THR Beer of the Month

BOTM: Pipeworks Brewing Close Encounter

BOTM: Pipeworks Brewing Close Encounter

Since launching a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2011, Pipeworks Brewing has gone on to create some of the most sought after beer in Chicago. It didn't hurt when they were named RateBeer's Best New Brewery of 2012. Initially only available in 22oz bombers, Pipeworks has gone on to add a canning line that pushes out 4-pack tallboys of what we consider their core lineup. Bombers are still reserved for the likes of their "Fish Series" of IPAs, all things Abduction, the highly coveted barrel aged offerings, and any of the other one off creations they come up with. For February we wanted something dark and unique and we found exactly that it in Pipeworks Close Encounter.

BOTM: Forbidden Root Shady Character

BOTM: Forbidden Root Shady Character

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. Our first snow storm has come and gone and that means Chicagoan's will be hunkering down for the long haul soon. Before you rush inside and grab a spot on your couch, pick up something that will warm you up like our December Beer of the Month.

BOTM: Aquanaut Brewing Co. The Search ESB

BOTM: Aquanaut Brewing Co. The Search ESB

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. The leaves have begun to change and fall off trees indicating cold weather is on the way. We've got the perfect companion for anything that Fall can bring.

BOTM: Revolution Brewing Oktoberfest

BOTM: Revolution Brewing Oktoberfest

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. With fall officially upon us, we thought it was the perfect time to reach for some Oktoberfest beer.

BOTM: 3 Sheeps Baaad Boy

BOTM: 3 Sheeps Baaad Boy

September Beer of the Month

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. As summer draws to an end, we thought we should start making the transition to something on the darker side.

BOTM: Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison

BOTM: Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison

August Beer of the Month

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. The dog days of summer are upon us so we've picked out a beer that will help cool you off and keep you refreshed.

BOTM: Temperance Beer Company Greenwood Beach

BOTM: Temperance Beer Company Greenwood Beach

July Beer of the Month

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. Festival season is in full swing and that means summer has arrived in Chicago. We've picked a beer for July that will quench your thirst on those hot summer days.

BOTM: Two Brothers Sidekick

BOTM: Two Brothers Sidekick

June Beer of the Month

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. We're off to a cold start this June, but with summer just around the corner or BOTM is the ample ease-into-summer beer: Two Brothers SidekickBrought to us by Bottles & Cans.

BOTM: Metropolitan Krankshaft

May Beer of the Month:
Metropolitan Krankshaft Kölsch

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends.

With hot sunny days just around the corner, THR's May BOTM is
METROPOLITAN KRANKSHAFT
Brought to us by Bottles & Cans

Since 2009, the team at Metropolitan, led by Doug and Tracy Hurst, have been pumping out tasty lagers across Chicago. Walk into your local watering hole and your bound to see taps for their year round offerings like Krankshaft, Flywheel (Bright Lager), or Dynamo (Copper Lager). Throughout the year, Metropolitan peppers in lager beers perfect for the changing seasons. As one of the older kids in the Chicago brewing scene, Metro has been steadily supplying us with crisp, clean, and thirst quenching beers. With hot days hopefully ahead, we're ready to cool off with a 6-pack of Krankshaft.

Take a look at the specs:

  • Metropolitan Brewing (Chicago, IL)
  • Style: Kölsch
  • ABV: 5%
  • Price: $10.99

You can pick up Metropolitan Krankshaft at Bottles & Cans (4109 N. Lincoln Ave.) in Northcenter. If ya get to Bottles & Cans, ask for other recommendations from owners Joe and Carly or any of the other knowledgeable staff on hand. And tell 'em we say hey!

THR Thoughts...

This is one of those beers you pour into your glass and then admire like a piece of art. A beautifully translucent golden straw color topped with a white cap of foam that slowly laces the glass as you sip. An aroma of malt sweetness with some herbal notes fill your nose. The taste on this is slightly sweet complemented by some spicy notes which are attributable to the German Noble hops found in this beer. The finish is clean, crisp and refreshing. For that first hot Chicago day, which should be just around the corner, pick up a 6-pack of Krankshaft and enjoy.

 
 

Photography by Robert Battista

Beer of the Month - April: Only Child Brewing Playtime's Over

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends.

While Spring is figuring if it's going to happen, THR's April BOTM is
ONLY CHILD BREWING PLAYTIME'S OVER
Brought to us by Bottles & Cans

The husband and wife team of Ben and Amanda Rossi are the core at Only Child Brewing. Since their inception, they've been loading up their car with bombers and hand delivering them around town. This ensures beer drinkers across the city are getting the freshest beer possible. As of last week, bombers were your only option. Now, fresh Only Child beer is hitting local shelves in a more easily consumable 4-pack format. That was all we needed to hear to make this our next BOTM.

Take a look at the specs:

  • Only Child Brewing (Northbrook, IL)
  • Style: IPA
  • ABV: 6.8%
  • Price: $11.99 (4-pack)

You can pick up Only Child Brewing Playtime's Over yourself at Bottles & Cans (4109 N. Lincoln Ave.) in Northcenter. If ya get to Bottles & Cans, ask for other recommendations from owners Joe and Carly or any of the other knowledgeable staff on hand. And tell 'em we say hey!

