What happens when a 25 year old brewery gets lost in the shuffle of today’s beer landscape? Atlanta Brewing Company found itself asking this question. Rising to the challenge of re-positioning the brand was CODO Design…
We tasted through the following 19 beers for September. This month we showcase a mix of Illinois options, plenty from the West Coast, and even a Serbian beer (our first); Hazy IPAs still reign, malt makes a comeback, porters start to show up, and a couple festbiers hit the shelves.
DETOUR No. 035: On the shore of Batavia, Illinois’ Fox River, there is a small basement brewing operation making a name for itself via its milkshake IPAs: Energy City Brewery. The folks behind the project–David & Heidi Files. They took their brewing schedule from Church Street Brewing to Batavia, and are continuing to look to what’s next…
Seismic Brewing is a new independent brewery located in Sonoma County, with a striking approach to packaging illustration. Those visuals, executed by Indianapolis design duo, Emrich Office, play out seamlessly on their cases and cans…literally…
Recently added:Garage Band Brewing (Plainfield, IL), Omega Yeast (Old Irving Park, Chicago), Tribes Brewery & Taproom (Mokena, IL), Cary Ale House & Brewing Co. (Cary, IL), D and G Brewing Co. (St. Charles, IL), Cognito Brewery (Merrillville, IN), The Red Barn (Mt. Prospect, IL), Black & Gray Brewing (East Dundee, IL), Harbor Brewing Co. (Winthrop Harbor, IL)
DETOUR No. 034: About 120 miles southwest of Chicago is the Bloomington-Normal region of Illinois and the home of one of the state’s–and Midwest’s–largest breweries. Here, you will find the enormous beacon of a facility, set back in the fields overlooking a pond: Destihl. We pay a visit and chat with founder Matt Potts.
On the hypothetical Mount Rushmore of American craft brewing, it’s likely there’s a spot held for Boston Beer Company's Jim Koch. The unassuming founder of Samuel Adams started a tiny brewery in a quaint Boston neighborhood back in 1984. Koch bootstrapped the company from the ground up, doing everything from brewing, selling, and as we found out, self promotion.
We tasted through the following 14 beers for August. This month we showcase Chicago beers as 50% of the lineup, we sample a GABF gold medalist, oak-aging is highlighted, and fruit is plentiful–including a prominent display in one such Canadian beer perfect to pair with your late summer dessert.
DETOUR No. 033: Sitting on the banks of Burlington's Lake Champlain, you'll find the relatively young but acclaimed Foam Brewers. Although it's only been on the scene since ‘16, the brewery has quickly made a name for itself thanks to its embrace of the hazy, the experimental and the quirky.
One lager brand, Waitiri Beer, was conceived this year with one goal: becoming the national beer of New Zealand. Tasked with creating the identity for this national-brand-in-waiting was fellow Kiwi outfit, makebardo design, who’s incorporated several nods to their national pride, while keeping a relatively simple and striking aesthetic.
With each passing day, beer consumers are being introduced to more and more purchasing options. But, just how exactly can one ensure that what they are purchasing is in fact independent beer? The answer's simple. Just seek out the independent craft brewer seal.
As we've seen in the US, the Mexican scene is evolving quickly. Baja Brewing, led by American Jordan Gardenhire just celebrated their 10th anniversary—an eternity in the country’s craft scene. The brewery has pushed through obstacles that make opening a brewery in the States seem simple...
DETOUR No. 032: A Sunday visit, during the brewery’s limited taproom hours, leads us to realize just why Side Project’s acclaim is so warranted. From a menu chock-full of barrel-aged goodness, we select a sampling and enjoy a calm afternoon in the bright and airy space in St. Louis’ Maplewood neighborhood.
For anyone who has ever spent time meandering the streets of the UK, it's likely he or she has encountered a Co-op. Established in 1844, the British chain has nearly 3,000 small grocery and convenience stores. And when it came to moving their private label beverage brand forward, they enlisted the help of Leeds, UK-based design firm Robot Food to create a boldly cyan look.
We drink a lot of beer here at The Hop Review. So, we found it only fitting that we share some of our thoughts with "The Hop Reviews". We tasted through the following 17 beers for July. This month we explore a handful of new much-anticipated Chicago offerings, chamomile makes a couple appearances, IPAs are plentiful, funky gets a nod, and birds appear to be a theme.
