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Beer Thu Oct 17 2013

Une Année Makes Belgian Beer Local, Seasonal

Une Année beer samplesUne Année Brewery sounds fancy, and its beers are indeed sophisticated. But the brewer of French and Belgian-inspired ales is based in the gritty Kinzie Industrial Corridor near Grand and Ashland, and its founders are committed to connecting with Chicago's seasons, releasing new beers annually, seasonally and quarterly.

Une Année, founded in 2012, recently announced a distribution deal with Wirtz that will bring them to more restaurants and bars, and celebrated the partnership with a tapping at Jerry's Sandwiches in Wicker Park Tuesday night. I had the opportunity to sample three of the brewery's current roster of beers.

Less Is More Session Saison is a farmhouse beer with a relatively low (for craft brews) 4.6% ABV. It's brewed with 20% wheat and a little caramel sugar, with orange zest and juice added later in the process. It features plenty of the grazzy, pollen-y flavor of your typical saison, along with a hint of citrus and sort of a sweet, funky yeast. The finish is bitter from the Ahtanum hops comes through at the end. It's light and very bubbly, and would pair nicely with food.

Next up in terms of alcohol content is the Maya Belgian IPA. Clocking in at 7.6% ABV, this hybrid is hoppy but not as over-the-top bitter as most American IPAs, counterbalanced perhaps by the grains of paradise in the recipe. There are flavors of banana and toast, and a nice, subtle sweetness. If you're a fan of hoppy beers but aren't looking for a bitter bomb, Maya is a good option.

Lastly, the Devil's Reigh Belgian Golden-Strong weighs in at a big 9.1% ABV. As complex as it is strong, I smelled Red Delicious apple, pineapple and nutmeg, and tasted orange, baked pears and mulling spices. As it warmed up, fresh Concord grapes came to the forefront. The beer had an almost creamy mouthfeel, and its burnt orange color evoked the roasted flavors I was tasting. It was by far my favorite, and seemed perfect for the cooler fall weather.

With such great early offerings, this will be a brewery to watch for. Une Année is available now at Jerry's Sandwiches and a few other spots around town, and according to the brewery's Facebook page, they'll soon be selling in 750ml bottles.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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