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Dec 27, 2010

Chicago Craft Beer Week: December 27-January 2 - Chicago craft beer |

Beer events that are NOT New Year's Eve parties.

Dec 26, 2010

Chicago beer bar and restaurant New Year’s Eve parties - Chicago craft beer |

One of two articles listing beer-centric NYE parties in Chicago. If I missed any, let me know!

Dec 23, 2010

What beer oases are open Christmas Day? - Chicago craft beer |

Where you going to get a decent beer on Christmas when your in-laws only have Lite in the house? (Hint: It just might finally be Haymarket!

Dec 20, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, December 20-23

More Christmas Beers and other heady brews for the darkest nights of the year, beer and jazz in Blue Island, and Haymarket's opening pushed to (maybe) Christmas Eve.

Dec 16, 2010

Chicago craft beer weekend, December 17-19 - Chicago craft beer |

Christmas Beers, Christmas Stouts, and maybe the long awaited opening of Pete Crowley's Haymarket brewpub

Dec 12, 2010

Chicago craft beer calendar, December 13-16 - Chicago craft beer |

12 Days of Christmas: Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Fountainhead, Bar on Buena. The three bars will be pouring over 20 Christmas beer selections. 12 Beers of Christmas, Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery For 12 days straight, Flossmoor Station Brewery will release a one-of-a-kind, completely unique beer especially for that day. 12 stouts of Christmas: Brixie's Beer Bar, Brookfield. 12 different stouts on tap until the end of the year.

Dec 1, 2010

How the Bandit, Coors and a bunch of Makers changed the course of booze history - Boing Boing

Nice little piece from Boing Boing reminiscing about the mystique of Coors in the 1970s. Bonus: It's written by a woman after she tried to explain the plot of Smokey and the Bandit to her husband. As little as I care for Coors or S&tB, I gotta admire a gal like that! But not as much as the one I'm married, with our shared love of Stooges, Svengoolie, and MST3K.

Craft Beer Alert! BrewDog’s Sink the Bismarck and Tactical Nuclear Penguin - Chicago craft beer |

After tracking these most extreme of extreme beers to Texas and Colorado, I can now report that two of the strongest beers ever made will be sold in Chicago soon.

Binny's Beverage Depot's Assistant Beer Buyer, Kyle Fornek, posted on the retailer's web site that they will be getting a small shipment of Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck! from BrewDog, based near Aberdeen, northern Scotland.

Nov 28, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, November 29-December 2

Got two places serving 2Bros Heavier Handed IPA with dinner, a He'Brew Jewbelation vertical. Just maybe, I hope to be able to announce the opening of Haymarket. Soon?

Nov 21, 2010

Chicago craft beer events for Thanksgiving week - Chicago craft beer |

Beer dinners, a Thanksgiving buffet, and two chance to score some Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Stout.

Nov 19, 2010

Meister Bräu, other beer and product trademarks for sale - Chicago craft beer |

The trademark for Meister Bräu, once the most popular beer produced in Chicago, is among 150 commercial trademarks and domain names being sold at auction December 8 in New York City.

Nov 17, 2010

Beer Alert! Bell’s Batch 10,000 released! - Chicago craft beer |

Batch 10,000,
a special anniversary beer made with 100 different malts
and 60 hop varieties, has been released! This space with carry details
of availability. Check back soon!

Nov 10, 2010

Beer Alert! Surly Darkness on tap in Chicago! - Chicago craft beer |

Here's the analogy: Darkness is to Minnesota as Dark Lord is to Indiana. Barrels of Surly Darkness have been appearing on draft accounts in Chicago's finer beer bars tonight (Nov. 9).
Here are the bars currently reporting Darkness on tap…

Nov 8, 2010

Chicago weekend craft beer events, November 12-14 - Chicago craft beer |

More Smuttynose tastings, a SmallBar Cask Night, some food festivals (with beer), and Founders Breakfast Stout: it’s what’s for breakfast!

