ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 20
If you’re like me and not ready to put summer behind you yet, try a lighter beer that would be a good transition from summer to fall. The Begyle Blonde, a deep gold colored American Blonde Ale, is a perfect beer for the transition of the seasons.
Photo courtesy of Arcadia Ales.
To quote a past professor: I reserve the right to be wrong.
In sixth grade I only once cleaned up after a friend’s Tamagotchi Giga Pet. I belonged to a school district around a farming community and found it was not uncommon for students to walk through cow or horse or pig manure in the morning before school. We knew what sticks were for and this egg-looking pixilated-dog toy had no use-stick button. I had cast aside my childhood then and welcomed cynicism. Since then, I have not succumbed to fads: my first cell phone was out of necessity at twenty, as apartment landlines became expensive and impracticable and employers immediately threw away applications without a phone number; I still have a flip phone, find the constant use of smart phones offensive; I avoided Twitter for eight years; I still don’t exactly understand Tinder or Reddit or what a millennial is or what their duties are or why one young man felt the need to tell me not to whistle while doing laundry because I was appropriating unpaid-labor culture; only now do I think a Tickle-me-Elmo would be fun (however, Gak was great, though I never owned any). And as of recently, I had no desire to fill the void in my life with anything pumpkin-spiced.
Back in the 1990s Greg Hall was seen as a pioneer in craft beer. At a time when the industry was beginning to grow, Hall helped Goose Island become a national leader in craft beer. In 2011 Hall left the brewery to enter a space that was on the verge of experiencing large growth just like the craft beer industry years ago – cider.
Most of the leaves have vanished, the nights are getting longer, and Jack Frost has been seen wandering around North America. There’s no stopping it – winter’s coming. You know what that means, right? Cheers to stout season! It may be getting cold outside, but the appropriately named Burnt City Brewing in Chicago is one of many brewers ready to combat each cold front with robust beer — take that, Jack! If you are in Chicagoland or Alabama, get ready to enjoy some Freight Handler Milk Stout. And on New Year’s Eve – Burnt City and Arcade Brewery are ready to help Chicagoans ring in 2017.
Pair with: Friendsgiving gatherings. Thanksgiving leftovers.
‘Tis the season to embrace all things fall. If you’re burnt out on pumpkin-spiced everything, Yammy Yammy by Platform Brewing Co. features another star of the fall cornucopia, the sweet potato, making it …
ABV: 14.5% | IBU: 20
Revolution Brewing explains its Deep Wood Series Ryeway to Heaven as perhaps a “doorway to an existential awakening, or maybe it’s just a damned fine beer.” One could argue it’s a little bit of both. This rye ale aged in rye barrels serves as the quintessential example of how the art and science of barrel-aged brewing can result in elevated deliciousness – and it’s a perfect treat for Thanksgiving and holiday festivities.
It is Christmas ale season: a festive time of year many people anticipate with a frothy fervor! However, it may be that you would rather hide away from the hubbub of ginger and cinnamon and all things Christmas. I enjoy a little bit of holiday cheer in my beer from time to time, and the weather has finally become chilly enough around these parts to warrant a few Christmas ales in my tummy. This year, Great Lakes Brewing Company is not simply rolling out their most popular beverage for all the good little boys and girls. They are also bottling their barrel-aged Christmas ale right after Thanksgiving for everyone to sip around the mistletoe. I received a nice 22-ounce bottle to try in advance of the bottle release later this week, and I am here to give you the details about the beer and what will take place very soon.
Walking down the sidewalk last week with my son, we literally saw a squirrel with an acorn in his mouth. “He’s stocking up for the winter,” said the 12 year old. “How cool would it be to hibernate?” Wow. Hibernate. I could deal with that. Take off for a few months, do nothing but sleep, eat and drink beer. But the key to a successful hibernation is that you can’t go out. Actually I think that is the definition of hibernation.
