As we've seen in the US, the Mexican scene is evolving quickly. Baja Brewing, led by American founder Jordan Gardenhire, is leading the charge having just celebrated their ten year anniversary — an eternity in Mexican craft beer. Located at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, 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.
One of the most important things to get right when it comes to beer is its temperature. There’s nothing sadder than an otherwise perfect brew ruined by less-than-ideal serving conditions. But what’s a dedicated beer drinker to do with all those bottles at home? Here’s what you need to know to get the maximum flavor out of everything from a barleywine to a Budweiser.
As far as beer festivals go, the ones that take place in the Midwest during that winter-meets-spring period aren't often the ones that folks anticipate. However, Schlafly Beer was able to pull off a gathering that would've put many sunshine clad festivals to shame. We highlight their innovative stouts, and reminisce of oysters from their Stout & Oyster Festival in Saint Louis.
DETOUR No. 027: Arrive in Stowe, Vermont and you'll likely be met with the well-decorated brewery that put the state's beer scene on the map. It's here where you will find one of the world's most acclaimed pale ale producers, The Alchemist. Their highly clamored-for beers beckon travelers from all over the world…
Scotland's Loch Lomond Brewery was recently on the hunt for a visual refresh, in an effort to maintain relevancy on the shelf, as well as begin to tell a story across its packaging. They turned to fellow Scots, Glasgow's beer-focused design agency, ThirstCraft. Together they crafted a lineup of landscape-focused labels.
We recently attended Upland Brewing’s Sour Wild Funk Fest in downtown Indianapolis featuring over 50 sour and wild breweries and at least 150 brews ranging from puckeringly tart to mildly funky. While it would have been impossible to sample every beer poured during the festival, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 beers that left a mark.
Join us Saturday, May 19, 2018 for "Ultra Fresh," our Illinois Craft Beer Week event showcasing the freshest beer available from some of the best local breweries. A limited number of tickets are on sale 4/16 at 10 AM, for this once-a-year event. Don't miss out – Cheers to (ultra) fresh beer!
Updated: Here is our best effort to comprise a comprehensive "THR-approved Chicago Beer Bar List." Mind you, there are certainly plenty of places in the city not on this list where you can get a decent beer. In fact, they're all over the city. However this list is curated to those spots where not only is the variety impressive, but the staff is knowledgeable & the atmosphere is unmatched.
Over a decade ago, three brothers from Detroit made a push to change their lifestyles to live 'organically.' Their passion for pure ingredients soon carried over to their beer-making. We sat down with Chicago's LaGrow Organic Beer Co. to discuss how the misconceptions of the "organic" label can sometimes influence purchase decisions.
The Chicago Craft Crawl is an ongoing series that we use an excuse to check out some of Chicago's best neighborhoods–and drink some fantastic beer along the way. The idea is simple: Plan a route through the city focused around a CTA route or main thoroughfare and get ready to spend a solid day imbibing Chicago's best.