Tuesday, May 17, 2016

HttA Picks for Chicago Craft Beer Week 2016






The 7th Annual Chicago Craft Beer Week (11 days long to be exact) is upon our beer-loving city once again. With tons of new and exciting events spanning all ends of the city and suburbs, we've dove in and featured 2 fun and affordable events for each day of the celebration. Enjoy, be safe, and cheers to our local, Illinios-made craft beers!

All week, 3rd Annual Battle For Lake Michigan at Links Taproom, 5pm: 10 kegs and a firkin from each participating state will be on tap in a race to determine who is the master of the lake. Follow progress on their digital menu starting 5/19 and going until 1st and 2nd place are determined. Donations to Alzheimers Association.

May 19th, Hop Head Farms Tap Takeover at Hopleaf, 7 pm: showcasing beers from all over the country made with Hop Head Farms hops – 35 different Beers, 2 Ciders & a Mead all made with HHF hops on draft. Learn about basic hop farming, hop selection methodology and hop sensory analysis during a Hop Quality workshop upstairs at 7:30pm given by the founder of HHF. Admission is $10 at the door






May 19th, BUT (Beer Under Tin) at Paddy Long's, 7pm: featuring beers from Metropolitan and Off Color that pair perfectly with our bacon-centric menu.

May 20th, Beauty & The Brews at The Sedgwick Stop, 7pm: All 14 taps will feature women brewed or women owned breweries with brewers and representatives on hand to chat with about their beers.

May 20th, Beer Friends at Hopewell Brewing, 4pm: Kicking off their first CCBW with a new ongoing collaboration with our friends throughout the industry, featuring Ipsento Coffee and Mott Street. Beer Friends will bring in great minds from the worlds of beer, cocktails, coffee and beyond, exploring different ways to offer twists on existing Hopewell beers.

May 21st, Brews & Yoga at Alter Brewing, 11am: Enjoy yoga in the brewery before they open up to the public. $15 for one hour of yoga and one beer afterwards. Ticket sales in the taproom only.




May 21st, Burnt City Brewing Steampunk Ball, 9pm: Channel your inner history buff, get out your dusty sewing machine and don your best steampunk attire for the classiest party to ever pay homage to a fictional era. DJ beats and beer specials.

May 22nd, Goose Island 3rd Annual Sunday Funday Dodgeball Tournament at the Barrel Warehouse, 2pm: Battle of the Breweries dodgeball tournament, special beer tappings. Tickets $25 with 100% donation to Special Olympics.




May 22nd, Pipeworks & Spiteful Fighting Like Cats & Dogs for PAWS at Smallbar, 12pm: Swag and amazing brews with reps from both breweries as they hang out and talk pets and beer, with 100% of the profits from the event benefitting PAWS Chicago. Pipeworks beers on draft: The Jones Dog BA Stout, Passionfruit Guppy IPA, Lupine DIPA. Spiteful beers on draft: Working for the Weekend DIPA, God Damn Chocolate Vanilla Donut Pigeon Porter.

May 23rd, Yoga On Tap at Begyle Brewing, 6:30pm: An hour of yoga (all levels) with Yoga On Tap Chicago followed by two beer flights. $25. Bring your own mat, water and towel. 

May 23rd, Andersonville Neighborhood Brewers at Jerry's Sandwiches, 7pm: Get up close and personal with Half Acre, Empirical and Aquanaut breweries.

May 24th, A Taste of Belgium in Chicago at Beermiscuous, 5:30pm: Get a taste of Belgium from local breweries Empirical, Illuminated, Old Town Abbey Ales, Une Année, Penrose.




May 24th, Corridor & Broken Nose Cider Collaboration Release at Corridor Brewery, 6pm: Taste the 1st collaboration of a sour kettled Apple Brett/Lacto Saison.

May 25th, Stop, Collaborate & Listen: Buckley's Barkstravaganza at Fischman's, 6pm: Showing love for dogs and local beer, this dog-friendly event will feature Mikerphone Brewing, Transient Artisan Ales and Hailstorm Brewing beers including their brand new collaboration "Stop, Collaborate & Listen" Benefitting Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue.

May 25th, Brown Line Brews 4 at The Long Room, 6pm: A showcase of the breweries along the Brown Line hosted by the Cicerone Certification Program and The Long Room also reside. Food pairing provided by Beard and Belly for each featured beer.

May 26th, Art of Craft Beer at Village Tap, 5pm: Celebrating craft beer and the artists who create your favorite craft beer labels in a festive beer garden gallery. While you’re taking in the art you can also enjoy special craft beers from the featured breweries.



May 26th, Celebrating Women of Craft Beer at Riverview Tavern, 7pm: Celebrate with women of the craft beer and cider industry, featuring collaborations by Brickstone/Pink Boots Society, the women of Dryhop/Corridor and surprise firkins by Metropolitan, Rock Bottom and 3 Sheeps. Proceeds benefit Deborah's Place.

May 27th, Ultra Fresh Brews at Bitter Pops, 6pm: The Hop Review and Bitter Pops are bringing together 20 local beers packaged within days of the event, as fresh as they can be, to drink with the folks who brewed them.

