Monday, January 30, 2012

Half Acre Brewing Night at Northdown Cafe and Taproom - January 31st

Always an inviting spot for a beer event, Norhtdown Cafe and Taproom is having Half Acre Brewery Night Tuesday, January 31st, at 6:00pm.

Half Acre is helping lead the local Chicago brewing charge.  Their beers are loaded with personality, and even if they have yet to mind-erase me with an outright stunner, almost all of their beers are memorable with distinct and unforgettable tastes and aromas.  As they keep pushing the boundaries it's only a matter of time before they stumble upon greatness. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Three Floyds Cimmerian Sabertooth Berzerker

Why that name, I have no clue.  That's Three Floyds for you.  And thanks to Northdown Cafe, which continues to deliver the freshest selection of unusual, unique, rare, and interesting craft brews in town, I got to try some "CSB", a pub-only imperial IPA from Three Floyds.  Northdown tapped their small barrel of this last night which I'm sure will be gone in a few hours.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ale Asylum Ballistic IPA Review

I got some new glassware from Victory in the mail recently and thought I'd use it to try out the latest IPA to cross my path, Madison, WI's, Ballistic IPA.  I've never heard of Ale Asylum but the word on the street is that they're putting a lot of product in Madison tap rooms these days.  Ballistic has been reviewed at Beer Advocate over 60 times, and that is since 2009. It's been out there for a while.   I received a sixer of it from a friend of mine and used my new Victory Hop Devil English style pint for evaluating it.  I love the way the top of the glass sharply curves out.  It has the coolest Hop Devil logo on it with the word "Victory" in gold block lettering.  The Hopdevil himself is pictured, and the word "Hopdevil" appears in red.  This glass is going to present many a beer nicely for me.  Anyway, on with the review.

Alpha Beer Event at Local 22

The latest beer event in my uber-exciting life was last week when I attended the Alpha Beer VII event at Local 22 Bar on Hubbard Street.  Yes, that’s 22 E. Hubbard.  Cool name.  Chicago website has put on a series of these beer tastings designed to educate someone not terribly familiar with microbrews about the styles and flavors of craft beer.   For the event they assembled 26 beers organized alphabetically by either the brewery's or beer's name.   They deserve a hat tip for filling the Q and X slots.  Chef Jill Houk, noted as a home brewer, was the master of ceremonies and broadcasted information about each round of beers.   Here are my thoughts about the event, organized by the beers I tried, ranked worst to first:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Firestone Walker Double Jack Review

"Just about a year ago, I set out on the road", starts the Credence Clearwater Revival song, "Lodi", a song about a musician lamenting a small town one-night gig that quickly traps him in a "Groundhog Day" nightmare.  In that vein, it was just about a year ago that I wrote a less than flattering post about Firestone Walker's Double Jack Imperial IPA, which I had sampled at the Map Room. It left me greatly underwhelmed. Fast forward to January 2012 and times have changed, or perhaps tastes.  I now lament that misguided post.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brooklyn Brewing Sorachi Ace Review

Summer has its dog days, but I don't know what you call winter's worst.  It's been brutal here lately with strong winds, bone crushing cold, and a snowstorm last Friday that came upon us so quickly it paralyzed traffic for hours. It took me two hours to get home 9 miles on Friday.  It was a good thing the weekend came around on time to erase some of the blahs.  Brooklyn Sorachi Ace pitched in as well.  This bottle, a 750 ML, was a Christmas or birthday gift (I'm never sure anymore) from a pal here who's crazy about all things Brooklyn Brewing.  He once sent me a photo he took of Garrett Oliver.  Well, he loves Sorachi Ace and I can see why.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Founders Brewing Double Trouble Review

I was watching this McDonald's commercial the other day.  They love to make ads with the following theme.  A really wussy acting guy is too scared to match wits with his girlfriend or some love interest.  Said wuss-boy pumps himself up with inner dialogue by reminding himself that he's really smart because he bought items off of Mickey D's Dollar Menu (ignoring the fact that McDonald's isn't even food and is shaving off his life years in thicker swaths than an illegal West Virginia stip mining outfit).  Anyway, that's the theme.  The particular ad I saw had this guy trying to impress a French girl with, perhaps, his knowledge of art - I didn't hear the artist's name that was stated.  After wreaking his brain with inner dialogue he spits out that the artist has a certain je ne sais quoi.  Of course, this invited more trouble for him in the form of his French tart inquiring whether he spoke French.  Fat chance. 

As for myself, while irked for the aforestated reasons, I siezed upon je ne sais quoi.  It means an X factor.  An undefinable, perhaps indescribable intangible factor. What else has it?   What brewery has it? What beer?  Why, Founders, of course, has it.  Their Double Trouble Imperial IPA embodies it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Saturday 1-21-12 Uber's Remodel party - You should go

If you are a beer fan in Seattle you know Uber is one of the best places to have an amazing beer. They are going under the Knife on Sunday Jan 21st for a remodel and are having a blowout party on Saturday to celebrate and clean out the closet. You should go...

Details from their website:

Avery Muscat d’ Amour and Récolte Sauvage Barrel-Aged Wild Ales debut in February |

New News on Avery brought to us by the folks at! Wild ale aged in Cabernet barrels. Yum!

Avery Muscat d’ Amour and Récolte Sauvage Barrel-Aged Wild Ales debut in February |

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lincoln Square Beer Festival January 28th

Here's a treat for beer fans in Chicago.  It's a beer fest.  In two weeks, Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood is having a beer fest featuring beers from several local breweries.  All of the information about it is included in the link after the jump below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Local Option Dampf Loc Review

It was time to go slumming with the commoners.  California common ales, that is.  And let me add that California commons are hardly low class.  Over at Chicago Foodies, I give Local Option pub's Dampf Loc the once over twice (you'll know what I mean if you are an X fan) and express my lament that there are not nearly enough other beers like it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thank You, Lagunitas

Welcome to 2012 folks, a very late welcome on our part.  I've been massively under the weather hence the paucity of posting.  We appreciate your visits to the site and your re-posting and re-tweeting of our Shakespearean posts here.  Okay, so we're not making anyone forget Macbeth here but we are truly grateful for your readership which is climbing to new and startling heights each month, shattering our expectations.

And we're not afraid to admit when we get it wrong, either.  Earlier we printed a "fact" from a source that Lagunitas Brewing was discontinuing its Brown Shugga in favor of the Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale.  We received a clarifying response from Lagunitas itself; you may have seen it in the comments section of the above-linked post.  If not, here it is: