#CruzBlanca – PorchDrinking.com
Chicago’s barrel-aged beer selection is second to none when it comes to quality and quantity. While it’s easy to get lost in the releases of Bourbon County or Deep Wood, there are many smaller barrel-aged releases that deserve the attention of the craft beer market. For the second year in a row, Cruz Blanca’s Luchador Series brings big flavors and unique adjuncts to a set of beers that are standouts in a crowded market.
It’s finally the season for barrel-aged beers. Chicago is spoiled with its options: Revolution’s Deep Wood series kicks off this weekend; Cruz Blanca also has standout offerings – oh, and Begyle won gold for their Barrel-Aged Imperial Pajamas at GABF this year. While the beers get all the glory, the barrels that produce them sometimes get lost in the fray. Ever the creative-types, breweries typically find alternative use cases for these barrels after their primary usage days are past them. To find out how these barrels find new life post-barrel-aging, we asked the breweries.
What a year for Chicago (and it’s neighboring suburbs). Amid winning a bevy of medals from high-profile events like GABF and FOBAB, the Windy City also took home the title for most breweries (167) within the metro region – an impressive feat indeed. With so many breweries making so many amazing beers, it’s safe to say Chicago beer drinkers were more than spoiled this year as they indulged in some of the best barrel-aged stouts and hazy IPAs in the U.S.
PorchDrinking’s Chicago crew diligently drank through many amazing beers this year. Some wowed us, others impressed with their creativity and several just made us warm and fuzzy.
Chicago beer fans are spoiled during this time of year. Between FoBAB and a list of nationally-recognized bottle releases throughout November, there’s never been a better time to be a barrel-aged beer fan. And though Goose Island, Half Acre, Begyle and Revolution Brewing (and more) all make exceptional barrel-aged beers, Cruz Blanca in the West Loop quietly released an equally impressive lineup of barrel-aged beers last year and is doubling down in year two with a bigger and better lineup that can easily challenge Chicago’s best.
Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most iconic restaurants. From Girl and the Goat to Au Cheval, followed by an endlessly growing list, it’s a Chicago hot spot for eating but also drinking. While there are a lot of places to get great cocktails in the West Loop, the craft beer scene is also becoming more prominent in the area and starting to make a name for itself.
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].
Chef Rick Bayless’ revered Chicago-based Cruz Blanca Brewery and Tequiera is most-known for its contemporary Mexican cuisine and daring craft beer creations. Now, they’re getting into the barrel-aged game with the debut of their barrel-aged series: Luchador Club, launching December 2nd. Cruz Blanca’s new barrel-aged offerings will add a unique, Mexican-infused element to Chicago’s vast assortment of barrel-aged powerhouses like Goose Island BCBS, Half Acre Big Hugs and Revolution’s Deep Wood series – and I for one can’t wait to try it. Here’s what you need to know.