#ilbeer – PorchDrinking.com
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.
Feature image courtesy of DryHop Brewers
DryHop Brewers is known for making great beer in the Lakeview community; they are also known for some pretty cool collaborations. One of those collaborations is the charitable partnership they have with the local Lincoln Park Zoo. Now in its fourth year, this creature-inspired collaboration is all about benefiting the animals – and brewing a special beer each year in their honor.
Feature image courtesy of The Park at Wrigley
Over 40 craft beers, 60° temps (fingers-crossed) and a one-of-a-kind setting is what you can expect at the first-ever Craft and Cuisine event this Saturday. Hosted at The Park at Wrigley, the Craft and Cuisine event will offer over 40 local pours along with delicious food from renowned local eateries like the Girl and the Goat – all under the gorgeous backdrop of Wrigley Field.
Featured image courtesy of 4204 Main Street Brewing’s Facebook page
Is 4204 Main Street Brewing Co. taking over the Illinois town it calls home? Well, after visiting their brand spankin’ new tap room, then visiting their original location for dinner, and seeing the canning facility located next door—you have to wonder.
The Only Child Brewing story involves several unique chapters. Some sections are straightforward, yet compelling, such as mentioning the brewery’s ultra-hip, slick taproom or the brewery’s personable, enthusiastic staff. Of course, one can also talk about its beer that exemplifies the term, “artisanship.” However, other portions of the Only Child Brewing story are far more complex, including the nearly simultaneous, and tumultuous, birth of both the brewery and its owners’ newborn twins. The story may not be a fairy tale, but all signs point towards a happy ending.
Featured image courtesy of Revolution Brewing
ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 75
Amarillo Hero is the newest addition to Revolution Brewing’s much-acclaimed Hero IPA series. Much like a well balanced superhero squad, each beer in the Hero series stands out with their own unique flavor that complements the group, a sudsy “superpower,” if you will. For Amarillo Hero, that superpower is juicy citrus.
Known for its expanse of warehouses and industrial vibe, the West Town neighborhood in Chicago has become a hotbed for craft beer, including the recently opened On Tour Brewing. Positioned within walking distance of Forbidden Root, All Rise Brewery and Goose Island, On Tour Brewery is the perfect midway point for any West Town brewery crawl due to its relaxed vibe and its exceptionally well-rounded beer list.
Three friends, Jonathan Fritz, Stephen Bossu and Samantha Lee, went to the University of Illinois together and did some home brewing together. After college they went their separate ways, Stephen and Samantha got married, but they ultimately came back together and last year opened up Hopewell Brewing Company in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
ABV: 4.3 | IBU: 40
New to the strong craft beer arsenal at Begyle Brewing is Lakeview, a dry yet drinkable American pale ale. Begyle is so much a part of the local community that they brewed Lakeview specifically to coincide with the Whole Foods store opening in the neighborhood.
Few places embrace local breweries like Brass Tap in Orland Park, Illinois (Chicago). But, this is no time to celebrate community — community, smoonity! This is March Beer Madness and it’s all about competition! One dozen breweries enter the tournament, but only one leaves a winner (and the lucky fans who picked it correctly). It starts with Chicago’s Maplewood Brewery vs. suburban Darien’s Miskatonic on day one, March 16th.
It’s free to fill out a bracket… so, who ya got?
Where else can you drink among the tombs of ancient Egyptians or sip a cold beer in the Hall of Birds? If you were at The Chicago Beer Festival you had both of these opportunities and a lot more.
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.
Around the Bend Beer Co. keeps expanding and releasing new beer. In 2016, Around the Bend introduced Mr. Marmalade IIPA with bitter oranges from Seville, Spain; Villainous IPA with its four yeast strains — two British and two West Coast; and a little beer called Vera, a pistachio cream ale. Vera, though, was not packaged. Why would anyone think a Pistachio beer would be popular? Well, it was. It really was. So, in spring of 2017 the beer returns and will be sold in cans. In fact — as of this spring all of the beer from Around the Bend will arrive to stores in the form of 12 oz canned goodies.
Around the Bend will be part of, or hosting, several events to commemorate the return of Vera and introduce its cans to the world.
Revolution Brewing is a Chicago beer staple, most known for their fantastic Hero IPA series. With seven beers currently in their Hero line, Revolution has decided to shake things up by packaging four of these Hero varieties into one, well-named, variety pack: The League of Heroes.
Nevin’s Brewing Company (NBC), located in Chicago’s suburban Plainfield, is a restaurant, banquet hall, music venue and a brewery — and now that brewery has its own name, Nevin’s Draft Company. The “B” in NBC, occasionally got lost in the mix, so the brewing arm of NBC created a new, separate identity. The beer has always been good, but now more people are going to know about it.