halfacre – PorchDrinking.com
Your standard run-of-the-mill beer festival includes a long list of breweries, many of which go to the same festivals all season, pouring roughly the same beers at each one. Half Acre turned heads in August when they announced a new festival called Far & Away that features some of the best-known breweries from around the country.
This past Saturday, beer fans from across Chicago (and the larger U.S.) made the trek to Half Acre’s Balmoral home to partake in the burgeoning beer fest called The Big North. Half Acre has hosted this event for three years running now. Each year is bigger, each year is better, and each year, the beer list grows to eye-popping quantities. The third iteration of Half Acre’s beer celebration did not disappoint as hundreds of sudsed-up beer fans took in a picturesque summer evening across Half Acre’s ever-expanding campus. The event is special for many reasons, but it’s also an important milestone for Half Acre’s self-titled pursuit of “duality,” which means that they’re able to make enough mainstream brews to keep business moving, while also keeping their creative and experimental programs producing at a high clip. The result of Half Acre’s pursuit was witnessed on Saturday, and boy did it taste good.
Oh, summer. As a native Minnesotan and current Chicagoan, I have a mixed relationship with the best season of the year. I’m used to rationalizing the cold, the rain, the snow, more cold…and even hail, endured during roughly nine months of the year, knowing that the sweet embrace of 70 degrees and sunny skies is right around the corner. Unfortunately, summer in the Midwest can be as fleeting as the last drip of Lager in your glass, which is why Midwesterners go so crazy for the nice days: because there are so few of them. One of my favorite summer activities is patio drinking. It’s a staple pastime that tans the skin and bloats the belly as you sit outside sopping up suds and some much-needed Vitamin D. Much like its inhabitants, the breweries of the Midwest also rejoice when the first summer forecast comes into the picture. Patio season can even start before Memorial Day – I’ve seen Chicago breweries unveil their patio chairs on an unseasonably sunny day in March. And guess what? That patio was filled. We asked several Midwestern brewers why patio season is so special for their brewery and for their patrons.
Chicago has always been a weekend destination as people look to explore the city’s rich history, culture and of course, have a slice of deep dish pizza. It’s also now a place where craft beer fans can indulge in the wide array of breweries that the city offers. If anything, it might be overwhelming when trying to think of how to tackle all the breweries within the city limits. Spoiler alert—it would be virtually impossible to visit every single brewery in a weekend.
So if you’re coming to Chicago for a weekend, here’s a guide on how to get the most out of the Chicago craft beer scene in a limited amount of time. Understand that like I said above, it would be virtually impossible to do every brewery, so I had to leave some out. It’s nothing personal and you can alter this itinerary however you like. You’ll also notice that there are no suburban breweries on this list. I’ll be doing another itinerary in a couple of weeks that will focus on just suburban breweries—don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about you!
2017 will undoubtedly go down as the year of the tap room for Chicago craft beer. Big names that have become synonymous with beer in the city finally opened their doors to the public. Off Color Brewing, Metropolitan Brewing, Maplewood and Half Acre’s new production facility are just to name a handful of places you can now go drink where you couldn’t before.
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]
*Feature image courtesy of Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce
Ravenswood is embracing the vibrant beer culture within its Northside neighborhood by re-branding a two-mile stretch of road into Malt Row, which will feature six local breweries along with one distillery. That two-mile stretch, mapped here, will expand from Balmoral Avenue to Irving Park Road.
Featured image courtesy of Half Acre Beer Co.
Half Acre Beer Co. is expanding and it’s a good sign for Chicago craft beer drinkers. Their new Balmoral Brewery space, a massive 60,000 square foot expansion, is getting closer and closer to opening to the public. Not only does this mean more real estate, but it also means more opportunities to brew beer, including the newly announced mixed fermentation program at their original brew spot in Lincoln Square.
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.
Chicagoans are extremely lucky to have a wide variety of craft beer at their fingertips. In fact many of us take our incredibly large selection for granted. But for the craft beer fan that is visiting Chicago for maybe only a weekend I selected five beers that are an absolute must try.
Half Acre Beer Company is a mainstay for any Chicago craft beer enthusiast. A consistent array of year-round, seasonal and special-release beers make one of the oldest craft breweries in the city a fan favorite. Matt Young just officially became …
“Our mission is to make a beer you can sit down with your buddies and feel good about.” As soon as I stepped into the bustling warehouse that this Chicago-based crew playfully refers to as SS Half Acre, led by the captain himself decreeing his mission, I knew I was going to like this place. If you’re ever in Chicago on a Saturday, this brewery tour is worth the wait.