A recap of the Chicagoland's west side favorite, Naperville Ale Fest – the first of two 2017 sessions. These are our impressions and 10 notable beers we had, as shared by THR Contributor Michael A. Hubatch.
Brewery Count: CITY (70), 'BURBS (114) –– Recently added: Buffalo Creek Brewing (Long Grove, IL), Kings & Convicts (Highwood, IL), Empirical Brewpub (Rogers Park), Englewood Brews (Englewood), More Brewing Co. (Villa Park, IL), Saint Errant Brewing (Elk Grove Village, IL), Open Outcry (Morgan Park) –– Recently Removed: Mad Mouse (University Village)
Long-time Carlsberg design partner, Copenhagen-based firm Kontrapunkt, recently lent their services again, to help the Danish brewery progress its minimalist design aesthetic. They're back at it, refreshing the look for the dark lager, Carlsberg Black Gold. Matte black with gold accents – yes, please.
THE LOOP, CHICAGO
Of the nearly 90,000 to have gained some level of Cicerone Program certification, only 13 have reached its pinnacle. Known as Master Cicerones, these select few have proven themselves to be veritable walking encyclopedias of beer knowledge. One of the 13 is Jason Pratt, Senior Manager of Innovations at Tenth & Blake Beer Co., the craft division of MillerCoors.
NEAR SOUTH SIDE, CHICAGO
Tour de Fat is coming to Chicago's Northerly Island on July 29 & we've teamed up with New Belgium Brewing to give away 2 pairs of tickets. Expect the unexpected and plan to party with NBB and The Roots at this one of a kind beer festival. Enter for your chance to win...
DETOUR No. 020: Although small in its geographic footprint, Singapore transcends beyond its Little Red Dot nickname. And as craft-beer advocates, Good Luck Beerhouse & Innocence Brewing, along with their patrons, have an unwavering thirst for quality beer and are strong supporters of the emerging craft beer scene in the tiny country.
We've tasted through 18 beers for July, this month unique ingredients are front and center, kettle sours get some attention, barrel-aged beers are sticking around for summer, and...NEIPAs are still here. We considered aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, overall impression and trueness to style. It's not an exact science–we know this. We just don't like to pass on the opportunity to drink...more beer. Cheers!
DETOUR No. 019: San Francisco's Presidio is as historic as it is expansive. Located in the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point sits a quickly growing brewing operation: Fort Point Beer Co. We paid a visit to their production facility and then to their Ferry Building taproom.
The Ravenswood Corridor and surrounding area is home to some of Chicago’s best and most diverse craft beer options. With a bevy of breweries (and a renowned distillery) planting their roots in the Ravenswood Corridor, it truly has become Chicago’s Malt Row. So set aside a Saturday and get started on our Chicago Craft Crawl v. X.
A recap of the Chicago leg of the eight festival Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America traveling festival, held this year at the Aon Grand Ballroom on Navy Pier. These are our impressions and the best beers we had, by THR Contributor Michael A. Hubatch
I love beer. Unfortunately, enjoying a handful of 'em often leads to horrific hangovers. My strategy is usually to dose myself with aspirin following a night of revelry and hope for the best. As a result, I jump at the chance to try anything that might relieve my next day suffering. Enter: ClearVia.
WEST TOWN, CHICAGO
For the last 2 years, I’ve traveled down Chicago Avenue as part of my work commute. One constant along the way was the transformation of an old theatre into a brewery. That place: Forbidden Root. Their founding principle was ‘botanic' – a claim that comes with question marks. And I suppose those question marks were enough to deter. Until recently, thanks to the introduction of a new style: The New England IPA.
Detroit, like much of the midwest, has a rich brewing history. Yet in the craft boom of the last decade, few breweries have opened their doors within the city's limits. Eastern Market Brewing Co., and founders Dayne Bartscht and Paul Hoskin aim to capitalize on the energy and excitement coming from the city while still paying homage to its rich history.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
What began in 1997 as an idea and a leap of faith, has cemented founders Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens into American craft brewing lore, and a potential candidate for Harvard Business School case studies. On the heels of their 20th year in business and Detroit taproom announcement, we made our way to 'GR' to dig deeper into what's spawned such triumph.
We've got 15 beers for June, scored on a scale of 100. This month, fruit is showcased, IPAs get international twists, traditional styles get re-approached and (to no one's surprise) NEIPAs are still here. We considered aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and trueness to style to rank these, and ended with several highly-scored beers. Cheers!
