#ilbeer – PorchDrinking.com
So, there I was, standing outside on a cold March night in Chicago watching Off Color’s social media manager Ben Ustick and co-founder Dave Bleitner (lovingly called “The Other Guy”) methodically put together the fence that would block off their soon-to-be-open patio space. There was a palpable excitement shared between Ben and Dave as they hammered each 2×4 into place. The patio meant something more than just providing extra seating on a swanky summer day. It was validation that Off Color’s grand experiment had paid off.
The new taproom space, dubbed the Mousetrap, has been a smashing success as it has provided Dave and the other Co-Founder Jon Laffler (the one you usually see in the papers) with more room to share their craft beer genius with hordes of willing Chicagoans. While 2017 was an exciting year for Off Color Brewing, with more momentum and new experiments in the hopper, 2018 is shaping up to be even better.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soccer and suds on a Saturday morning. It’s a weekly tradition for U.S. soccer fans as they head to their favorite bar every weekend to watch their designated Premier League team play. Now, Half Acre Beer Co. is getting involved, which should excite soccer fans in the Chicago area.
Beer releases are a tricky thing. As more and more people take an interest in craft beer, the next release of a hazy NE-IPA, mix culture barrel-aged wild/sour, or big barrel-aged stout are getting more hyped, more complex and trickier for the brewery to manage. There is no such thing as a perfect release, however, breweries today are doing their best to figure out how to get their beer out to their customers.
Sand between the toes, hammocks, sunshine, rustling palm trees and now Church Street Brewing — that could describe your next Caribbean vacation. The suburban-Chicago brewery is taking its beer to the tropics!
Nisei Lounge is one of the most unique dive bars on the Northside, and it’s also one of the best spots to grab a beer near Wrigley Field. Opened back in 1951, Nisei Lounge was around long before craft beer took hold of the bar scene and smack dab in the middle of the Cubs’ 108 years of mediocrity. Enter the present: Nisei Lounge still has the same toilets it had when it opened over 60 years earlier but has also added some new elements like five new flatscreen TVs and a new affinity for local craft brews that makes the local joint more than appealing for a loyal Cubs fan or everyday Chicago craft beer lover.
Whether it’s in a can, bottle or on-draft, craft beer can be consumed in many ways. Now, thanks to a new state law backed by Chicago suburban brewery Noon Whistle Brewing, there will be a new way to drink: cans with completely removable lids.
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.
Attending a Chicago Cubs game is an experience. From the bars to the fans to the field, Wrigley Field overwhelms the senses. One thing that has not been traditionally overwhelming near the stadium: the craft beer selection – until now. Thanks to the newly built Lucky Dorr, neighbor GreenStar Brewing and a concerted effort from Clark Street bar owners to stock more craft beer options, it is now easy to sip on some local craft beers before cheering on the 2016 World Champions.
The Chicago metro area certainly has a multitude of beers available for consumption these days, given its now 175+ breweries in operation. But, every once in awhile, a beer comes along that inspires a beer writer such as me to, well, write about it. This time, the beer comes from the mad geniuses of Chicago’s Dovetail Brewery. The Dovetail motto, “We brew like monks (minus the vows),” notes its dedication to traditional, continental European-style brewing methods and that is why the Dovetail Hefeweizen is one of the best you’ll ever have.
For all Rick & Morty fans who have ever dreamed of visiting the Blips & Chitz arcade-themed building, the nostalgia-tinged craft beercade hosts an event inspired by the characters of Rick & Morty with beer pairings from 3 Floyd’s Brewing.
Nestled in the woods of southern Illinois, among the dips and low hills of a surprisingly wild region of the state, sits one of the most innovative breweries operating in the American craft beer scene today. That innovation, however, comes by way of ancient tradition. Owners and brewmasters Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon aren’t pioneering cutting edge brewing technologies or using explosively flavorful new varieties of experimental hops. Rather, they’re reviving the use of ingredients and techniques that humans have used for centuries to make beer. Foraging among the underbrush of their wooded property for edible bark, nuts, fruits, flowers, roots and mushrooms, and growing yet more ingredients at their brewery garden, the folks at Scratch are bringing unexpected flavors to beer drinkers lucky enough to make it to their rustic property.
Feature image courtesy of DryHop Brewers
For DryHop Brewers & Corridor Brewery & Provisions head brewer Brant Dubovick, the insight to start focusing on hazy IPAs started when he was in DC for the Craft Brewers Conference with DryHop Lead Brewer Adrian Vidaurre and Corridor Lead Brewer Roger Cuzelis. While there, Brant decided to wait in line for up to 2.5 hours for a Trillium and Bissel Brothers New England-style IPA at a tap takeover. Since then, the haze craze has been front and center for both DryHop and its sister brewery Corridor Brewery & Provisions in particular. Corridor has proven to be a particularly good testing ground to test Chicago’s demand for the hazy IPA, and according to Dubovick, the response has been “amazing.”
Revolution Brewing already has several great summer sipping beers like Rosa and Fist City in their canned arsenal; now, they’re adding a couple new seasonal options to help round out their summer portfolio.
ABV: 7% | IBU: 20
Just like their namesake, the Rat Pack Belgian Dubbel is a classic and timeless beer made by Old Irving Brewing. When you close your eyes, each sip transports you to “simpler times” when 1960’s crooners dominated the radio, and you’re enjoying a classic cocktail in a fedora. The flavor profile is complex yet balanced for easy drinking. The warm alcohol flavor soothes the taste buds. The snifter-style glass mimics that of a cognac to top off your time travel.
Less than 24 hours before their grand opening, a ladder is still in the brewery, tap handles need to be screwed on and the rest of the beer list needs to be added – but Lo Rez opened last week to a packed tap room.
*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 photo taken by Eric Dirksen and was from the 2016 BUG event
For the second year in a row, Beer Under Glass — the official kickoff to Chicago’s Craft Beer Week — was the benefit of great weather on the evening of the event. Although the temperature dropped 30 degrees throughout the night, that pales in comparison to recent years plagued by rain and bitter cold, which turned the outdoor grounds of the Garfield Park Conservatory into a muddy disaster.
The annual Beer Under Glass (B.U.G.) at Garfield Park Conservatory serves as the formal opening to Chicago Craft Beer Week (#CCBW), and brewers are more than happy to provide special offerings for the unique event. One such brew exemplifies the true meaning of craft beer — industry first, beer first, a collaboration between two “competing” breweries, Alesmith Brewing Company and Chicago’s Around the Bend Beer Co. This special brew will enjoy its first pouring at B.U.G, and then during select events (and sold in stores) thereafter.
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.