May 27th, Werk Force Sausage Fest, 6pm: Werk Force brewing is teaming up with Solstice and The Roaming Hog for a kickass night of beer and sausage featuring 4 collaboration sausages and beer pairings.



May 28th, Memorial Day BBQ Fest at Tribes Alehouse, 11:30am: Kicking off their summer-long "Beer & Smoke Menu" featuring wings, ribs, brisket and more with $4 Tribes pints. Live entertainment and music from 11:30am-4pm.

May 28th, 3rd Annual Pipeworks Tap Takeover at Emporium Arcade (Wicker Park), 12pm: Featuring 30 beers, including barrel-aged beers and never before released variants. Custom tap handles will be given away to the last pint orders of each keg.

Monday, May 16, 2016

4th Annual Celebrating Women of Craft Beer Event

Join us for the 4th Annual 
"Celebrating Women of Craft Beer" event
May 26th at Riverview Tavern (1958 W Roscoe), 7pm - ?


It's that time again and the third year will be bigger and better than ever! Numerous female brewed collaborations and special firkins will be tapped as well with proceeds benefiting Deborah's Place in Chicago.

Featured drafts:

  • Pink Is the New Black, Black American Lager brewed by Pink Boots Society/Brickstone
  • She Sells Sea Salt, Farmhouse Ale with Hibiscus & Sea Salt by the women of Dryhop/Corridor
  • Metropolitan - surprise firkin
  • Rock Bottom Chicago - surprise firkin
  • 3 Sheeps - surprise firkin
Women from some of your favorite Chicagoland breweries will be in attendance, including Brickstone Brewery, Rock Bottom, Metropolitan, DryHop, Goose Island, 3 Sheeps, Solemn Oath, Church Street Brewing, Twisted Hippo, Revolution, Two Brothers and more!

Event Details:
Thursday, May 26th @7pm
Riverview Tavern – 1958 W Roscoe Ave, Chicago
FREE to attend with drinks and food for purchase
Open to men and women and is a family friendly event
Facebook invite


Come out and support the Midwest's most talented women!



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Best of Goose Island Stout Fest 2016


If you're a stout lover, you will happily pass up green, watered down beer on St. Patrick's Day weekend and hold out for Goose Island's Annual Stout Fest. With a list of over 100 dark, flavorful and high octane stouts to choose from, strategy is always essential. We were on the lookout for some of the new breweries in attendance, as well as rare beers by some of our favorites such as Goose Island Clybourn, Perennial, and 18th Street. New this year: Alter Brewing, 2nd Shift, Maplewood Brewing, Cruz Blanca, Motor Row, Sketchbook Brewing, Horse Thief Hollow, Urban Legend, Aquanaut, Noon Whistle, Vice District and CHAOS Homebrew Club.






















This year's sold out event took over the entire brewpub space, with well designated sections, much better traffic flow and shorter lines than years past. Food was available to order from the bar off of the regular menu, which was much needed half way through. 


Right: Brewers John & Steve of Goose Island Clybourn being presented with an ABV Chicago "Crotchee" award.





















In years past the Goose Island Clybourn brewers had dominated the show for us, but we found so many creamy, balanced and flavorful stouts from neighboring tables, that it was extremely difficult to narrow down our top choices. Overall a fantastic experience that we hope continues at the Brewpub.

David and Andy from Horse Thief Hollow





















OUR TOP 10 BEERS OF STOUT FEST

MIND FK, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery
Black Tea Infused Russian Imperial Stout with hints of chocolate and coconut  |  11%

BARREL AGED HUNTER (COGNAC), 18th Street 
Double Milk Stout aged in Cognac Barrels  | 11%

COCOVORE CUVEE, Horse Thief Hollow Brewing
A blend of 60% Cocovore, 35% Cheval Deux (2014 World Beer Cup Silver Medal), 5% Pat Mac's Irish Red  |  9.8%

CLOSE ENCOUNTER, Pipeworks
Hopped-Up Stout |  7%

CERISE STOUT IMPERIALE, Destihl Brewery
Wood-Aged Belgian-Style Imperial Stout with Sour Cherries  | 11%

BITCHES BANK, 18th Street 
Russian Imperial Stout brewed with cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs  | 10%

PROPRIETARY, Goose Island Clybourn
Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Toasted Coconut  |  11.5%

COFFEE LIQUID SPIRITUAL DELIGHT, 2nd Shift Brewing
Chewy, chocolately stout with Blueprint Chiri Coffee  |  11.5%

2015 BCBS COFFEE, Goose Island Brewing
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Intelligentsia Los Delirios Coffee | 13%

CASK OF MALEVOLENCE CHOCOLATE CALIENTE, Spiteful Brewing
Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout brewed with vanilla beans, peppers, cacao nibs & cinnamon |  10.5%

Spiteful Brewing took home the "Brewer's Choice Award." 

The People's Choice Awards went to Revolution Café Deth (3rd place), Spiteful Malevolence Chocolate Caliente (2nd place), and Goose Island Clybourn Propriety (1st place).