Oct 31, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, November 1-4 - Chicago craft beer |

A new English-themed Gastropub opens on the Near North, and Smutty Brewing's beers land in our

Oct 27, 2010

Bhut Chile Beer tapping at Flossmoor Station - The Beeronaut

Flossmoor Station's brewmaster, Bryan Shimkos, will be offering a chile beer this week; one using the current Guinness record holder for hottest pepper known to man.

Read more:

Oct 25, 2010

Chicago Non-Halloween craft beer events, weekend of October 29-31 - Chicago craft beer |

The weekend schedule is pretty slim once I separate out the Halloween events, isn't it? Some of these may have "Halloween" in the title, but seem to involve no costumes, no late hours, just a few hours with some good beers. Click on, click on…

Oct 24, 2010

Chicago Halloween parties with good beer! - Chicago craft beer |

Sure, every place open at night is offering “Halloween parties.” But do we want to end up hanging out at some sports bar where the “Halloween special” is a bucket of Lites and a cardboard cutout of Elvira. I didn’t think so. These places are our regularly listed brewpubs and good beer bars that have something Halloween themed going on. Doin’ what I can to make All Hallows’ Eve a bit less spooky! This listing will be updated as Halloween approaches, so check back soon!

Chicago craft beer events, October 25-28 - Chicago craft beer |

Beer dinners, tasting pumpkin, German wheat and barrel-aged beers, and a "Beer Wars" viewing party.

Oct 22, 2010

Wild Onion’s Pumpkin Ale now in cans - Chicago craft beer |

Just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving sipping, the Wild Onion Brewing Co. has issued its popular Pumpkin Ale in cans, available at discerning retail outlets around Chicago. Click to learn more!

Oct 21, 2010

Goose Island announces co-brewing deal, plans expansion - Chicago craft beer |

A three year deal to brew extra beer at Redhook's Portsmouth NH brewery gives Goose Island room to plan new capacity…

Oct 18, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, weekend of October 22-24 - Chicago craft beer |

Beer tastings through the alphabet, beer and cheese tasting, beer @ Kalamazoo Air Zoo, & Oktoberfests go head-to-head with Harvest Ales!

Oct 17, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, October 18-21 - Chicago craft beer |

Two brew'n'view events, beer dinners with New Belgium, Avery, and whole hogs, new Rock Bottom and Crispin Cider tappings,

Oct 15, 2010

Haymarket brewpub gets its license to brew - Chicago craft beer |

Haymarket Pub & Brewery, the new brewpub, restaurant and performance space venture in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, has announced that the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB, the successor to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), has granted them their Federal Brewer's License. This means, of course, they can begin producing beer for public sale and consumption.

Oct 12, 2010

Chicago weekend craft beer events, October 15-17 - Chicago craft beer |

Beer Vixens Pub Crawl, new draft only Half Acre release, Founders Harvest release party in Mich., and a Save the Dunes event in Indiana.

How to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel. « Southern Fried Science

Once again, life is made better by science. I have known of homebrewers who tried out "prison hooch" methods, so this is actually a step up. I have also pondered a method for a truly limited batch beer: "One Beer, One Bottle." Said bottle to be artfully decorated so I could truly claim the value of the beer is in its bottle, and that I won't claim the contents are drinkable, so it could be sold on the E-bay.

Just one question for the author: How do you gather and prepare the seaweed?

Oct 11, 2010

Finch’s Beer announces Chicago brewery location - Chicago craft beer |

One of Chicago's latest startup brewers, Finch's Beer Company, has come a step closer to reality with the announcement of its new home

Oct 10, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, October 11-15 - Chicago craft beer |

Royster with the Oyster, meet John Leinenkugel, share a few with Sierra Nevada's Brewmaster, or get your Stone Vertical Epic 10.10.10 this week!

Oct 6, 2010

Festival of Barrel Aged Beer tickets now available - Chicago craft beer |

Fall is upon us, and so is FoBAB.
Tickets are on sale now for the eighth annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer, which will be held Saturday, November 6 in Chicago. The event is organized by the Illinois Craft Brewing Guild, the professional organization of craft brewers and beer professionals in the Land of Lincoln.

