#chicagobeer – PorchDrinking.com
For years, Black Friday has been a day for craft beer fans to hunt down Goose Island Bourbon County and its variants.
But as more and more breweries pop-up, the options for prolific barrel-aged beers are becoming greater and greater. If you don’t want to stand in line or feed big beer’s coffers by purchasing BCBS in Chicago, you have plenty of other options. Here’s our roundup of barrel-aged beers available in the Chicagoland area that you don’t have to wait in line for.
Not only is Chicago’s craft beer scene seeing new breweries opening seemingly every month, but more than half a dozen breweries in the Chicagoland area have also announced expansion plans, setting the stage for a busy end of 2019 into 2020.
Breweries like Marz Brewing Co. and Ravinia Brewing Company will be opening second locations within the city of Chicago. While Noon Whistle Brewing and Pollyanna Brewing Company are expanding in the suburbs. Meanwhile, Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery is opening a second location in Columbus, Ohio.
There are beer festivals centered around hazy beers, big stouts, sours and other styles, but rarely is there a festival around a strand of yeast. Burnt City Brewing teamed up with Omega Yeast Labs to showcase the Kveik strand of yeast and show just how versatile it is.
30 breweries were on hand at District Brew Yards, the home of Burnt City in Chicago, to pour more than 60 beers, a majority using the Kveik yeast. Everything from hazy IPAs to stouts to barleywines were on hand at the festival.
Mathew Powers and I were both there for PorchDrinking.com and we were also joined by Jack Muldowney from The Hop Review; we’d like to share some of our favorite beers from the afternoon.
Pizza comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms, and all of it is generally good. Chicago is a city saturated in pizza joints, but pizza in the Windy City is the real deal. While many tourists visit Chicago for its deep-dish style pizza, most Chicago locals will tell you their preferred Chicago style pizza is “tavern-style.” What is tavern-style pizza? While there is no strict criteria, any proper Chicago establishment that claims they serve this type of pizza share a similar method. The crust is very thin, better known as “cracker crust.” The pizza is cut into squares, not slices. Pineapple is not a choice on the ingredients list. Using this as a canvas, there are many Chicago pizza joints outside of the tourist traps in the Loop that deliver solid pizza offerings that go great with a nice cold beer on a warm summer day, and here are my favorite Chicago pizza and beer pairings for you to try, whether you’re a tourist or a local.
Have you ever had a beer that changed your mind about that entire style of beer? I’ll admit, I’m a fan of a huge variety of beer styles and I’m usually try something new. That said, Saisons have never done it for me. I’d go as far as to say I despise them but that feels a tad dramatic.
This opinion quickly changed at the recent Square Roots Festival in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago. Like most summer street festivals, this one had no shortage of food and drink options. To really show off, Square Roots Festival had a “Brew Lounge” for attendees to try more “exotic” options, which happened to be mostly local to the Ravenswood neighborhood (how exotic). It was there that I tried Flight of the Rooster by Ravina Brewing Company.
Lo Rez Brewing released Apricot Knockout in March, but the weather in Chicago is just warming up enough to dive into this farmhouse ale fermented with apricots. This beer rounds out Chicago’s Pilsen-based neighborhood brewery’s current four-pack offerings that put tartness in the forefront.
Ike and Oak Brewing Company recently opened in Woodridge, IL as the city’s second brewery after Skeleton Key. They’re offering 11 of their beers on tap, a variety of pizza options – all in a large venue with an exposed brewhouse and TVs to show any upcoming games. Whether or not that’s conveniently located near you, here’s why you should come through Woodridge.
With Women’s History Month upon us and International Women’s Day right around the corner, let’s start by making a toast to all of the incredible women in craft beer. Brewers, brewery owners, marketing managers, sales reps, brand ambassadors, bartenders, writers and teachers: Cheers to ALL of you!
You’re likely wondering the best way to celebrate; even if you weren’t, don’t worry—I’ve got you.
It can be difficult to keep up with all of the new things happening in the Chicago craft beer scene. With new taprooms opening and bottle releases happening virtually each week, there is no shortage of options for new Chicago beers. Thus I’ve rounded up a few of my recent favorites in this Ultimate 6er, What’s New Chicago edition.
The season of giving is undoubtably among us and instead of relying on 2-day shipping on Amazon, or participating in the “classic” gift-card exchange, let’s get people what they really want – beer. There are seemingly endless options when shopping for your beer-loving significant other, friend, or family member, so we’ve broken it down based on what type of beer-lover they are.
Deep in the heart of Wrigleyville, nestled between the macro-beer strongholds of Sluggers and the Friendly Confines, is a small, 400 square-foot box of craft beer paradise. Started last July, Lucky Dorr is one of the recent upgrades to the sprawling Wrigley Field complex that aims to give baseball fans and regular neighborhood beer drinkers alike a truly unique craft beer experience. The young craft beer spot focuses on exclusive, ballpark-inspired collaboration beers with local breweries as a way to provide patrons with something different from the Bud and Goose Island-filled stadium cups they’re used to. It’s an ambitious venture, but it seems to be working. We spoke to bar manager and brewer Niilo Hayes about the success of the craft beer bar and what he has planned for the operation — and for Wrigleyville — in the years to come.
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 protected].
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.