Last July this column marked the return of Baderbräu, the beer which, along with Goose island and the Weinkeller, launched the Chicago craft beer scene in 1988. The following year it became the first Chicago craft beer to be bottled for retail. Robert Sama, a fan of the Czech-style Pilsener, bought the brand when he happened to find it had been abandoned. He located original brewer Douglas Babcock, who helped locate the original yeast, and secured a deal to have the new Baderbräu Chicago Pilsener contract-brewed at Argus Brewery on the South Side. The new Baderbräu was kicked off with appropriate launch parties during Chicago Craft Beer Week 2012 and then, kind of disappeared.
"Demand for Baderbräu was much larger than we anticipated last year," explained Co-founder Joe Berwanger. "Initially after launch the beer sold out everywhere, well over our expectations, and we just couldn't keep up." So, Joe announced, production of Baderbräu Chicago Pilsener had to be moved to Stevens Point Brewery of Wisconsin. The move should ramp up production by a factor of ten and let Sama and Berwanger gain tighter control over quality. Six-packs of the Point-brewed Baderbräu have already returned to Binny's shelves the first weekend of April.
Additionally, the Baderbräu crew is moving ahead with plans for their own Chicago brewery, which they hope to have up and running in 2014. They expect to select and announce a location later this year.
Sama further explains Baderbräu's move in a video.
This weekend, there will be samplings of Baderbrau at various Binny's locations. Purchase a case and receive a limited edition T-shirt.
Friday, April 19, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
River Grove: 3121 N Thatcher Ave.
Highland Park: 153 Skokie Valley Rd.
Glen Ellyn: 670 Roosevelt Rd.
Arlington Heights: 69 W Rand Rd.
Saturday, April 20, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Buffalo Grove: 124 McHenry Rd.
Des Plaines: 767 W Golf Rd.
Lake Zurich: (2-4p) 975 Rand Rd.
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