Whether it's at a week night beer event, a weekend festival or a Guild meeting, Alex Lovinggood seems to be omnipresent. He's worked his way around the brewing circuit after starting at Temperance, then Burnt City and, and now finally on to Brickstone Brewery. We met with Alex to find out what drives him to be such a jack of all trades.
After 3 rounds and 175k votes, our Chicago Brewery Bracket has whittled its 64 initial breweries down to 8. The readers voiced their favorites, while many upsets occurred this past round, so the battle for the Final 4 is about to get interesting. Vote for your favorite from these 8, and we'll release the resulkts on Monday, 3/27.
Begyle Brewing Co. has carved its place in the Chicago scene by way of variety and approachability. And as of last week, some of their longtime staples have found their way into the growingly popular 12oz can format. We took a look at the new format and the design effort behind it.
For the return of the Chicago Brewery Bracket, we curated 4 regions and 64 breweries from the city and surrounding suburbs to battle for the crown. After two rounds, we've seen some surprising upsets, as well as some fan favorites advance. Vote for your favorite breweries across Chicago and we'll tally the votes in order to select an 'Elite 8' for the next round...
NEAR WEST SIDE, CHICAGO
With the barrier for entry into expanded distribution often being steep, many growing breweries have turned to third party contracts to meet demand. Contracting has developed an often negative stigma for consumers. But just take a visit to Chicago's Great Central Brewing Co. and you might find that to be incorrect.
The Hop Review is excited for the return of the Chicago Brewery Bracket, and this year is bigger and better with 64 breweries from the city and surrounding suburbs battling for the crown. Vote for your favorite breweries across Chicago and we will tally the votes in order to select a 'Sweet 16' for the next round...
DOWNERS GROVE, IL
The historically alcohol averse 'burb, Downers Grove, is surrounded by towns that have embraced the craft revolution in recent year, and is now home to Alter Brewing Company. A beautiful new taproom and brewhouse showcases one of the fastest growing area breweries.
The Pacific coastal city of Carlsbad, California lies about 40 minutes north of San Diego, one of the most traveled beer mecca's in the world. Not to be overshadowed by its famous neighbor, Carlsbad offers a lot to the aspiring beer traveler.
Bayou Teche Brewing is revolutionizing Louisiana craft brewing in a discarded rail car turned farmhouse brewery in tiny Arnaudville, Louisiana. To continue their success, Bayou Teche chose TILT to rebrand the operation and repackage four of its flagship beers for January 2017 release.
What started as a side project with a few barrels from a local winery over a decade ago, has become a full fledged sour brewery at Upland Brewing Co., dubbed 'The Wood Shop.' Now, that offshoot operation is ready to share their labors of love with sour beer fanatics across the country. We caught up with Pete Batule, VP of Brewery Operations, to learn more about one of the most seasoned sour beer producers in the US.
New month, new beers. We've tasted through the following 20 beers for March, and rated them on a scale of 100, for our monthly "The Hop Reviews." From sours to stouts, and APAs to black IPAs, we've got an eclectic mix that includes new to the scene beers plus a few solid standbys.
LAS VEGAS, NV
Founded in 1999, Tenaya Creek Brewery quickly became a local institution with a number of popular brews. As the line grew in popularity and varieties, the packaging had become fragmented. Illustrator Kendrick Kidd was tasked with creating a unified label system for six of their core beers.
In 1978, Ward Fowler traveled Italy and got exposed to coffee, and espresso-based drinks. To him, it was a revelation. He came back feeling that the US was missing something incredible. From there was born Colectivo Coffee: which now includes their own beer division and soon their first non-Wisconsin cafe, in Chicago's Lincoln Park.
Brewery Count: CITY (66), 'BURBS (107) Recently added: Short Fuse Brewing Company (Shiller Park, IL), Bold Dog Beer Company (Irving Park, Chicago), Off Square Brewing (Crown Point, IN), Vice District (Production Facility — Homewood).
Nestled Inside a nondescript former auto shop is a brewery making a name for itself, at the fringe of the city limits: BuckleDown Brewing. Co-founded with his brewing partner Ike Orcutt in 2013, Sean Mahoney has been getting his hands dirty making blue collar beers. Paying homage to Chicago’s legendary grit and determination, BuckleDown's IPAs have found their space in the crowded beer scene.
The Oak Cliff borough of Dallas, Texas is small. It was with that modesty, that the aptly named Small Brewpub positioned itself in the local community. And as design firm Mast explains, the name is not for derogatory reasons. Rather, it's "for the story of how they came to fruition..."
