#chicagobeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
Just about everything looks different than it did a few months ago: We’re buying to-go beer and drinking at home because many of us cannot enjoy our favorite beverage at a local brewery or bar right now. Overnight, breweries have turned into delivery companies specializing in contactless delivery and carry out. Innovation is the name of the game and many breweries are offering creative options for people to stay entertained, from gift baskets to DIY pizza kits.
The fitness industry has drastically shifted as well. We cannot currently take large group fitness classes and instead are forced to participate in at-home workouts, oftentimes with dogs and small children attempting to join in.
Mother’s Day may be well-known for mimosas, but here at PorchDrinking, we prefer something a little more hoppy. While Mother’s Day will be different than previous years, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up some of your favorite local brews. If you can’t be with your mom, consider delivery as a nice surprise; and if you are a mom, stock up and know you have a day free of homeschooling. Need some inspiration? Check out our Ultimate 6er and you’ll be sure to find the perfect Mother’s Day beer for a video chat.
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the 90s spoiled me as a basketball fan. When I was five years old, I remember my mom giving me a wooden spoon and pot to go out into our driveway to make noise right after the Chicago Bulls won the first NBA Championship in 1991. I probably didn’t quite understand what was going on.
During these uncertain times, it is comforting to know that many breweries are still working on new flavors and beers to be consumed in the safety of one’s home. Energy City Brewing, located in the Chicagoland suburb of Batavia, Illinois, is reliable in its innovation of beer recipes and desire to release new brews to the public regularly. Relatively new to the brewery game, they received their official license on St. Patrick’s Day 2017, and brewed their first stout that same day. The stout in question actually began as an award-winning homebrew of co-founder David Files, who began homebrewing in 2005.
Every once in a while, a truly insane beer comes around and delights the masses. Chicago Craft Gin Week Is A Real Thing (CCGWIART) from Off Color Brewing is one of these beers—if the masses love a sour, that is. Off Color brews up some of the best beers in the Windy City, from their experimental Miller High Life collaboration, Eek!, to the delicious dessert that is Dino S’mores Russian Imperial Stout. With CCGWIART, the brewery has yet another unconventional (yet delectable) feather in its cap.
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.