Posts in category "Beer Review"

Craft Beer pioneer New Albion Ale revived

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I’ve been reading some books sent me for review, which I mean to one day incorporate into a Gift Guide. One of them is The Audacity of Hops: the History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution by Tom Acitelli. A full description will come someday, but for our purposes, Acitelli goes into detail about the first... Read more »

Craft Beer Review: Homefront IPA

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Just in time for the end of baseball season, I have gotten a chance to sample a beer that came out at the start of the season. But hey, reviews are “evergreen,” compared to my calendar articles, and I expect this beer will be easier to locate next season. Homefront IPA is a collaboration beer... Read more »

Baderbräu Oktoberfest: Chicago Craft Beer Preview

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Shortly after re-launching his revived Baderbräu beer brand, Robert Sama has added an Oktoberfest alongside the original Baderbräu Pilsener. Like the Pilsener, Baderbräu Oktoberfest is contract brewed at Stevens Point Brewery in Wisconsin. Rob dropped off a sixpack for me downtown at work Tuesday afternoon. Parked in a 5-minute zone, he quickly explained that the Oktoberfest was... Read more »
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Not Your Father's Root Beer Float Day

Not Your Father's Root Beer Float Day
So, today (August 6) was National Root Beer Float Day, as sponsored by A&W Restaurants because, well, just because. If you were near an A&W—and good luck with that in the Loop, where there’s a frickin’ McDonald’s on every block—you could have been treated to a free small float. If you missed it, I’m tagging... Read more »

Craft Beer Preview: Shiner FM 966 Farmhouse Ale

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I have a whole case worth of beers I want to talk about, so let’s crack the top on this one. I do two kinds of beer reviews: the local ones that I seek out and buy for myself, and the more wide-ranging brands that the promo folks send for my consideration. Just like screeners... Read more »

The Draftmark Beer Tap System

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You may have seen the Draftmark Tap System around; it’s a small mini-keg dispenser made for beers from Anheuser-Busch InBev. This has been out for about a year, and has offered special gallon mini-kegs of Budweiser, Bass, Michelob and some of the Shock Top beers. In December, they rolled out Goose Island Honker’s Ale in Chicago... Read more »
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Finding a Beer for the End of the World: 12-21-2012, Pt. 2: Beers

Finding a Beer for the End of the World: 12-21-2012, Pt. 2: Beers
Truth to tell, if I actually did think the world was coming to an end, I would spend the time making sweet… um, chocolate chip cookies with my family. Yeah, that’s it. Only if they were not nearby would I go to my beer cellar and start drinking all the vintage ales I’ve been saving. But in fact, the imaginary apocalypse is really just another reason to party. I’m all for that. So the appropriate beers to drink can be chosen with the same consideration as a picture of Santa on the label of a Christmas beer. In this article, I listed some appropriate places to hunker down with one last, great beer. Now here are some beers to try at home. First, consider that culture that was able to layout a pretty accurate calendar 5,000 years ago, while we “civilized” nations still argue over when Easter should be. Like many Mesoamericans, the Mayans brewed with local maize, flavored with cocoa, honey, chile peppers, and whatever other tasty plants were at hand. Some beers nearby with that same influence: 5 Rabbit Ki’ Chun: this is a new beer by Chicago’s Latin-influenced 5 Rabbit Cerveceria. It’s name means “tasty start” according to founding brewmaster Randy Mosher, who writes, “Ki’ Chun blends the apricot perfume of chanterelles with three malts and toasted oats, all tied together by the exotic fruitiness of New Zealand Rakau hops, accented by a Belgian yeast strain. Dark Thai palm sugar lightens the body a bit and makes this 9.5 % alc/vol beer dangerously drinkable, dry and creamy.” Ki’ Chun con Chanterelles will be tapped on December 21, the first day of the new calendar cycle. These locations will be pouring: I had one of Randy’s mushroom beers way back in 2002, and found it delicious. He’s had all this time to tweak the recipe since then...

Craft Beer Tasting: Newcastle Werewolf

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Again, I am opening each of these articles of late with an apology for their sparseness. Even my calendar has been in disarray. I am in a certificate program in Web Design, for which the final class has turned out to be on programming databases in Ruby on Rails. And it’s quite hard to get... Read more »

Putting Gluten-Free Beers to the taste test

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Sad to think about, but there are people who like beer, but can’t deal with some of the ingredients. I can kind of relate, since I need to watch my blood sugar and sometimes get sneezing fits near fresh hops, but I won’t pretend that’s anywhere near the same level as someone suffering from Gluten... Read more »
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A look at Shandys and Radlers for summer

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Used to be talking about Shandy meant sticking your neck out. Beer nerds didn’t care much for having their brew diluted with lemonade or soda. That’s the pathway to Mike’s Hard Lemonade, we’d say. At least that’s how I saw it. But as we continue to embrace more beer styles, we’ve come to admit finding these beverages can be just the right thing on a hot summer day like, oh, right now. More brewers have been working with the style, adding their own variations to the mix. Some brewpubs have reserved a tap for one of their own beers blended with lemonade. The House of Shandy, based in Vermont, apparently will be a shandy-only company, with its first product, Curious Traveler, being contract brewed by Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams)...
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    Mark McDermott

    Writer, trivia maven, fan of many things. I thought to learn all there is to know about beer as a way to stay interested in learning. It is my pleasure to bring Chicago's craft beer scene to you.

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