#chicagobeer – PorchDrinking.com
With more than 200 breweries within its city limits, Chicago’s brewery scene can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers or tourists visiting the city for a weekend. Thankfully, many breweries have started to take the guess work out of where to visit by joining together to create uniquely branded brewing “neighborhoods” that offer beer drinkers a structured map of several breweries in close proximity to each other. It’s more a branding play than anything, but it does help each brewery in the allotted “district” brand themselves as being part of the collective – adding extra appeal to those who want to make a day out of walking to several spots in one day. The breweries in the Ravenswood neighborhood were the first to pioneer the idea in Chicago, as the adeptly branded “Malt Row” offers drinkers a robust list of unique breweries and beer styles from the likes Dovetail, Begyle and Band of Bohemia, all located within a near mile radius. Now, Chicago’s quickly growing West Side is getting into the picture with the newly created “Chicago Brewing District,” which includes beer giant Goose Island, GABF-winner On Tour Brewing, large contact brewer Great Central Brewing Company, All Rise Brewing and Finch Beer.
Hope everyone is ready for some smoking good beers…get it?! Cause it’s 4/20? Yeah, I don’t care either. What I do care about is some of the tasty brews that are starting to peek out before spring weather greets us all – Saisons, IPA, and fruited beers! In case you aren’t in a place that is hitting 60+ degrees Fahrenheit, crack that heater, put on a pair of shorts, crack a cold one and see What We’re Drinking.
Just minutes before Marz Community Brewing Company was set to open for the first time this past Saturday, a line stretched from the door and around the corner with craft beer fans ready to welcome the long-awaited taproom to the Chicago beer scene.
A lust for special release beers has increasingly dominated beer geek culture the last few years, and an abundance of Chicago beer drinkers share that trait. But, what about signature brews? While it’s fun to post pictures of whales on social media, flagships pay a brewery’s bills and their quality ultimately determine a brewery’s fortune.
It’s likely that nearly all of nearly 200 Chicago-area breweries have one or two (or more) beers worthy of making this list. And, you can be sure that we writers left a few of our favorites off this list, too. Nonetheless, we feel that these 21 beers are ones you should not miss in 2018.
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@example.com.
It has been a busy week for Chicago’s largest independently owned brewery. After announcing the exciting news that they will officially begin distribution to Michigan starting August 21st, Revolution Brewing recently announced even better news for craft beer lovers: the expansion of their Deep Wood barrel-aged brew series into cans.
Off Color Brewing offers some of the best craft beer in the country across their portfolio, in my humble opinion. And how could you pass up a beer named Sparkles Finds (some) Trouble? This poor kitten got himself into a little, but not too much trouble. Check out the basically amazing description of the beer from the brewery itself (I feel like there’s no way they’re paying their marketing person enough!):
“Curious kittens sometimes get themselves into trouble. What they find out is some things are best left alone. Likewise, curious brewers sometimes add flowers and junk to their beer to see what’ll happen. What they find out is those flowers will add a sweet note and stunning pink color to an otherwise tart and salty beer.”
Every year since 2010, Chicago Craft Beer Week has celebrated the city’s craft beer industry and all those that work so hard to produce so many great beers. On Thursday, the week-long celebration kicks off with Beer Under Glass (B.U.G) and then will be followed by hundreds of events over the next seven days.
After winning a coveted Michelin star this past November, Band of Bohemia welcomes in spring with an industry leading list of brewers. On May 1st they’ll host, “Chicago’s Premier Brewpubs and Breweries Under One Roof”. They are teaming up with the James Beard Foundation and The Illinois Restaurant Association to put on the event.
Where else can you drink among the tombs of ancient Egyptians or sip a cold beer in the Hall of Birds? If you were at The Chicago Beer Festival you had both of these opportunities and a lot more.
Featured image courtesy of Half Acre Beer Co.
Half Acre Beer Co. is known across Chicago as a forward-thinking brewery that produces big flavor throughout all of their beers. Their newest release, Topanga Gulch DIPA, is the next iteration of this trend, delivering Citra hopped tastiness and fruity notes throughout every sip.
Revolution Brewing is a Chicago beer staple, most known for their fantastic Hero IPA series. With seven beers currently in their Hero line, Revolution has decided to shake things up by packaging four of these Hero varieties into one, well-named, variety pack: The League of Heroes.
When you hear about two breweries working together to brew a collaboration beer, you’d expect the brewers of brewery A to go over to brewery B and then together they create one beer. That’s how 99.9% of collaboration beers go about. However, Pipeworks and Marz had something different in mind.
Chicago’s Northside has become a hot bed for quality craft beer which means there are a lot of good options to choose from and not enough time to try everything. But fear not beer lovers, Halsted’s Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival is here to help by offering an impressive lineup of beer from 21 different breweries, all in one event.
Situated on the north side of Chicago, Aquanaut Brewing Company features a small line of year-round beers, but has plans to launch more seasonal and one-off beers as well as opening up a taproom in the future.
There are few beers that I actively go out and look for the day that distribution begins. One of those rare exceptions is anytime Pipeworks Brewing Co. releases a new beer from their Fish Series. If you’re not familiar with this series, it consists of big imperial IPAs with the addition of fruit and, typically, honey. They’re sweet, they’re fruity and the most recent release does not deviate.
Ale Syndicate will be brewing beer in Chicago in 2017. It just won’t be in their current space. The brewery announced on Monday that they would be leaving their Logan Square location to brew with another brewery in the city. At this time they have not announced who they will be brewing with when they begin producing beer again.
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Beer, another great Barley’s Angels event, went off with a bang last Monday offering up some smoky treats at Links Taproom in Wicker Park. Barley’s Angels, a women’s craft beer appreciation and educational group, sure does know how to pick their taprooms. You would think that with 36 beers on tap, deciding which beer to choose would be a nightmare – but the Links staff is more than happy to discuss your likes and dislikes and recommend the perfect beer. On every wall you can see digital boards displaying the wide variety beers currently on tap and how much of the keg is left. This allows patrons to choose their beers wisely because once a keg is spent, a new brew is on.
Are you still searching for that perfect summer beer that can quench your insatiable thirst created by a scorching mid-day sun? Then you may want to wander over to Temperance Beer Co. in Evanston, IL, for their Greenwood Beach Blonde Ale with Pineapple. It is only around for a few months out of the year and makes its appearance on the Chicago beer scene in early May. Being named after Greenwood Street beach in Evanston, it makes sense that this blonde ale is one that you can sip on all day and truly enjoy what Temperance Beer Co. has brewed for you. Now back to the day where I first discovered this amazing beer!