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Beer Wed Nov 13 2013

Highlights From The Beer Hoptacular

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Judging by the crush of beer lovers in Pilsen last weekend, the third annual Beer Hoptacular was a rousing success. The Hoptacular is a must for in-the-know beer nerds trying to get their hands on unreleased beers and meet the people behind their favorite craft brews, and this year did not disappoint.

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The event featured sixty breweries from around the country, including local favorites and newcomers, pouring every type of beer imaginable. Classic standouts included the outstanding Union Jack IPA from Firestone, Lagunita's Brown Shugga Imperial Ale, and Sam Adam's entry into the craft beer market, Cinder Bock.

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But traditional beer categories are only the beginning-- the Hoptacular is also one of the best places to taste beers on the wackier end of the spectrum. This year, that included everything from Dogfish Head's ancient beer recipe based on human-chewed corn, 5 Rabbit's very unusual Huitzi Belgian-style ale made with hibiscus and honey, Dry Hop Brewery's Starry Night In Sleepy Hollow--a beer that distinctly reminded me of drinking pie-- and Saugatuck Brewing Company's Cluster Fuddle, a wild English-American mashup that is meant to remind you of playing polo in a muddy field.

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Organizers seemed to have really nailed their target audience this year-- to compliment all the beer were Glazed and Infused donuts and pretzel necklaces, a beer bottle derby car race, and a game about hammering nails into wood. Because really, what goes together better than beer and hammers?

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First Place: Beer of the Year 2014
Fallen Angel
Lucky Monk Brewery (Barrington IL)
Beer Style: Amber Lager

Second Place
Not Your Father's Root Beer
Small Town Brewery (Wauconda IL)
Beer Style: Alcoholic Root Beer

Third Place
Hey Careful Man, There's A Beverage Here
Pipeworks Brewing Company (Chicago IL)
Beer Style: Imperial White Russian Stout

 
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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...
Read this feature »

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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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