FIELD TRIP! After our parents signed our permission slips, we hit the road to Darien, Illinois, to visit with our new friends at the highly touted Hop Butcher for the World for a special edition of the The Beer Drop – just in time to welcome Illinois Craft Beer Week kicking off this Friday!
First things first – the beer. Since we were fortunate enough to be there on canning day, we were able to get a BTS peek at their brewing and canning process, AND pick up a small quantity of this week’s featured brew, Dun Dun Dun, as it was coming off the canning line – not only is this Hop Butcher’s highest rated beer, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a fresher can of this Double IPA anywhere – a.k.a. this one’ll go quick! And of course we also picked up some Grid, their signature Pale Ale, dubbed one of the 25 Best of 2017 by All About Beer / DRAFT Magazine.
Now before we get to the Q&A (and photos from canning day), I want to give a special shout out to the people behind the juice at Hop Butcher, Jude La Rose and Jeremiah Zimmer. With as sought after as their beers are, I was bracing myself for a quick in and out visit for the beer, but was blown away by the hospitality and graciousness that they and their team met us with. Cheers to this crew for doing beer the right way, focusing always on the artistry of their craft and firmly believing that when beer is done right, it should bring people together rather than create pretension or divisiveness. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jude, Jeremiah and the team, and be on the lookout for more Hop Butcher brews to hit the shelves at Foxtrot sooner than later!
Tell us about Dun Dun Dun:
Dun Dun Dun is best served a couple of minutes out of the fridge, around 40 degrees. As the beer warms and reaches this temp, the aroma and flavor that could be masked by being too cold starts to open up and breathe. Drink out of your favorite vessel. Feel free to pair with anything that complements or melds fruity flavors because Dun Dun Dun has a ton of them. Let the dryness of the beer cut through whatever you’re eating and prepare you for the next bite.
Tastes like… white peach, flavors of the tropics, grassy
Grid was designed to be an everyday pale ale/constant companion to be gathered in bulk as an easy going and refreshing beer hopped with Citra and Mosaic and packed with flavor and aroma.
On Hop Butcher
When did your craft journey begin? How about the brewery?
Our craft beer journey goes back many years and starts with an appreciation of hand crafted beers full of flavor and aroma. We sold our first beers in March 2015.
What inspired the name?
The Hop Butcher name is an ode to the city and a turned on its head nickname Carl Sandburg gave Chicago in his poem of the same name.
How about your labels and branding?
The aim is to make kick-butt beer and put it in kick-butt packaging. Our art is done by a fellow Chicagoan name Dan Grzeca. We feel our artwork reflects the grit and hustle of our city, as well as the work put behind trying to raise a brewery from the ground up.
What makes Hop Butcher special?
It’s great to create something out of nothing. We make fresh, small batch, hoppy beers hoping to carve out a new yet approachable flavor experience.
What’s next for you guys?
We’re trying to make the best beer we can and be excellent individuals as well. It’s a trip to be able to participate in culture around making beer and drinking beer. It’s a trip when we see people drinking our beers in the wild and we’re very thankful for them.
Last thing before we go! Where can we find you around town for Illinois Craft Beer Week?
We’ll be popping up in a couple of spots during the week starting with Beer Under Glass on Friday the 18th.
Again, a massive thank you to Jude, Jeremiah and the entire Hop Butcher crew for a fantastic visit to the brewery this week! Thanks for letting us crash canning day, and we can’t wait to come back again soon!