There are few things better than Michigan summers; backyard BBQs, cabins on the lake, sunsets after 9PM, and a spoil of craft beer riches from coast to coast. So whether on the boat, the beach, or the backyard, we put together a 6-pack of crushable Michigan craft cans perfect to fill your cooler with all summer long.
DETOUR No. 031: Contributor Alaina Kornfeld headed to the Emerald Isle to pay a visit to Galway Bay Brewery amidst a warm cozy pub atmosphere. After a conversation with pub manager Alan O’Reilly, she learned that a little bit of Chicago can go a long way, even overseas.
UPDATED: We first highlighted the design work for Indiana’s Big Lug back in 2016 after their flagship brewpub opened, with a distinct and colorful aesthetic. The design firm behind that effort, CODO, is now back, partnering on new concepts–the first of which is a Bavarian-inspired space, complete with canned beers.
DETOUR No. 030: In a brewery landscape full of similar beer menus, it can be a tough sell for some to explore new options when there's so much nearby. Oak Park's Kinslahger Brewing Co. might be just the change of pace you're looking for. Founder Keith Huizinga started the brewery in 2016 with the intent of brewing lagers only — a tenet they've stuck wholeheartedly to since.
DETOUR No. 029: After a weekend full of big stouts and dense IPAs, we found respite in the cozy, welcoming taproom of Civil Life. Long time industry veteran and founder, Jake Hafner, hosted us for a few pints and explained to us the room for growth of malt-forward beers.
When you consider the history of America’s brewing tradition, it's cities like St. Louis that set the standard. It wasn't until 1991, that a then-meager brewpub opened up the road from Anheuser-Busch, the first new brewery in St. Louis in decades. The Saint Louis Brewery found its footing after bringing in eclectic brewer Stephen Hale and Schlafly Beer as we know it began to take shape…
When Indianapolis' CODO Design was approached to brand a brewery project in Beijing, they jumped at the chance. It turns out, they might've jumped into the process a little prematurely too. As Isaac Arthur, CODO's design lead, would come to find out, the design firm's initial concepts were unfortunately lost in translation.
We drink a lot of beer here at The Hop Review. A lot of different beer, all the time. So, we found it only fitting that we share some of our thoughts on said beer, with "The Hop Reviews". We tasted through the following 16 beers for June. This month we explore a few new Chicagoland beers, some collaborations and…no hazy IPAs?
It's not every day you drink a beer with a legend. This was the opportunity that fell to us when we sat down with coach Mike Ditka. But what does this have to do with beer you ask? Well, Ditka is getting his own. More specifically, he's working with Northcenter's Begyle Brewing to concoct a signature brew available exclusively at the Chicago Ale Fest this weekend.
Join us THIS SATURDAY, May 19, for "Ultra Fresh," our Illinois Craft Beer Week event showcasing the freshest beer available from 26 of the best local breweries. A limited number of tickets are on sale still, for this once-a-year event. Don't miss out!
DETOUR No. 028: In search of the most remote brewery in the U.S., contributor Paul Lewis makes the trek to Big Bend Brewing and learns why it’s high time for drinking in West Texas, according to the locals…
We recently had the honor of being guests on Chicago Beer Pass, alongside hosts Brad Chmielewski & Nik White, as we discussed Illinois Craft Beer Week, Ultra Fresh and the ins and outs of the local Chicago beer scene. It was great to finally get the chance to sit down with them, as we chatted over a few fresh beers.
In 1994, Highland Brewing made history as the first brewery in North Carolina since Prohibition and introduced Western NC to a new way of thinking. Today the mountains that cradle Highland’s 40 acres of wooded hillsides are as majestic as ever, but the brewing landscape has changed dramatically. Highland was getting lost on the shelf and found that their branding didn’t fit what they’d grown to become. They didn’t brew Scottish beers, and had grown past the image of the Scotsman on their original logo...
BrewDog is a name you know but likely haven't had in a while. Co-Founder James Watt is the face of the brewery in the US and is spearheading the suddenly fresh take on the brand he built from the ground up. Over pints of four day old, Ohio-brewed, Juggernaut DIPA, we found out how he's managed to build BrewDog from a bottle of homebrew to a multi-billion dollar, and still independent, brewing empire.
We drink a lot of beer here at The Hop Review. A lot of different beer, all the time. So, we found it only fitting that we share some of our thoughts on said beer, with "The Hop Reviews". We tasted through the following 24 beers for May (our 24th iteration of "The Hop Reviews"). This month we explore a few uses of Brettanomyces, plenty of tropical pale ales, a couple barleywines, and a showcase of beers from the UK.