For our second edition of Meet the Maker, let’s have a drink with one of Chicago’s largest self-distributing craft beer companies – Pipeworks Brewing Co! Whether you’re a local beer hound or a casual drinker, it’s hard to deny the influence their unique and spirited approach has made on the beer community, with staples like Ninja vs Unicorn among a bevy of small batch, highly sought after one-and-done brews.
For more on everything from their Kickstarter roots to their creative process to plans for an upcoming brewpub, we met up with ‘the barrel guy,’ Mike Schallau, to get the scoop and a glimpse behind the scenes at their brewery. And pro tip: be sure to scroll to the end for a bonus mini meet of the Pdubs cats!
Good ol’ Evanston, Illinois. Aside from being the “Home of Evanston’s Big Ten Team” (sorry NU grads, a shameless Illini over here), Chicago’s neighbor to the North is also home to great beer, a la Temperance Beer Company, and we’re excited to take this week’s Beer Drop to celebrate the first-ever cans of their Birdsong Saison! I recently had the chance to catch up with Emily Kwasny, Brewery Operations Manager at Temperance, to dive into the beer, their Evanston roots, and much more. Crack open a fresh one and read on – cheers!
We’re taking our first trip down to the Peach State for this week’s Beer Drop! But rather than stone fruits, we’re gettin’ into more ‘botanically’ inspired ales with SweetWater Brewing –
I believe the Venn diagram between the 420 and craft beer cultures has a pretty significant overlap, and apparently so do the folks at SweetWater, whose flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale has made them a household name in the Southeast and beyond. Now they’re taking it a step further with their brand new 420 Strain G13 IPA that packs a natural hemp flavor. Though it won’t make you feel like you’re exploring Amsterdam via space cakes, the homage and olfactory experience is unmistakable.
Pick up some of this brand spankin’ new brew now, and read on for my Q&A with Dane Lewandowski, SweetWater’s Illinois Market Manager, for more on this new 420 Strain series.
We first got to know West Town’s Forbidden Root last October when we had the opportunity to feature one of my favorite beers of all time, Snoochie Boochies, as our Beer Drop. Since then, the brewery has made a few key changes – most notably bringing on a new head brewer, Nick Williams, and launching a fresh series of beers – so naturally, it was time for a revisit!
We recently chatted with Nick to catch up on what’s new at FR, what makes their hazy beers so damn good, get a glimpse into daily life at the brewery, and of course, the skinny on this week’s beer – the juicy Ghost Tropic from their hazy series.
Read on for our conversation, and be sure to order up your Ghost Tropic now – this release will be gone again before you know it. Cheers!
In a land historically renowned for their beer, this Belgian “King of Beers” has been at it since 1871. In 1920, to celebrate the end of World War I, they debuted their now signature Belgian Golden Ale, originally dubbing it “Victory Ale.” Later, a local craftsman noted during a tasting that this new style was, “quite the devil,” or Duvel in Flemish language — and the name has stuck ever since. As you’ve probably gathered by now, this week’s Beer Drop is a nod to one of the world’s most storied breweries: Duvel Moortgat. (Pronounced Doovle – NOT Doovel. #details)
Duvel has been the measuring stick for Belgian beer and the international beer industry for generations, all the while staying at the forefront of innovation throughout that time. You know the tulip glass used so often as a vessel for your favorite brew? Well, they invented it to create a more complex drinking experience.
Even with all its tradition, this old guard isn’t afraid to adapt in the quickly changing beer world. Duvel has partnered with various craft breweries throughout the world, including past features Brewery Ommegang and Boulevard Brewing Company (to name a few), to create modern takes on their classic Belgian Ales.
This week, we celebrate the first can release of Duvel Single Fermented! Read on for my Q&A with Stuart Knight, Director of Import Marketing at Duvel USA, to learn more about this beer previously only available on draft, and how it compares with its older brother.
There’s a new beer in town! And to say we’ve been waiting years for it is an understatement…
We enjoyed our first cans of House a few years back at a happy hour co-hosted with the crew at The Infatuation, and our team’s immediate reaction? We gotta get it. Unfortunately for us (and you), House was only available at the time in its hometown of Venice, CA. Fast forward to this summer, and we’re thrilled to finally introduce you to House Beer!
The goal is simple: make one beer and do it really well. Hence their modern-day, craft take on the classic American Lager. After officially launching in Chicago last week, we had the chance to catch up with brewery founder Brendan Sindell to learn more about their off-the-beaten-path beginnings, and what’s next in Chicago and beyond.
PS – We know the Beer Drop brews are typically super limited in stock, but not to worry…these cans won’t be leaving our shelves any time soon. 🍻
Just in case that gray, rainy weather last weekend planted the ‘winter is coming’ seed in your mind, this week’s Beer Drop should get us all back on the right track – Around The Bend‘s sunny Maui Gold! A hint of pineapple makes this session IPA a fresh, crushable option to toss in the cooler for the rest of the summer.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Dan Schedler, Around the Bend’s Founder/Head Brewer/Chief Bottle Washer, to talk all things Maui Gold, ATB, the worst brew day of his life (don’t worry, it all turned out okay), and what’s next for the brewery as they continue to carve their niche in Chicago and beyond. Read on for our full conversation!
While they’ve only been available in Chicago since late 2017, five-year-old Collective Arts has already developed a fantastic reputation amongst the city’s craft beer drinkers thanks to their focus on the fusion of creative brewing + the talents of emerging artists and musicians…and the beer is pretty tasty, too.
I was able to catch up with CAB’s Illinois Sales & Marketing Manager, Tom White, to learn more about this week’s featured beer (a unique Milkshake IPA brewed with lactose and fruit puree), the brewery, their artists and more. And if Tom’s name sounds familiar, you may know him from his other gig at beer site The Hop Review.
Boysenberry. Hops. Brettanomyces (x2). Brew all that together for a different kind of purple drank – the Rubus Flux! a.k.a this week’s Beer Drop feature from 4 Hands Brewing Co. out of St. Louis.
This very limited production Boysenberry IPA also happens to be a collaboration with Chicago’s own Marz Community Brewing – what could be more Midwestern than a beer brewed by two of its best and brightest cities? We had the chance to catch up with Ian Penrose from 4 Hands this week to learn more about the brewery, their focus on family and community, Rubus Flux’s unique, berry funk flavor profile, and Ripple, a 4 Hands staple we’ve also added to our lineup just in time for those peak summer temps.
New week, a completely new type of brew! For this week’s Beer Drop we’re talking (and drinking) all things kombucha beer with Unity Vibration:
The husband-and-wife team behind Unity Vibration out of Ypsilanti, Michigan (pronounced Ip-Suh-Lan-Tee for all you non-Mitten-ers out there), first started brewing their own kombucha in 2007. Kombucha naturally produces a low ABV during its fermentation process, and once the Feds caught wind of its (very, very) slight booziness, began requiring producers to either tweak their recipes to lower the ABV or become full on breweries. Rather than compromising their craft to filter out the alcohol, Unity Vibration leaned into it – they became a microbrewery and began producing higher ABV offerings, pioneering what we enjoy today as kombucha beer.
But enough from me – I had the chance to connect with Unity Vibration co-founder Rachel Kanaan on all things kombucha, kombucha beer, and the path they took to bring a new category of beer to the masses – read on for the full Q&A!
Oh and PS – if you’re not about that gluten life and typically don’t drink beer, all of Unity Vibration’s offerings are naturally gluten-free!