Chicago has long been a town known for it's drinking scene. It was here that Dave Dahl and Kevin Lilly met and discovered their passion for craft beer. Over drinks at old city standbys and countless dive bars, the two decided to turn a career in computer engineering into the foundations of what would become Lo Rez Brewing. At their nearly open taproom in Pilsen, we paid a visit to discuss their story.
Brouwerij 't IJ is Amsterdam’s largest craft brewer and has been a beacon at the city's northeast end since '85. With its ever-growing range of beers, they've expanded mightily in recent years, part of which included a recent refresh of their old-world packaging. The result was a beautiful and adaptable system – all while keeping that iconic shape.
"Rare. A Reflection." Perspectives on a beer 'whale,' by THR contributor John Doessel. With bottles of the masterfully-aged 2015 Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island selling for upwards of $130, some folks were questioning the perceived 'rare-ness' of Rare when the beer was surprisingly re-released late 2016...
On the fringes of Bucktown rests Chicago's oldest beer bar: Quenchers. No stranger to risk, Josh Hastert made the leap gig promoter to beer buyer to much success. Since assuming the role, he's has been on a mission to breath new life into the bar. We caught up with Josh to learn how Quenchers has adapted through the years.
We drink a lot of beer here at The Hop Review. So, we found it only fitting that we share some of our thoughts on said beer, with "The Hop Reviews". We've tasted through the following 14 beers for February, and rated them on a scale of 100. Enjoy!
Anyone who's been to Toronto and in search of a good beer has likely been directed to Bellwoods Brewery. From juicy IPAs, to barrel-aged sours, to coconut porters, their lineup is as fun as it is experimental. And, thanks to the brewery's former next-door neighbors, Doublenaut Design, their labels carry the same attitude. We take a deeper look.
We recently had the honor of being guests on the craft beer podcast, ABV Chicago, to "help" hosts Ryan and Craig drink through their five year vertical of Amherst, Wisconsin's Central Waters Brewing Co.'s Anniversary Stouts. Take a listen to the episode, as we discussed barrel-aged stouts, Dark Lord Day, Chicago's beer scene, our favorite interviews, and more...
Established in 2011, London Fields Brewery was an early entrant in the city's now burgeoning craft beer scene. Located in one of London's most creative and energetic boroughs, the brewery needed to reflect its locale, but also its ambition to be a bigger part of the UK and world beer market. Design firm The Plant took on the task to create a truly impactful aesthetic.
BACK OF THE YARDS, CHICAGO
Straying far from the beaten path is Whiner Beer Co. in Chicago's Back Of The Yards. Seconds upon arrival, it's clear there's something special happening at this South Side brewery. Located in The Plant–Chicago's greenest collection of businesses under one roof–founders Brian Taylor and Ria Neri are at the helm of the city's most unique brewery.
At the end of last year, we took on the task of gathering 50 stouts from near and far to build out a robust lineup, as impressive as we could gather. As the bounty piled up, we quickly realized there was no way we were going to tackle this endeavor ourselves–rather, we'd need to call in the cavalry. So, we gathered around 20 industry friends and conducted a blind tasting, for our first ever Style Review: Stouts.
We've featured Austin-based design firm Helms Workshop on THR before, but this time, these creative minds bring us a new project–out of Shenzhen, China. Now the fastest growing craft brewery in the region, Bionic Brew is set to supercharge the beer market, while showcasing a visual identity that's fit to impress.
WEST TOWN, CHICAGO
With Chicago's latest brewery taproom opening the first week of 2017, we took the opportunity to catch up with founder Mark Legenza of On Tour Brewing Company to find out what it takes to open a taproom in the city, in the boom of the industry, and why he chose to return home from Denver to do so.
TALAS, which means 'speak soon', is a local saying from the heart of Norway–which includes the region housing the city of Hamar. So, when the design agency Anti was put to the task of designing a beer concept for Basarene ØL, they found that the solution lay right there in the open. "A good conversation starts when you open a beer."
SIEM REAP, KH
DETOUR No. 014: As the base town to explore the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is home to Cambodia’s pride. With such a wide swath of international tourists flocking to visit, the town is accommodating & cheap cans of Angkor beer are available for roughly $1 for budget drinkers looking to get their fill. Surprisingly, there’s an alternative for those seeking better beer: Siem Reap Brewpub.