Oct 3, 2010

Chicago craft beer calendar, October 8-10 - Chicago craft beer |

Shoreline Brewery Oktoberfest in Michigan City, 4th Annual New Buffalo MI, Rock Bottom Oktoberfest Dinner downtown, and ChiliFest at Lunar Brewing!

Oct 2, 2010

Chicago craft beer events, week of October 4-7 - Chicago craft beer |

Beer Sampling at Vintage 51 at Horseshoe Casino, Hammond; a Stone Tap Takeover & Chicago Beer Showcase at The Tribes…

Sep 30, 2010

Beer, Bikes, and Bands at Brixie’s Saturday! - Chicago craft beer |

Beer, Bikes, and Bands at Brixie’s Saturday! - Chicago craft beer |

Brixie’s Beer Bar and Grill hosts its first annual "Beer, Bikes and bands" festival this Saturday, October 2, 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. 9526 W. Ogden Ave. in Brookfield, IL. For info, call (708) 387-0550

Sep 27, 2010

Chicago area craft beer events, Weekend of October 1-3 - Chicago craft beer |

Chicago area craft beer events, Weekend of October 1-3 - Chicago craft beer | Friday - Sunday, October 1 − 3
Oktoberfest 2010
Flatlander's Front Parking Lot, 200 Village Green, Lincolnshire, IL (847) 821-1234
Friday Oct 1, 2010
Oktoberfest Kickoff Party
SmallBar, three Chicago locations
5:30 - 11:30 p.m.
Harvest Ale Pub Crawl – Downtown Forest Park
and more!

Sep 26, 2010

Chicago area craft beer events, Week of September 27-30 - Chicago craft beer |

Chicago area craft beer events, Week of September 27-30 - Chicago craft beer | While the traditional German Oktoberfest celebrations are already underway, here's a new slew of events for the American "October" Fest — or is that "Rocktober?"

Sep 25, 2010

Flash: More Saturday Craft Beer events for September 25! - Chicago craft beer |

Two devilishly tasty beers on sale at Flossmoor Station today, and following Ultimate Beer Bout II at Mokena's Tribes Alehouse, tickets go on sale for UBB III!

Sep 23, 2010

Chicago area craft beer events, weekend of September 24-26 - Chicago craft beer |

Oktoberfest celebrations continue, plus fund-raising events and Ultimate beer Bout: Rogue vs. Dogfish Head!

Sep 21, 2010

Area Winners at the Great American Beer Festival - Chicago craft beer |

Finally, here is the rundown of area winners from the Great American Beer Festival, held this past weekend in Denver, CO:

Lombard’s Rodney Kibzey wins his 2nd Sam Adams Longshot - Chicago craft beer |

Rodney Kibzey of suburban Lombard has won his second LongShot with a Black IPA. His homebrew recipe will be “sized up” and brewed for the LongShot 2011 six-pack along with a Belgian-style IPA by Richard Roper of Georgia, and the Sam Adams Employee winner, “Honey Bee’s Lavender Wheat,” by Caitlin DeClercq.

Rodney previously won the 2007 LongShot (for production in 2008) with a Weizenbock

Sep 18, 2010

Beer Alert! Bell’s 25th Anniversary Ale - Chicago craft beer |

We will keep an updated tally of where this beer has been found locally, and come back with a review when we get a hold of one. That's my service to you, the reader!

Sep 15, 2010

Chicago startup Finch’s Beer names brewmaster - Chicago craft beer |

There are now more breweries and brewpubs in the planning stages in the Chicago area than we can easily keep track of. One of these is Finch's Beer, in works to open next year in Chicago. Principals Benjamin and Paul Finch have announced one key addition to their operation this month:Read on…

Aug 9, 2010

Chicago area craft beer events, Weekend of August 13-15

Friday, August 13:
Tentative opening for Haymarket
Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St., Chicago (312) 638-0700
Haymarket is the latest brewpub project to open in the Windy City. Brewmaster is Pete Crowley, previously in charge of the great brews at Rock Bottom Chicago. A post on their Facebook account says, "The brewery is estimated to arrive in Chicago on Friday the 13th!" Be sure to check it out. More…

Jun 14, 2010

New Belgium’s Tour de Fat hits Chicago June 26

New Belgium’s Tour de Fat hits Chicago June 26

Is Tour de Fat a Burning Man for bicyclists, or clever beer marketing?

