Dryhop Brewers will be hosting a Tap Takeover this Wednesday, August 21. The beers on hand will be six of the beers from the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild's 2013 ReplicAle Project, which debuted last Saturday at the Oak Park Microbrew Review.
ReplicAles have been popular with both the Illinois Guild and the Brewers Guild of Indiana., which started the tradition in 2004. In fact, I'm surprised this isn't catching on elsewhere yet. But the deal is something like this: participating breweries are given the same recipe, or a style and specific guidelines. The resulting beers are meant to be sampled together to show how differences in each brewer's methods or equipment can affect the final taste.
Sometimes the ReplicAle reproduces an old, quirky local beer: the 2006 Indiana ReplicAle was a farmhouse ale which required shagbark hickory syrup, which is only made in Trafalgar, IN. I mention this because I got to taste one of them at Broad Ripple in Indianapolis. Other projects will allow each brewer to change one ingredient, like the 2013 Illinois ReplicAle.
Twenty-one Illinois brewers participated in this year's project, which the ICBG called "Illinois Golden Ale":
An IPA with 100% pilsner malt! With the help of Associate Guild Members The Country Malt Group and White Labs, all participating brewers will receive donated product to make this special recipe a success! For all of you beer geeks who pay attention to detail, here are certain requirements we are asking from the brewers:
- Brewers are requested to use a single hop variety throughout the entire brewing process, plus 1.25 per bbl for dry hopping (same hop).
- Brewers are asked to target 60 IBU’s in the boil kettle and an original gravity of 16 degrees Plato.
- No extra ingredients will be used: Just water, pils malt, hops, and yeast!
- Brewers are required to use no larger than a 15 bbl brewhouse for the project.
Additionally, the yeast is the homebrewer's favorite: Wyeast#1056 American Ale yeast, also called "Chico" yeast, as it's derived from the house yeast at Sierra Nevada, in the California town of the same name.
As you'd expect, a batch this size does not hang around long. What didn't get finished off at the OPMR usually goes on tap at the participants' tap rooms. But here are the six ReplicAles you can sample at DryHOP:
- Begyle – Calypso – Calypso’s Song, 6.4% abv
- DryHop – Amarillo – Don’t Get Captured, 6.5%
- Flesk – Nelson Sauvin – Green Finger, 7.2%
- Half Acre – Crystal – Mr. Miller, 6.0%
- Haymarket – Saphir – Replicale Illinois IPA, 7.0%
- Tighthead – Centennial – Replicale 2013, 6.5%
I added links to some descriptions of the hops, since many of them are very recent varieties. This is a great opportunity to discover how individual hop varieties can add different character to the same beer.
The Tap Takeover starts at 6 pm at Dryhop Brewers, 3155 N. Broadway in Chicago.
As a little side note for hopheads only, here's the full list or brewers in the ReplicAle project and the hops they used. If your favorite isn't available at DryHop, check with the brewer to see if they may appear elsewhere:
|Brickstone Restaurant & Brewery||MOSAIC|
|Flesk Brewing||NELSON SAUVIN|
|Haymarket Pub & Brewery||SAPHIR|
|Lake Effect Brewing||FALCONER 7CS|
|Mickey Finn’s Brewery||LIBERTY|
|One Trick Pony||WARRIOR|
|Rock Bottom – Chicago||FALCONERS FLIGHT|
|The Lucky Monk||NORTHERN BREWER|
|Wild Onion Brewing||CTZ|