DETOUR No. 018: San Francisco's Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery. The legendary brewpub sits in the heart of the fabled Haight Ashbury neighborhood and has been cranking out English-inspired ales for two decades–all in one of the coziest brewspace setups around. Oh, and the food is fantastic.
Fuzzco is a well-known entity in the East Coast design world. They've touched on creative work for everything from MailChimp to liquor packaging, and most recently, a brewery and can refresh for Coast Brewing Company. With a cleaned up approach, Coast's new packaging combines a simple font + clever illustrations to create playfully approachable can designs.
So you’re ready to take your homebrew to the big leagues. If you’re like many beer brew masters, you have a dream to open your very own brewery complete with food trucks and trendy décor. But opening a brewery is no cake walk. If you want to win the acclaim among your brewing heroes, you need more than just beer...
Ultra Fresh had one very simple rule: Any beer in attendance had to be packaged within 5 days of the event. Charged with documenting the day, contributor John Doessel gave himself two rules: 1) To try every beer. and 2) To write the synopsis the night of. This is an ultra fresh review of Ultra Fresh II.
NEW YORK, NY
Like many modern beer drinking trends, the idea of “session” beer starts with the British. It is said the earliest beer-drinking sessions started during World War I, when English factory workers were allowed to imbibe on the job during two daily sessions. Back then, the beer of choice would have been an under-4% English mild or bitter ale. So exactly what else is it that defines a session beer?
A new month and a whole new batch of beer to try. We've tasted through the following 16 beers for May, and rated them on a scale of 100, for our monthly "The Hop Reviews." From fruited stouts to hoppy wheats and a smattering of coconut, we've got an eclectic mix that's sure to satisfy any palate. Find out which ones we think you stock up on for sunnier days.
DETOUR No. 017: Contributor Michael A. Hubatch goes on assignment to Yazoo Brewing Co., in Nashville. The brewery, entering it's fourteenth year, has become a staple in the city's craft beer scene, and has been looking at ways to keep their creativity and pioneering approaches fresh.
While beer and sports have always gone hand-in-hand, you may've found yourself many times at a ballgame, tailgate or sports bar with severely limited beer options. Enter: Columbus, Ohio's Land-Grant Brewing Co., who're helping Ohio's capital city beer renaissance, while providing a twist of their own.
Join us Saturday, May 20, 2017 for "Ultra Fresh II," our Chicago Craft Beer Week event showcasing the freshest beer available from some of the best local breweries. A limited number of tickets are on sale now, for this intimate event. Don't miss out – Cheers to (ultra) fresh beer!
DETOUR No. 016: As the capital of Vietnam, it’s only fitting that Hanoi is an international melting pot of continually evolving ideas and traditions. Hanoi is a proud Vietnamese city amidst the ever-changing cultural and political landscape, and new to their culture is craft beer. Enter: Chicago Siebel graduate Quang Van and Barett Craft Beer.
HO CHI MINH, VN
DETOUR No. 015: Woven into the busy, congested and stimulating streets of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City is Pasteur Street Brewing Co. Glance the wrong direction and you may miss it. After walking through an unlit gangway and up a short set of stairs, you’ll be rewarded with a cozy place to unwind. Welcoming us at Pasteur St. was Taproom Manager, Nguyen Nga, a friendly and cheerful host that made us feel just like a regular.
A new month and a whole new batch of beer to try. We've tasted through the following 24 beers for April, and rated them on a scale of 100, for our monthly "The Hop Reviews." From sours to European imports and adjuncts from near and far, we've got an eclectic mix that's sure to satisfy any pallet. Find out which ones we think you should fill your fridge with.
As city dwellers, we often take for granted the added challenges a brewery in the suburbs faces. Often fighting a battle on two fronts, one in their local market and another in the city, they require entirely different strategies. Brian Pawola, Co-Founder and Head Brewer of Lemont's Pollyanna Brewing Company leads the charge in one of the more successful breweries to tackle this challenge.
After a quarter million votes across 64 of the finest breweries in Chicagoland, we announce the winner of our 2017 Chicago Brewery Bracket. Thanks to everyone who voted!
After nearly a quarter million votes, our Chicago Brewery Bracket has whittled its 64 initial breweries down to two. The readers have spoken and while we could never have guessed this matchup, there's no arguing with these votes. Vote for your favorites to determine our champion through Tuesday, 4/4 at 9am.