Arcade Brewery exemplifies the craft-brewing mantras of community and ingenuity. More to the point, Arcade Brewery produces fantastic beer while at the same time embracing and celebrating art, storytelling, collaboration, and public involvement.
Their two latest releases personify those ideas exceptionally well - "The Adventures of Dutch Courage," and -- with Flesk Brewing Co. -- "Chiberian Warmer."
A few weeks ago, Arcade Brewery launched “The Adventures of Dutch Courage,” a comic-book inspired beer that is as innovative in its taste as it is creative in its name and presentation.
Before I get to the comic-book story, let’s talk about the beer. For Dutch Courage, Arcade found inspiration from gin distilling with their incorporation of juniper berries and lemon peel into the brew. My first sip of Dutch Courage immediately blew me away. It’s one of those beers that makes you say, “Hey, that’s good...really good..wait..what is that?” Then you drink again..and again. The best part of the discovery process is that even if you can’t figure out what ingredients are included, or don’t care, it’s good from the second the aroma hits the nose throughout the aftertaste. In short, it’s just plain delicious.
From nose to finish, you’ll taste the wheat/malt, consistent hops, and that refreshing gin-inspired flavors of lemon and juniper berries. Dutch Courage is an incredibly easy-drinking beer that I could see drinking year-round, and it could stand up to almost any meal without overpowering it. Well done!
For Beer Geeks, here is the nitty gritty.
- Malts: ESB Pale, 2-Row, Caracrystal Wheat, Midnight Wheat
- Hops: Apollo, Chinook, Spalt
- Adjuncts: Juniper Berries, Lemon Peel
- ABV: 4.6%
But, The Adventures of Dutch Courage is more than a beer, it’s a story. Arcade Brewery notes on their website, “Each year, Arcade Brewery collaborates with the biggest names in the comic industry to create an original beer and comic across six beers.”
The Artist: “Cooke is an Eisner award winning Canadian comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, known for his work on the comic books Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier, The Spirit and Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter.” You can see his work here: http://darwyncooke.blogspot.com/
The Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti is a multi-award-winning writer and comic artist and the co-founder of Event Comics, Black Bull Media, Marvel Knights, and most recently Paperfilms. He is currently working on the DC comic, Harley Quinn. You can see his work here: http://paperfilms.com
But wait, there’s more!
Arcade Brewery and Lombard’s Flesk Brewing have teamed up for the latest Public Brewing, “A continuing series where our community helps us create the name and label design of one of our seasonal beers.” For this season, it’s a winter warmer named Chiberian Warmer, which includes caramel malt, a touch of orange peel, and distinct cranberry notes. Arcade Brewery explains, “With a refreshing, tart finish, Chiberian Warmer is a perfect pairing for any hearty meal or cold winter night.”
For Beer Geeks:
- Malts: Pale, Pale Chocolate, Munich, Extra Special Malt, Caramel
- Hops: Apollo, Chinook, Northdown
- Adjuncts: Cranberries, Orange Peel
Public Brewing involves contests for both the artwork and the name. I’ve mentioned before that my submissions for the name did not win. I’m still not over it, but I am seeking counseling. However, the artwork is certainly something best left to an actual artist (unless they like stick figures).
The Artist (source: Arcade Brewery Website): Eva Bialecki is an artist, musician and animator who received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2014). She freelances through her design company, Black Coffee Projects, recently finishing a hand drawn music video for locals Gramps the Vamp featured in Mass Appeal Magazine and is collaborating on an animated film with 20+ year resident artist of the Field Museum. She resides in Chicago with her pets, plants, and an assortment of cartoon creatures. http://www.evabialecki.com
In the end, you have two beers that involve gin inspiration (ginspiration?), seasonal flavorings, community inclusion, great artists and writers, collaboration, and above all else -- darn good beer.
If you have never tried Arcade Brewery, you should try these two fine examples. They provide great insight into their brewing style, philosophy, dedication, and how how much fun they are!
Get the latest updates about Chicago's craft beer scene! Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.