Monday, February 29, 2016

The Best of Cider Summit Chicago 2016


This year's annual Cider Summit at Navy Pier was bigger and better than ever, expanding to the second floor balcony with a selection of cider cocktails from The Northman, Woodford Reserve and Uncle John's. This year boasted 140 ciders with approximately 10 new Producers since last year's event. We found this year to be supremely enjoyable with very few lines for cider, food or restrooms and ample opportunity to talk with the cider makers themselves. Below is a recap of our "Best of" winners of the event.

Best Dry Cider
Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider (7.5%)

Best Semi-Dry Cider
EZ Orchards Semi Dry Cider (6.4%)

Best Farmhouse/Wild Fermented Cider
Shacksbury Arlo (6.2%)

Best European/Import Cider
Manoir de Grandouet Cambremer Cidre de Tradition AOP Pays d’Auge (4.5%)

Best Barrel-Aged Cider
Vander Mill Green Mill Barrel-Aged Cyser (6.8%)

Best Fruited Cider
Starcut Ciders Squishy (7.5%)
Seasonal Hard Cider made with Northern Michigan Cherries, tart and dry finish

runner up:
Cider Brothers, Pacific Coast Apple with Wild Cherry
Semi-dry, stone fruit and spice, tastes like cherry pie

Best Newcomer to Chicago
Starcut Ciders (by Shorts Brewing), Elk Rapids, MI
Now available throughout the Chicagoland market

Best Cider Cocktail
The Northman "Ginger Snap"
Few Bourbon Whiskey, Vander Mill Ginger Peach cider, ginger syrup, soda water

Cider Summit view from the balcony
Kim (Hail to the Ale), David (Shacksbury Cider), Craig aka "John Apple" (ABV Chicago)

left: Uncle John's Old Fashion cider cocktail. right: The traditional Spanish long pour.

For more on tasting cider, check out our latest podcast appearance on ABV Chicago, Episode 109 "Cider House Rulez" where we taste 6 ciders from across the US, talk about the cider making process, and share a whole lot of laughs in the process.

Curious about the cider making process or learning more about apple varieties? Take a look at our Amazon book list devoted to Apples & Cider.

Check out your local bottle shops, as the selections of cider continues to grow. Don't see what you're looking for? See if they can request it or email the cideries for availability. The more demand, the better!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Guest Podcast Appearance on ABV Chicago: Episode 109

In preparation for the upcoming Chicago Cider Summit at Navy Pier (February 27th), we join Craig and Ryan of ABV Chicago Podcast series to talk all things cider making and tasting, along with some crazy banter and a lot of laughs. We hope you enjoy it!



Episode 109 – Cider House Rulez

We enter unfamiliar territory on this one by doing our first-ever cider show. Kim Leshinski of Hail to the Ale and MC Johnsen of Worth 1000 Beers join us to educate us on these fermented apple beverages. You’ll learn a lot about how ciders are made, apple varieties, local cider sources (including Broken Nose Cider), heirloom apples, and “the long pour.” We go from “cider stupid” to just plain stupid at times, as the diversions here are frequent and give Craig a good core workout. And Ryan is made to feel stupid by being the only one familiar with Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Listen and let us be the apple of your…ears?
Ciders reviewed:
Farnum Hill Dooryard Cider
Shacksbury Farmhouse
Bantam The Americain
Uncle John’s Apple Hard Cider
Vander Mill Chapman’s Blend 2014
Wandering Aegnus Wanderlust

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fourth Annual Cider Summit Returns to Chicago



SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective are pleased to announce the return of their successful Cider Summit festival to Chicago, IL. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, February 27, 2015 in two sessions - 11am-3pm and 4pm-8pm in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.
 

Cider Summit will feature 140 ciders including regional favorites and international classics from countries such as England, Scotland, France, and Spain with owners and cidermakers will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the samplings.

NEW this year: 

  • The Fruit Cider Challenge where consumers vote for their favorite pilot batch made exclusively for the event.


Tickets are $35 and will be sold online only via CiderSummit.com. Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass, 8 tasting tickets and a $1 donation to Heartland Alliance. Additional tasting tickets will be available for sale onsite at $2 per ticket. Designated driver tickets are available for $5, and include a bottle of water. A separate ticket is required for each session.
THIS EVENT IS STRICTLY 21 & OVER
 

The Chicago Brew Bus will provide shuttle service starting at 10:30am between the Blue Line Grand stop, Red Line Grand-State stop, and Navy Pier throughout the day. CTA buses also run directly to Navy Pier. Onsite parking is available in the Navy Pier garages.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Abita's New Orleans Inspired Packaging Refresh





In celebration of their 30 year Anniversary, Louisiana-based craft brewery Abita unveils a packaging refresh of their flagship, seasonal and harvest series beers. 

The brewery, which has a deep connection to the Louisiana and New Orleans culture and lifestyle was looking for graphics to reflect its heritage.

"Our new look is inspired by the art, culture, history and colors of New Orleans. The personality of the city is showcased through eccentric new characters and quintessential New Orleans scenes depicted on the packaging." - David Blossman, President

The flagship Amber, Strawberry Lager and Purple haze designs are expect to hit shelves this month, with others releasing throughout 2016.