Saturday, March 27, 2010
Get Stoned, Chicago
The worst kept secret is out. Stone Brewing is going to spread their amazing wares in Chicago, the Windy City, so named by a New York penman because of the city's history of big talk. What a perfect marriage, Stone and Chicago. Stone talks pretty big about their beers, and like the venerable Windy City, they always seem to back it up. I started at the top with Stone, first trying their boldest, bad ass Ruination IPA at the Hop Leaf, right here in tough talking Chicago. Yeah, they kinda sorta of snuck that keg into the establishment, but the evidence was quickly swallowed by me and other willing patrons. A love affair was born. I've written quite a bit at this site about my Stone experiences; unfortunately, most occurred outside of Chicago.
Now Chicagoans get to enjoy the bold, robust flavors of Stone too, without having to drive to Indiana. Starting April 1, Stone products will be available in Chicago courtesy of Windy City Distribution. Their big, bad beers will be on tap and in bottles at various places. Stone will be featured in a series of release parties throughout greater Chicago; I believe they are having at least one event per day for a week at various wine merchants, bars, and places where alcohol is sold (one such venue that claims to already have had a release party appears to be a South Side music club called Reggie's). In a moment, I will share with you my list of locations hosting the upcoming Stone release parties.
First, I want to offer this delicious tidbit. I heard through my liquor store sources that part of the snag in terms of getting Stone in the door here was the company's fussiness (in a proud way) in terms of inventory. By my source's account, Stone brews to order. They apparently don't keep a lot of inventory hanging around to be shipped out of state but they brew by specific request for it. It's unusual that a brewer of their respectable size, probably top 20 in the country, brews to order. This explains the bursting freshness of their beer when you have it on tap. Well, Chicago, you'll soon see.
Let me get to that list. The following locations in the city of Chicago have announced Stone release parties on the following dates/times: Armanetti's Beverages (April 1, evening); Twisted Spoke (April 1, 6:00 p.m.); Lush Wine and Spirits (April 2, 6 p.m., Stone on tap at the Chicago Ave. store ); Whole Foods Lincoln Park (April 4, 4 p.m.); Sheffield's Bar (April 6, 7 p.m.). This list is not exhaustive and there are other Stone events happening in the 'burbs during the first bit of April. You can find these on the web.
It appears that Stone will be featuring, among other brews, its IPA, Ruination IPA, Arrogant Bastard, and Smoked Porter. Some locations will be featuring other versions of the Bastard, such as the oak barreled and vanilla bean incarnations.
If there are any updates on additional City of C events, I will post them. Happy drinking, future Stoners!