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Beer Mon Mar 24 2014

Chicago Beer Festival: A Craft Beer Dream

dsc_0825.jpg Oh Midwesterners and their beer--no relationship is more fierce, loyal, and impervious to destruction. Which is why the Chicago Beer Festival was utterly packed this year, filled with attendees toting mini pints and pretzel necklaces. Wandering through the enormous frat house that was Union Station, I was overwhelmed by the 60+ domestic and international breweries offering samplings of their delicious beer. Interesting sips included:

Local Option: Kentucky Common
This dark and creamy beer is sour due to the lactobacillus bacteria introduced during mashing. It's like yogurt, except not at all.

Virtue Cider: Hard apple cider
Produced from high quality heirloom apples, this is the best apple juice I've ever had.

Solemn Oath Brewery: Coffee Stout
Combining coffee and beer doesn't seem to make sense, but who says depressants and stimulants can't work together?

Slapshot Brewing Co: Stick To The Nuts
Brewed with peanut butter, this savory brown ale tastes like Planters in beer form. You could practically construct a liquid peanut butter jelly sandwich by adding jelly ice-cubes.

Bell's Brewery: Special Double Cream Stout
Smooth and creamy, this multi-malt specialty tasted like coffee and finished very nicely on the palate.

BrickStone Brewery: HopSkipNImDrunk Double Pale Ale
This double IPA is very citrusy, as you immediately get a strong waft of grapefruit upon nasal contact.

dsc_0842.jpg The only thing I regret about the event was simply being incapable of sampling the massive variety of brews. Although I tried all of the out-of-state and international brews, I really didn't have to use all my vouchers to appreciate the complex diversity of craft beer. You pick and choose your favorites, but chances are, nothing flat out sucks. As Benjamin Franklin wisely noted, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."


John / March 24, 2014 2:09 PM

Hi Judy,

Enjoyed your write-up. Yeah, there was an embarrassment of riches in terms of great craft beers to choose from. We also loved the Not Your Father's Root Beer and Grandma's Apple Pie Cider from Small Town Brewery.

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Beer Mon Apr 28 2014

Craft Beer, Community and Creativity: An Interview with Locally Brewed Author Anna Blessing

By Christina Brandon

In the introduction to Locally Brewed: Portraits of Craft Breweries from America's Heartland, author and photographer Anna Blessing writes that she wants "to tell the story of the people behind the beer."
Read this feature »



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