#chicagobeer – PorchDrinking.com
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!
“The true history of the World is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms.” —Tyrion Lannister.
Similarly, the true history of craft beer is conversation, but in any room. Chicago Craft Beer week was a prime example, keeping me jabbing for 10 days straight. One stand-out event was the Brewers of the Western Suburbs Cruise hosted by BrewFest Partners, aboard the Mystic Blue.
It was a perfect spring day when we set sail from Navy Pier for a 3-hour long journey along beautiful Lake Michigan. With the renown Chicago skyline as our backdrop, we were catered delicious finger food, and served refreshing beer by Banging Gavel, Blue Nose, BuckleDown, Church Street, Exit Strategy, Flesk, Hopvine, Miskatonic, Nevins, Noon Whistle, Solemn Oath, and Spent Grain Society (homebrew club).
Days before the craziness of Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW), I was offered the opportunity to tour soon-to-open Dovetail Brewery, which is co-owned, operated and run by Bill Wesselink and Hagen Dost. What better way to begin the beer week, than with a preview of the next chapter of Chicago’s burgeoning beer scene.
Dovetail is a reference to the carpenter’s joint of interlocking boards, it is famed for its resistance to being pulled apart. As Bill so elegantly expressed, “It’s coming together to make a stronger brewery. A mix of old and new, American and European to create what we feel is our interpretation.”
ABV: 5.6% | IBU: 30
There are some cities that capture your imagination without reason or rationale, and never to let go. These towns have an energy, a pulse, a vibe, an unmistakable heartbeat. They pull you in. They become a part of you.
One of my favorite series of beers right now is Pipeworks Brewing’s Fish Series of Imperial IPAs. The brewery rolls these beers out continuously over the year, while throwing a new fish into the pond every so often. Typically these beers feature Citra hops, honey, a tropical ingredient or two, and of course, a high ABV. The newest fish to swim (puns will stop) amongst the others is Sunburst Peacock. Like the others, Sunburst Peacock highlights Citra hops and honey — the adjunct ingredient in this particular release is guava purée.
Spiteful Brewing, started by Brad Shaffer & Jason Klein, has put out a lot of different beers since they began brewing back in 2012. The beers are well-known in Chicago for their unique labels and creative names. When we walked into their brewing space for the first time I was shocked at how small of an area they work with. In fact their current space is only 1,600 sq. feet, but luckily will be moving into a new space with nearly 7,500 sq. ft – a tremendous upgrade.
Chicago’s largest beer festival always brings out a great variety of breweries and their beers. Once called the American Beer Classic, the Chicago Beer Classic, put on by Red Frog Events, features nearly 100 breweries. While many are from the Chicagoland area, breweries in attendance will range from both the West and East coasts and everything inbetween.
With so many breweries operating in Chicago, the ability to stand out is critical. Forbidden Root has been brewing beer for a couple of years now, and in February of this year they opened up a beautiful new tap room in West Town. The brewery uses botanics in its beers such as ginger, cherry stems, black walnuts and licorice to create unique flavor profiles.