Dozens of Area Brewers Collaborate on "Black Is Beautiful"

Dozens of Area Brewers Collaborate on "Black Is Beautiful"
Starting in July, we will see the first releases from one of the largest brewers’ collaborations in the country. The Black is Beautiful initiative was started by Weathered Souls Brewing of San Antonio, TX. The idea was hatched shortly after the George Floyd murder as a way to make positive contributions to each brewer’s local... Read more »

Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, August 14-16

Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, August 14-16
So, a few things worth reporting this weekend:
  • Brixie's is having a "parking lot sale" this Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. They are selling out fixtures, chairs, tap handles and signs to prepare for conversion into an Imperial Oak taproom. 9526 W. Ogden Ave., Brookfield, IL.
  • Finch Beer Co. has opened at taproom at its brewery this week. The facility is at 1800 W. Walnut St., Chicago, in the "Chicago Brewing District" that also holds Goose Island, All Rise, Great Central and On Tour breweries.
  • has reported that distributor Breakthru Beverage is selling its Illinois beer and cider contracts to Heartland Beverage. Breakthru is the former Wirtz Beverage, whose local beer portfolio includes Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Spiteful Brewing, 18th Street and BuckleDown Brewing. Heartland is affiliated with Anheuser-Busch InBev, with Goose Island as its only Chicago-based holding.
  • Hopewell Brewing is conducting a recall of some of its beers, which they say was contaminated by a secondary yeast strain. The yeast could cause continued refermentation in the can, leading to gushers and off-flavors. The brands and can dates affected are Lil Buddy (date 6/19 & 7/15), Going Places (date 6/30) and Ride or Die (date 7/27). Facebook
  • Tangled Roots Brewing of Ottawa has posted that they are planning a new location in Glenview. Details coming later.
As of posting this article, I have all the events that mention beer tappings. Some more pop-ups and food trucks will keep coming in...

Chicago's Week with Craft Beer, August 10-13

Chicago's Week with Craft Beer, August 10-13
I regret that I just now learned that Cognito Brewery in Merrillville has closed down. The Black-owned, 9-barrel nano had to close down due to COVID-19, and had no retail clients to take up their production. However, their space will be taken over starting next week by Viking Artisan Ales. This production brewer, financed by selling memberships, has been looking for a taproom space for two years. They'll be hosting a membership drive at their current space, 305 N. Colfax St. in Griffith, IN, Saturday August 15 at 1 pm. Viking plans to open its new taproom space in October.This week in Chicago beer have anniversaries with More, and D and G Brewing...

"Black Is Beautiful" Beer Review: Liquid Love

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Still have a few more of the local “Black Is Beautiful” collaboration beers to review. I’ve had other matters at hand so I haven’t quite been able to keep doing one a day. That’s okay. There’s still two to go. And I have extra cans of the ones I’ve already reviewed, if there’s a trade... Read more »

Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, August 7-9

Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, August 7-9
Here's an early warning for fans of "whalez." Beer on the Wall in Park Ridge will hold a Tapping for Toppling Goliath Brewery's 2020 Mornin' Delight Imperial Stout. The tapping will take place Saturday and Sunday, August 21 & 22. Tickets are now offered through the Facebook Event Page. $17.31 gets you a 6 oz pour of this highly rated stout brewed with maple syrup and coffee. Pouring are shceduled by the hour from 12:00 to 5:00 pm each day....

"Black Is Beautiful" Beer Review: Skeleton Key

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I have gotten a positive note or two about my “Black Is Beautiful” collaboration reviews. This just reminds me that I have the great pleasure of being able to drink beers and talk about them on the internet. The fact that proceeds from these beers are earmarked for local causes is really just gravy. I’m... Read more »

Chicago Week in Craft Beer, August 3-6

Chicago Week in Craft Beer, August 3-6
The Chicago beer community tries for another week to bring some normalcy about. At this time, Emmett's in Palatine has has to close to re-sanitize after one of their employees tested positive for COVID-19. They expect to remain closed until Wednesday, August 8...

"Black Is Beautiful" Beer Review: Foreign Exchange/Church Street

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In the past week, I’ve collected 5 different examples of the “Black Is Beautiful” worldwide collaboration beers. My goal has been to shoot a video review of each one on consecutive days. Well, that idea has been slowed considerably. While I’ve gotten pretty quick at editing and posting videos, it’s writing the related article that... Read more »

Beverage Tasting: Suntory All-Free

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Summarizing another of the videos I shot over the previous weekend. All-Free comes from Japan’s brewer and distiller Suntory. It’s a malt beverage proclaiming that it has not only zero alcohol, but also no calories and no carbs. It’s been available in Japan since 2010. They began test marketing it in San Francisco in 2017,... Read more »

Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, July 31 - August 2

Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, July 31 - August 2
We're now entering the period where events from the spring had been rescheduled for. And organizers are now deciding to throw in the towel and do the big public gatherings next year–maybe. The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild had hoped to still put on the "Beer Under Glass" event at Garfield Park Conservatory. This opening event for the cancelled Chicago Craft Beer Week was moved from May to a tentative fall date. Now it's been cancelled entirely and hopefully rescheduled for May 14, 2021. Ticketholders are being urged to donate their ticket price to the ICBG and the Conservatory, convert their tickets to the 2021 event, or request a refund. Their web page may update later with information on what to do, but for now ticket holders can e-mail ...

Cider Review: Virtue Northcider & Southcider

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I’ve been on a flurry of video reviews over the weekend, because some of this material is very timely. This one, because it’s tied in the long-delayed start of the baseball season. And, well, we’re looking at the distinct possibility that the season may end very soon, if players keep turning up with COVID symptoms.... Read more »
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    Mark McDermott

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