a stone’s throw from the saturated market that is Chicago, and in the large shadow that is cast by craft beer darlings, Three Floyds, sits 18th Street Brewery. Since opening their doors in 2013, 18th Street has kept their nose to the grindstone, cranking out some mighty fine beers for close to a decade.
Despite being just a neighborhood brewery in Indiana, 18th Street is no stranger to national acclaim. They’ve been invited to coveted beer fests such as Wake Fest, collaborated with cool-kid breweries like Mikkeller, and were voted top brewpub in the nation by USA Today in 2019. 18th Street may not have the mainstream popularity of their aforementioned neighbor yet, but the beer they produce continues to earn them industry cred and respect of their peers that hype can’t buy.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the world “alcove” as a small recessed section of a room. That’s exactly what MadTree Brewing‘s newest location is going to be—an alcove. The Cincinnati brewery announced its second location, a bar and restaurant located in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine (OTR) district.
Properly named MadTree Alcove, the new location will feature a full tap list of MadTree beers, cocktails and upscale farm-to-table offerings with two private event spaces. The two-story space will feature a large bar, light-filled lounges, dining areas and an intimate private dining room for small groups.
Ravinia Brewing opened a second brewpub in Logan Square, nearly two years after the brewery brewed their first batch of beer in the same neighborhood. Ravinia’s second brewpub location opened to the public on Friday May 7. The brewery has been around since 2017, where they began distributing from their Highland Park facility, which later become the location to house their first brewpub.
It’s natural to seek silver linings in bad situations, but when storm clouds hung above our collective heads during the COVID19, crisis, Anvil & Forge Brewing and Distilling provided Illinois beer drinkers with some helpful grey — Earl Grey Tea, to me more specific. Earlier this year, Illinois Beer drinkers partook in a March Madness bracket-style beer event — #BEERacket — that, yet again, served as a virtual replacement for the in-person festivals we once took for granted. But, amid that reminder of the trouble caused by the evil microbe came a host of good beers, including Springfield Illinois’ Anvil & Forge Wolf Bane Grey Tart, a sour ale with with lemon peel, dried wild bergamot flower and Earl Grey Tea. An exemplary botanical beer, Wolf’s Bane reminds beer drinkers that there are still brewers willing to producing flavorful beers outside the realm of “trendy styles.”
Not only did Chicago breweries win the first two gold medals in the Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival, but Alarmist Brewing and Old Irving Brewing are just 10 minutes from one another. Now they’ve teamed up to collab on a Hazy IPA—Le Beez.
Not sure what to get your mom, wife, sister or aunt this Mother’s Day? How about an Ultimate 6er highlighting some of the most cliche Mother’s Day gifts of years past? Brunch, flowers or wine — we’ve got you covered in this week’s guide to celebrating the most important woman in your life.
There’s been no shortage of activity happening recently and it’s a welcomed sight. Sports are back, industries like music and film are starting to expand again. Vaccinations are becoming available and there’s a positivity that we’re almost to the other side of the pandemic. We’re not there yet, though, so in the meantime, stay resilient, grab a beer, and check out what we’re drinking.
From Boulevard to Budweiser, Kansas City and St. Louis boast some of the largest breweries in the country. However, Missouri’s Craft Beer scene extends far outside of the most populous cities. There are many breweries in Springfield, the Ozarks and Columbia, Missouri, for example, that are producing quality brews with fiercely loyal local followers. These breweries see distribution across the state, and have begun gaining more traction as the craft beer market continues to grow. One such brewery is Columbia’s Broadway Brewery.
In Episode 39 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Kindsey Bernhard converses with Rhiannon Hoeweler, director of strategic impact at MadTree Brewing in Cincinnati, for a special Earth Day episode.
Mexico Calling from Cruz Blanca Brewery is the beer that Mexican lagers should aspire to be. In recent years, there has been an influx of breweries trying their hand at making a craft version of one the most macro styles of beer on the market. What you’re left with are good beers that end up tasting nothing like a Corona, Dos Equis, Modelo or whatever the brewer drew inspiration from. The beers tend to end up with some punny name consisting of Spanish words that a brewer learned during his high school spring break in Cancun.