THR Thoughts...

They weren't kidding when the said they deliver fresh beer. Our 4-pack carrier was proudly displaying a packaged on date of 3/23/15. That means our beer was less than a week old when we cracked it open. For an IPA, freshness is king and that played right into this beers strong suit. Packed with Simcoe, Mosaic and Chinook hops, this IPA has tons of tropical fruit aromas mixed with some spicy  and piney notes as well. The appearance is slightly darker than expected but with its orangey amber hue and fluffy white cap of frothy foam, this is a beautiful beer to look at. As this one sloshes around the mouth you get more of the resiney and spicy notes that were present in the aroma and the tropical fruits take a back seat. This one finishes crisp and clean and it makes going back for another sip a no brainer. Overall this is a great beer and we're excited to see more of the Only Child lineup rollout in 4-packs.

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BOTM - March: Finch's Hardcore Chimera

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends.

Inching closer to warmer weather, THR's March BOTM is
FINCH'S BEER CO. HARDCORE CHIMERA
Brought to us by Bottles & Cans

Since 2011, Finch's Beer Co. has been pumping out 4 packs to Chicagoan's across the city. With some lofty expansion plans, expect to be seeing more Finch offerings at both your local bars and bottles shops. Or check out their digs yourself when they open a taproom in late 2016 early 2017. To find out even more, check out our Brewer Chat with Finch's Beer Co. 

For our March BOTM, we wanted something that could keep you warm on a cold night but also substitute for one of those 50 degree days as well. We were on the lookout for a DIPA and our friends at Bottles & Cans said they had something in mind. Enter Hardcore Chimera.

Take a look at the specs...

  • Finch's Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)
  • Style: Imperial IPA
  • ABV: 9%
  • Price: $10.99

You can pick up the Finch's Hardcore Chimera yourself at Bottles & Cans (4109 N. Lincoln Ave.) in Northcenter. If ya get to Bottles & Cans, ask for other recommendations from owners Joe and Carly or any of the other knowledgeable staff on hand. And tell 'em we say hey!

THR Thoughts...

We are calling this our perfect transition beer. It takes you from the cold dark winter and gets your ready for the spring months ahead. At 9%, this beer will keep you warm on cold days but the juicy, fruity, and citrusy notes are reminiscent of a summer session beer. This one pours a hazy orange with a white fluffy head giving way to an aroma of sticky, resiny hops. Overall, an incredibly balanced beer. You'll get a hint of booziness, but before it gets too potent you'll be hit with some malt sweetness and then finally a nice amount of bitterness lingers at the finish. As this one floats across the tongue, you get hit with three really distinct flavor experiences. It toys with the boundaries of being too boozy or too bitter but it never crosses the line and it keeps you coming back sip after sip. If you are looking forward to warmer months ahead, grab a 4 pack and start transitioning your palate now. 

 
 

Beer of the Month - February: Bell's Java Stout

Beer of the Month - February: Bell's Java Stout

Out of Kalamazoo, Bell's is a seasoned veteran of the craft beer industry. Since 1985, Bell's has been pumping out a steady lineup of year-round beers complimented by arguably the best seasonal lineup out there.This time of the year, though, is dominated by the Bell's stouts. In addition to Java Stout, there's Expedition StoutCherry StoutDouble Cream Stout and if you are lucky enough to find it Black Note Stout; all great beers – and true to style. For February, we've decided on Java Stout, for its rich and roasty taste, perfect for our shortest month.

Beer of the Month - January: Destihl Flanders Red

Beer of the Month - January: Destihl Flanders Red

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, not too harsh on the wallet, and might even impress your friends. To kick off 2015, our BOTM is Destihl Brewery's Flanders Red, of their "Wild Sour Series."

Beer of the Month - November: Ale Syndicate Richie Imperial Porter

Beer of the Month - November: Ale Syndicate Richie Imperial Porter

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, and might even impress your friends.

 

For November, The Hop Review's BOTM is Ale Syndicate's Richie Imperial Porter, brought to you by Bottles & Cans.

Beer of the Month - October: Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale

Beer of the Month - October: Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, affordable, and might even impress your friends.

 

For October, The Hop Review's BOTM is Wild Onion's Pumpkin Ale, brought to you by Bottles & Cans.

Beer of the Month - September: Arcade William Wallace Wrestle Fest

Beer of the Month - September: Arcade William Wallace Wrestle Fest

Each month, we share a beer that we think you oughta pick up. We've been working with a local bottle shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, affordable, and might even impress your friends.

For September, The Hop Review's BOTM is Arcade Brewery's William Wallace Wrestle Fest, brought to you by Bottles & Cans.

Beer of the Month - August: Begyle Crash Landed

Beer of the Month - August: Begyle Crash Landed

Each month, we share a beer that we think you should pick up. We've been working with a local shop to select a beer that's seasonably appropriate, accessible, affordable and something that might impress your friends.

For August, The Hop Review's BOTM is Begyle's Crash Landed, brought to you by Bottles & Cans in Chicago's Northcenter.