Chicago Craft Beer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
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!
As a part of the PorchDrinking AleBlazers series, we’re excited to chat with the owners of Funkytown Brewery, Richard Bloomfield, Zachary Day and Gregory Williams! With their opening in October 2021, they became the second Black-owned brewery in Chicago that is currently operating. We discuss the future of Funkytown, how they started working with a brewery incubator, the importance of diversity in craft beer and more!
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.
Sometimes you see a beer; read the description and have no idea what to expect but you know you want to try that beer. That was the case with Hopewell Brewing Company’s Cold Brew Lemonade beer that recently hit the market.
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!
Around the Bend Beer Company isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel; the two-year-old brewery is on a mission to make the wheel faster, slicker, and cooler. When brewing a Kolsch-style beer (Ghost of ‘Lectricity), a first-wort brewing process is applied to extract more hops flavor, yet also smooth out its edges. When Around the Bend brews an American Pale Ale (Silk Road), galangal is blended into the recipe. And who else make the connection between orange marmalade and a Double/Imperial IPA? You find it in Mr. Marmalade.
Another Chicago brewery is changing its name, and this time it’s Urban Legend Brewing (Westmont, IL). And it’s coming with a week-long party! On Aug. 22, Urban Legend Brewing Company will officially become Myths and Legends Brewing Company. This name change arrives on the heels of several, recent Chicago brewery name changes such as Atlas Brewing becoming Burnt City, South Loop Brewing becoming Hop Butcher for the World, and a few years ago, Mercenary Brewing becoming Maplewood.
It’s no surprise that Tribes Alehouse and Beer Company was founded by a former chef – Niall Freyne. A good chef is a master visionary, able to transform individual ingredients into a well-composed dish. In that spirit, Niall is particular about every single beer served at Tribes – and there are tons of them. He said, “If I haven’t met with someone I won’t sell it. I want people to care about their client.” Each beer fits his vision for Tribes as a craft beer haven, and it’s a vision that has people coming back again, and again… and again.
Breweries have been accumulating in Chicago faster than snow during a vortex style blizzard. Many of those up and coming new breweries exist in buildings that offer limited potential for physical growth. But, brewing success leads to a greater demand, so what happens when the demand exceeds supply? Or, for brewers that haven’t yet found their own space, where can they brew? That’s where Great Central Brewing Company (GCBC) comes to the rescue (opening in fall, 2016).
Like a symphony orchestra that brilliantly melds the sounds of a drum, bassoon and violin together into one harmonious musical piece, the Chicago Ale Fest proved most enjoyable because from tent to tent; one could sample a black or red IPA, porter, an ale with green tea and lemongrass, fruit-forward beers, barrel-aged brews, helles, pils, maibocks, saisons, sours and gose…and a partridge in a pear tree, I think. Each beer was good on its own, but collectively it makes for one terrific beer experience.
Pollyanna Brewing’s rapid success is almost unfathomable until you try the beer — and then it makes perfect sense. Just shy of two years old, Pollyanna Brewing is already expanding its production, selling its beer at Cellular Field (home of the White Sox), and the taproom is frequently packed. It took Pollyanna only a year to create a beer that exceeded the popularity of its original, and already popular, creations — Summerly, a raspberry wheat beer. The refreshing summer treat is not only delicious, it speaks volumes about Pollyanna.
Chicago Craft Beer Week
Nevin’s Brewing Co: 4th Annual 21 Beer Salute
12337 South Rt. 59, Plainfield, Illinois
Sat, 5/21: 6 – 10pm
Fee: $1 per sample (4 oz), $8 cover after 8pm.
Music: 9:30pm: Keith Semple
Food: $10.99 unlimited wings
Craft brewers love to be innovative. So, naturally, Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW) involves an event where one brewer provides patrons with a celebration of experimentation. Indeed, Marc Wilson, brewmaster at Nevin’s Brewing Co. in Plainfield, explained, “I wanted to play with some styles/techniques that I’m a little less familiar.” And he’ll leave it up to you to be the judge, explaining, “I give our guests scorecards that they can return to me at the end of the evening so I can see what went well and what bombed.”
Chicago Craft Beer Week Chain O’Lakes Brewing Company Small Batch Ale Release (Collaboration) Fri, May 20, 4pm – 9pm Chain O’ Lakes Brewery Taproom 3425 Pearl St, McHenry, IL 60050 …