Prepare to be dominated. They're not officially off the ground yet but I can already tell you that Dryhop Brewery is going to star in Chicago. Regardless of genre, you can spot new stars as easily as you can spot a shiny new Mercedes among a roster of used compact cars. Maybe it's a new employee that just seems to "get it" right away, and quickly has co-workers seeking his advice. Perhaps it's a baseball player like the Angels' Mike Trout who splashes on the scene out of nowhere as an instant MVP candidate. Remember how meteoric was Nirvana's rise if you're old enough to recall? You knew from the first episode that Entourage was going to be around for a while.
The same goes for Dryhop. From my very first sip of their Wheat IPA a few months back, how those spicy and biting hops perfectly blended with that buoyant wheat flavor, I knew these guys were serious players. So I was excited to try their Biere de Garde.
It's a brew with chamomile, orange zest, and grains of paradise that has a gorgeous, resplendent burnt orange color. Its marvelous look alone clues you in to its immediate completeness. The beer is remarkably seamless, balancing slight sweetness with tang, spice, and an underlying graininess and astringency. This is a remarkable summer beer but robust enough for year-round consumption. Brant, one of its brewers, told me that it's a rather low ABV ferment, true to their style of producing sessionable beers of incredibly high flavor and stunning quality. Like all their beers I've had, its profile is unique and its flavor has great cleanliness and clarity, free of extraneous flavors and consistent though the final sip. Excelsior!
I'm pretty amazed by these guys' ass-kicking abilities and wonder what's next in store. I'm damn curious regarding their take on an imperial IPA. Their restaurant and brew pub will be open on Broadway Ave. in Chicago in a few months so stay tuned. Those guys are going to be growler ground zero. In the meantime, be on the lookout for a keg of theirs around town, and brace yourself to be wowed.
That's what stars do.