Let’s talk about a beer that any bunny can appreciate — Hugh Hefeweizen, from Rhinegeist. Hugh likes the finer things in life: Silk lederhosen, pretty junge Fraus, and sitting by the pool in a palatial Bavarian castle — where else would you find a noble hop? One sip of Hugh Hefeweizen and beer drinkers will immediately realize what Hugh is all about — pleasure.
Now that my liver has had a few days to rest I’m able to look back on the 2016 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers. Once again the beer selection at FoBAB was incredible. In fact 2016 seemed to highlight more “whales” than last year. There were definitely some beers worth highlighting that didn’t take home medals this year.
Leave it to a Siebel Institute graduate to ferment a plan to impress a girl. Charlie Davis attempted to win Katie Morgan’s heart with hard cider. It worked. She not only fell in love with him, she married him. Katie also fell in love with the cider. In fact, the two of them thought so highly of that magical moment that they turned it into a business — Chicago’s first cidery. Today, you’ll find Charlie right-beside-her — Right Bee Cider, churning out well crafted cider to a growing fan base. He wooed her, and now they are wooing Chicago. You might say, it is cider at first site.
The world’s largest barrel-aged beer competition, held at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer (FoBAB) in Chicago, is underway. However, the FoBAB 2016 awards are now official, and our Chicago/Midwest editor, Mike Zoeller was there. Here are the results — congrats to all the winners!
Stormtrooper: “How long have you had these blueberries?”
Luke: “Just picked them up this summer.”
Ben: “I’ve got a 4-pack of it in the back if you’d like some.”
Stormtrooper: “Let me see your brewing permit.”
We’re going to take you away from our usual Brewery Showcase feature to fill you in on a little secret, something just as good, if not better than your neighborhood brewery. If you want craft beer in Michigan, look no further than Fitzgerald’s Hotel & Restaurant.
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From day one, the Band of Bohemia team consisting of Michael Carroll, Craig Sindelar, Matt Dubois, Carlos Matias, Mario Lopez, Tom Santelle strove to reflect the highest of standards in the field of culinary and brewing excellence. That distinction has now been validated as Band of Bohemia becomes the first brewpub to receive a Michelin Star recognition of excellence in the culinary dining field. More impressive, is the fact that the Chicago-based brewpub’s is just celebrating their one year anniversary this upcoming November 19.
Chicago’s brewing culture is as diverse as its population, but one genre of brewing resonates strongly with Windy City beer enthusiasts — barrel-aged brewing. In 1993, Greg Hall at Goose Island experimented with beer in bourbon barrels and, as they say, the rest is history (see this movie about that story). The legacy of his idea manifests itself every November with Goose Island’s Black Friday Bourbon County release and numerous barrel-aged beer festivals, notably the Festival of Barrel Aged Brewing (FoBAB). Brandon Wright, of Chicago Brew Werks/Werk Force Brewing, shares his unique perspective on Chicago’s love of barrel-aged beer.
In a setting normally reserved for bringing screenplays to life, the entertainment value of Chicago’s Beer Hoptacular at Cinespace Chicago was worthy of an Oscar. Within the expansive production studio, a sea of breweries lined both walls and were accompanied by music, food, an airbrush tattoo van, and even an insult booth. Of course, a beer fest is only as good as its beer, and with more than 150 craft beers on hand, the beer selection did not disappoint.
The enthusiasm for brewing small-batch beer at Imperial Oak Brewing is palpable. Brett Semenske, Grant Hamilton and Chris DiBraccio of Imperial Oak Brewing own a wealth of combined home brewing and bar industry experience which explains their recipe for success – brew a variety of great beer and make the brewpub experience priority number one.
Like nearly any major city in America, the local brewing scene in St. Louis continues to grow rapidly. But unlike other cities where the brewing is made up of many startup breweries creating a new scene, here it’s more like we’re reclaiming our heritage as America’s brewing capital.