#ChicagoCraftBeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
A multitude of bottle shops and breweries are celebrating the entire Thanksgiving weekend with beer releases, special cellar finds and offering a host of indulgences. While the bulk of the activities will occur on Black Wednesday and Black Friday, one can find good beer from Wednesday through Sunday. And, although dark beer (notably strong, barrel-aged) reigns supreme this weekend, there are a few alternative beer choices, too. If we missed an event, by all means let us know — the idea is to make sure everyone knows where to go this weekend to satisfy their beer cravings. Without further ado, here’s the comprehensive 2022 Chicago Area Black Wednesday and Black Friday beer events guide.
Located in Chicago’s near-north suburbs, Temperance Beer Co. and FEW Spirits enjoy distinction as Evanston, Illinois’ first brewery and distillery. They have come together to create the 2022 Temperance Might Meets Right Barrel-Aged Stout collection. Temperance placed its Imperial Stout …
The Brewers Association introduced the Hazy/Juicy IPA category for the Great American Beer Fest awards in 2018, reflecting the style’s presence and impact within the brewing world — and the first gold medal went to Chicago’s Alarmist Brewing with its Le Jus. Eris Brewery & Cider won bronze in that same category for its Folken Haze. The next year, Old Irving followed with another gold for its ever-popular Beezer. Indeed, Chicago stood as king of the hazy-beer hill. All told, seven Illinois breweries have received a total of nine medals (four gold) in five years for the hazy/juicy Pale Ale, Strong Pale Ale, IPA and Imperial IPA categories. Here are the The Illinois Breweries that Produce GABF-winning Hazy Beers, and a little more about what they brew, serve, and offer.
Illinois breweries, including nine within the Chicago metro area, came away with 10 medals at the Great American Beer Fest, with Double Clutch Brewing emulating what On Tour Brewing did in 2017: win two beer medals and the “Brewery of the Year” for a small brewery award (0-250 barrels). The only gold went to Maplewood Brewing for its Oatmeal Stout. The 10 beer medals is down from the robust 16 Illinois breweries won in 2021, but still a more than respectable showing.
Not every brewery has the bravado to put out a beer with the sheer coffee firepower contained in a bottle of Crushing Mass. 3 Floyds Brewing in Munster, IN is certainly not like every brewery. Crushing Mass is the latest example of 3 Floyds Brewing living up to their moniker of “It’s Not Normal” while still putting out a dazzling Barrel-Aged Coffee Stout.
Super Rainbow Sure Bet from Pipeworks Brewing Company in Chicago isn’t subtle with its can design or willingness to use lots of ingredients. The beer itself, however, will surprise you. It’s a delicate but nuanced tropical Imperial IPA that is more like being kissed by a unicorn than kicked by one.
Homewood, Illinois’ Rabid Brewing has combined quality beer production with a love of mythology since 2017, and a celebration of that time will arrive Saturday, July 22 with its Feast of the Goat Queen festival. Among the beers that will be released is a chocolate beer as part of a collaborative effort between Rabid and Bean to Barstool, run by the award-winning writer and podcaster, David Nilsen. The beer, a Chocolate Vanilla Cream Ale named Crown of Horns, uses ethically-sourced cacao from Ethereal Confections. Meanwhile, the festival, a “Fest for Fae Folk,” is perfect for those that to like to dawn some horns, honor their Roman gods, pet some goats, listen to live music, check out some artists, and otherwise have some fun.
Some beers are easy to categorize. Then there are beers like Currantly Unavailable. Currantly Unavailable from Urban Brew Labs is not a beer that fits neatly into any one box and that’s a great thing. This black currant and lime Gose has a unique taste that is worth experiencing.
The Imperial Oak Brewing BBA Quiet Giant series doesn’t quite get the attention that other Chicago-area BBA releases receive, but its quality is on par with some of the best in the metro area. And the brewery’s annual, crowded anniversary party and Quiet Giant release speak to the love affair many have with the series. Though we have covered the release as a preview each year, we wanted to appeal to those beer-cellar lovers by opening a 2020 Quiet Giant Aged Two Years in Bourbon (and then aged in this writer’s basement “BBA fridge” for two additional years) to see how well Quiet Giant ages.
Java Logic from Lo Rez Brewing in Chicago, Illinois achieved something special. They crafted a memorable beer that stands out in a sea of other options. There is no shortage of examples of breweries teaming up with coffee roasters to make beer but Java Logic really hit the mark. It’s the perfect combination of unique and classic.