And why do we say we’re “driving” a car, but “riding” a bike? “Riding” implies no effort on your part in making the thing move.

Let’s work it out Saturday, June 26, when new Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat makes its third annual stop in Chicago, at Palmer Square Park (Palmer St [2200 N] between Kedzie and Sacramento). This is the 11th season for the Ft. Collins, CO-based brewer’s “celebration of all things bicycle.”

Jun 7, 2010

Another area beer recall: Goose Island Matilda

There must be a bug going around.

Last week, this column passed along the notice that Bell's Brewing had recalled two batches of Two Hearted Ale because of bacterial infection that could cause souring.

Today, Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co. announced a recall of its Matilda Belgian style pale ale, also because lactobacillus was found in it.

May 26, 2010

Pabst Brewing may have a buyer

I got the story on my Examiner page today. May not mean much to drinkers of better beer. In an ideal world, the new owner would spin off all the regional brands Pabst gobbled up to individual brewers in the cities they first came from. And the beer fairies would bring me a pint at work when I snapped my fingers.

May 19, 2010

Ebert calles for a campaign for Real Movies - Roger Ebert's Journal

Cannes #7: A campaign for Real Movies - Roger Ebert's Journal
Ebert thinks CAMRA would be a good model to promote "real" movies, after seeing a day of movies at Cannes with no CGI or 3-D. An apt metaphor, even from a guy who had to join AA years ago.

May 17, 2010

Brewers have high hopes for N.C. hops - Food -

Interesting note about attempts to grow hops in NC, a bit south of the plants' usual "comfort zone," but being in the mountain areas may help it work.
Another attempt to find a crop to replace tobacco in the area, could be good for prices. Part of the reason for the many new American wines out there is that many former tobacco farms turned to grapes.
Brewers have high hopes for N.C. hops - Food -

May 15, 2010

Chicago Craft Beer Week calendar, Sunday-Monday, May 16-17

Chicago Craft Beer Week calendar, Sunday-Monday, May 16-17 Everything beery and good kicks off Monday, although a few people jumped the gun and went in for Sunday. Check 'em out!

May 13, 2010

Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off May 17

Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off May 17 An event so big, I will have separate calendar listings for each day! Keep checking in!

May 10, 2010


Among the flora in our recently purchased house's lot, we have found mulberry trees, only one of which bore fruit last year, and spearmint. Now we find we have a good-sized crop of rhubarb. Well, none of us really cares for rhubarb, but when times are tight, it's foolish to ignore the bounty in one's back yard. I've already made a mead with last year's mulberries that still needs to be bottled. I've tried the spearmint in a mint julep, but appearntly rather than just mashing the leaves in a glass of whiskey, I needed to boil them into a simple syrup.

So now I'm looking at things to do with rhubarb. There are the old pies and jellies, but if no one else will like it, I'm left with brewing something using rhubarb. I've seen some beer recipes that use only a few stalks per five gallons for a wheat-fruit ale or a Berliner weisse (sour beer). But if I'm to use more of what Nature has given to me, I need to check out some Mead or Rhubarb wines:

Rhubarb mead recipe

Though I've also found something for Rhubarb Margaritas that could be a good thing in the summer, too! I'll let all know how it shakes down!

Chicago area craft beer calendar, May 10 - 17

Chicago area craft beer calendar, May 10 - 17. Check out the listing at my page.

Apr 14, 2010

Home Brews Now Legal to Sell in Minnesota

Home Brews Now Legal to Sell in Minnesota

Interesting story, but it only addresses the fact that the "basement brewery" needs a health department license, not about paying taxes, etc. When does the Fed get involved in this?

Jan 28, 2010