chicago beer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
A new brewery opening up is always a cause for celebration. A new brewery that focuses on farmhouse traditions and the owners are alumni of Roaring Table Brewing Co? You cannot get this city woman out to the suburbs fast enough. Sundial Brewing & Blending opened up in July of 2023 in Barrington, Illinois (about an hour drive from Chicago… with no traffic*) after many years of homebrewing, and the expertise shows.
The cinema event that we’ve all been waiting for is here! While you may not be able to carry the following six beers into a movie theater, you can pair these when you inevitably rewatch Barbie at home, when it comes on streaming.
Chicago is well-known for its multitude of breweries, and it can be overwhelming for a first-time visitor to try to decide which ones to go to. Certain Chicago neighborhoods have more breweries than some, such as Avondale and Logan Square. Three of the breweries in this area have combined forces to create the Brewer’s Triangle, a newly formed conglomerate of Maplewood Brewery & Distillery, Ravinia Brewing Co. and Metropolitan Brewing.
There’s a new beer in Forbidden Root’s core lineup. Forbidden Root Peach Wit is a Wheat beer brewed with peach, rose, chamomile, jasmine, mahleb, arris root, osmanthus flowers, and sour orange. Along with this new introduction, all Forbidden Root beers will now be offered in sixteen-ounce cans. Trust me, you’ll want the extra ounces of this one. Peach Wit joins Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen in Forbidden Root’s core beer lineup, giving distribution partners some variety.
A brewery that has made a huge splash on the Chicago craft beer scene over the past year has been Funkytown Brewery, who brews at Pilot Project Brewing in both Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI. Owners Richard Bloomfield, Zachary Day and Gregory Williams chatted with PorchDrinking in February 2022 as a part of our AleBlazers series, so naturally we needed to catch up with them and see how the last year has been and where 2023 is taking them!
Pilot Project Brewing, a brewery incubator based in Chicago, with a second location in Milwaukee, WI, is a collaborative space where multiple breweries are able to enter the market without certain barriers that traditionally plague startup breweries. Their newest addition is Flora Brewing, Sarah Flora’s brewery that started contract brewing recently, though many know her from her homebrewing videos over the past six years. Flora Brewing will be launching four beers, with the release event set for Saturday, April 29.
Off Color Brewing of Chicago is known for its funky beers, an IPA-free menu and mice illustrations. More recently, the brewery is known for a sold-out beer and dumpling pairing event for the release of Sī Fáng Pale Lager, brewed in collaboration with QXY Dumplings. The collaboration between Off Color and QXY is unique from other collaborations. Typically, two breweries collaborate and leverage both of their respective audiences. For Sī Fáng, Off Color collaborated with Qing Xiang Yuan (QXY) to highlight an underrepresented neighborhood of Chicago, Chinatown. Unlike a regular beer release, the Off Color team worked with their friends at QXY to create not only an incredible beer but an exciting pairing experience.
There’s a new brewery in Naperville, Illinois! Go Brewing offers non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers, exclusively. It recently took over the former Two Fools Cider space nearby Solemn Oath Brewery. As one of the few taprooms solely focused on non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers, the taproom provides a space for people to gather without alcohol. Go Brewing’s founder, Joe Chura, was inspired to start the brewery after taking a sabbatical and participating in the seventy-five hard. During that time, he realized there were so few places not centered around drinking. The taproom offers non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers in a variety of styles, along with an extensive list of programming, providing their community with even more reasons to come together.
The holidays are among us and there’s no better Thanksgiving beer paring than Beer for Dealing with Your Family by Off Color Brewing. Technically, it’s not beer; it’s malt liquor. However, it’s included in the brewery’s “beer for” series and plays off of what everyone knows and loves about Off Color. It’s complex, well-rounded, multi-dimensional, and high ABV, but without carrying the heat. Additionally, and most importantly (to some), the can art is absolutely incredible.
Each year, Pink Boots Society members across the country team up to brew a beer for International Women’s Day. The Chicago chapter met up in February at Church Street Brewing Company to brew Cosmic Nunchucks, which will be available on tap and in cans at participating breweries starting this weekend. The brew day event involved 45 women that are involved in the craft beer industry in the Chicagoland area, helmed by Chicago Chapter Co-Leaders Shana Solarte, Raiye Rosado and Katie Hofmann.
Often times, smoked beers can offer similar notes and flavors to beef jerky. Separately, both incredible things; combined, not my cup of tea (or beer). Thankfully, no two iterations of any beer style are the same. Enter Django Pennsylvania, a Grodziskie style beer brewed by Ørkenoy in Chicago, IL in collaboration with Live Oak Brewing out of Austin, TX. A Grodziskie is a traditional Polish style, which is a very light, smoky beer, brewed with 100% wheat malt.
In honor of the Top Chef Season 18 premiere tomorrow, I thought I’d pair my top six winners with some craft beer. While always a fan of Top Chef, it has grown into a bit of an obsession during quarantine. Picking six winners of seventeen was hard enough, so other contestants are not included in the sixer, mainly because there would be no way to choose. If you love food and haven’t watched Top Chef, start watching now instead of reading this article because there are definitely spoilers (even if the spoilers are between one to thirteen years old).
You already know that Ravinia Brewing is coming soon to Chicago. You may be familiar with their Highland Park location, distribution throughout Chicago, or teasers for their new brewpub. If so, then you should also know the woman behind the scenes, Stephanie Kushnir. Stephanie is Head of Sales and Marketing for Ravinia Brewing. She’s getting Ravinia beer into our fridges and onto our feeds, all leading up to a highly anticipated opening right here in Chicago.
Celebrating friendships has always been extremely important, even more so after experiencing the trash fire of 2020. Galentine’s Day is a favorite holiday of mine, as it is a day where I can bake and craft and celebrate the incredible women in my life. I spend more time preparing for Galentine’s Day than I do most things, so knowing that this year will need to be postponed just equals more time to make celebrating female friendships extra special.
It’s cliche to say that 2020 was a year unlike any other but how else do you describe what was most likely the most challenging year in a long time. While breweries and organizations mainly cancelled or refashioned beer festivals and release parties, the beer continued to flow. In 2020, Illinois brewers still managed to produce an abundance of of notable beers.
With a deep love for family and friends and food, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday (until someone brings up politics). It also means that afterwards, I can blast All I Want for Christmas Is You as much as I want and no one can say anything.
As someone who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Oktoberfest is not just a type of beer or a festival in Germany; it’s a state of mind. With the cancellation of many Oktoberfest events, people have to be creative in their celebration. Personally, give me a day where I can justifiably drink beer and eat sausage all day and I’ll be a happy camper.
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.
In recent years, books written by comedians about their own lives have become extremely popular. From Amy Poehler’s Yes Please to Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, these books of essays blend humor, life lessons, and important experiences into a relatively quick read. With shelter in place orders still set in place, what better way to spend your time than with a delicious beer and an entertaining book?
The below books are focused on those of BIPOC authors; you can find your local Black-owned bookstore here to support Black-owned businesses!
A large Memorial Day cookout may not be an option this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the delicious foods that come with the barbecue. For those who are social distancing together, you can still put together a fun, albeit small, Memorial Day event. While PorchDrinking can’t do the cooking for you, we can give you the perfect pairings for those classic cookout foods!