Some games might draw you in with intense action, or a complex mechanic, whereas some games are simply there to tell a story and leave an impression. Firewatch, a 2016 game from Campo Santo, is a compelling adventure game that wonderfully mixes in mysterious interactions with incredible dialogue and perfectly scored music all set against a picturesque backdrop of the Wyoming Wilderness.
In 2008, long before breweries populated every Chicago neighborhood and suburban town, Metropolitan Brewing opened its doors. Today’s Chicago beer market now supports several Lager-focused breweries, but Metro served as the city’s trailblazer. There’s nothing pretentious or Bourgeoisie about Metro; it’s a come-as-you-are brewery. (And a Malört-friendly place, too.) And one can revel in the brilliance of its brewing at its gorgeous taproom and patio spot located on the Chicago River, a location they opened in 2017. Among the many beers they produce, there’s one that isn’t technically a lager: Krankshaft German-style Kölsch. Drinking Krankshaft provides insight into why Metro has evolved into one of Chicago’s most respected and recognizable breweries.
One of the best perks of playing video games is the escape it provides from your day-to-day. Video games allow you to go from parachuting into high-stress combat environments to wielding a torch and ball of magic in an underground cave somewhere in a fantasy land devoured by dark spirits and dragons.
It’s no secret that people enjoy seeing themselves in video games, movies and other media. Representation is important. So, this list highlights some of the absolute best female-led video games whether you’re looking for action or a narrative-driven experience.
Grab a beer and start browsing your preferred digital store while you wait on these must-play titles to download.
When Katherine and Chris Valleau say they built Exit Strategy Brewing Co. from scratch, they’re not kidding. “When we first walked into the building, the skylight was hanging down from the ceiling and there were birds flying around. Everything had been stripped. No plugs. No running water. Only four walls,” said Katherine. Nearly six years later, the couple has turned that once empty space into a popular, name-brand brewpub (food and beer), frequented by locals and often visited by traveling craft-beer aficionados.
Marz Community Brewing Co. takes their name to heart. The Love Brew is a collaboration with a local Chicago mutual aid organization, The Love Fridge. With each 4-pack sold, $1 will go towards The Love Fridge community.
The Love Fridge is an organization that has placed community fridges throughout the city, inspired by similar movements in New York City, Portland and all over the world. They aim to offer a solution to food waste and food insecurity through community involvement. As millions of people lose their jobs because of the ongoing pandemic and with months ahead before any progress is made, our community efforts mean the most now.
In 2016, I wrote a piece about Pollyanna Brewing Summerly Raspberry Wheat that stated, “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.” Well, nearly five years after that story published, the brewery has opened two new locations and won a host of prestigious beer awards, including its Lite Thinking American Lager that won 2019 gold and 2020 bronze at the Great American Beer Fest (GABF).
We’re back and well-rested, yet somehow exhausted, from all of the holiday hustle and bustle and time commitments. While 2020 is officially behind us — good riddance — 2021 isn’t exactly off to the best start it could be. In spite of weather and events on the national stage, the beer industry is still staying afloat despite pandemic shutdowns. That does not mean everyone, and that does not mean thriving. Dry January is popular for many “influencers” and eager resolution starters, but do what you can to continue supporting local. Buy shirts, hats and other merch or gift cards to use at a later date. Grab a beer or browse some online shops while checking out What We’re Drinking.
Good beer tells a story. A brewer could be inspired by a personal experience or possibly by their surroundings. For Riot, it is the latter. The city of Chicago has a dense and complex history. Chicago is known for major historical events such as The Great Chicago Fire, The Columbian Exposition (shout out to the amazing book Devil in the White City), and the Haymarket Affair. But, the story behind this Revolution Brewing beer is hidden in the depths of history.
December is here, so let’s light the trees and count down the days until 2020 are over. This week started with a wintry mix, which is rare in Georgia, but brought a week’s worth of surprises. An elf seemingly wandered from the North Pole to my house as decoration. From the string lights on most surfaces, to the garland-wrapped bar car, I think I’m only missing the sleigh and reindeer. Maybe those are coming in the next few weeks? Until we get there, here is What We’re Drinking.
Forget golden rings. On the fifth year of holiday collaboration, The Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing gave to us, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout. And, it’s adorned in gold labeling, with a special glass to match. The stout is decadent, creamy, full-bodied and somehow still crushable; a real holiday treat. Yet, the real gift goes to Tinley Wish because a portion of sales aids the south-suburban Chicago organization that gives aid to needy families.