Posts in category "Craft Beer Review"

Bar Hopping: Fox & Hound Sports Tavern, Aurora

Bar Hopping: Fox & Hound Sports Tavern, Aurora
You and I know how far this craft beer thing is reaching. It’s not just the new brewers spring up every single day of the year. Not just the established beer bars being joined by old “shot & a beer: joints in sprucing up their beer menus… although I admit a bit of satisfaction at... Read more »

Touring Goose Island's Barrel-Aging Warehouse

Touring Goose Island's Barrel-Aging Warehouse
Back in October, I was among this town’s beer writers who got the privilege of touring Goose Island’s new barrel warehouse at 603 N. Sacramento. I also got, of course, a taste of the 2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout and its variants. I’d like to say I held off on offering you this description to... Read more »

Craft Beer Review: Urban Legend's beers and taproom

Craft Beer Review: Urban Legend's beers and taproom
Sunday was one of those rare occasions when I actually get out to visit an establishment and try some new beers. So I’m writing it up as soon as I can. Urban Legend Brewing Co. is a recently opened production brewery at 1115 Zygmunt Circle in the western suburb of Westmont (take that one to the... Read more »
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Ramping up to HQ Beercade's Pinball Expansion

Ramping up to HQ Beercade's Pinball Expansion

So I didn’t get out to many events at Chicago Craft Beer Week. Working temp jobs and a family at home will do that to you. But I did get an intriguing invitation that I could squeeze in some time to check out.

Headquarters Beercade is one of those new places in town that combines two of my loves: good beer and old arcade games. I know they hold a warm places in many of your hearts, too. There’s even the long in the works Arcade Brewery whose whole design sense is wrapped around the old 8-bit aesthetic. I had not been there, nor to Headquarters’ competitor, the Emporium Arcade Bar (1366 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-697-7922). Until I got an invite to Headquarters expansion, with a new pinball gallery, at a soft opening Thursday, the 23rd...

Craft Beer Review: Revolution 3rd Year Beer

Craft Beer Review: Revolution 3rd Year Beer
Confession time: I have a huge backlog of beers and notes that I keep intending to review, some of it locals that I bought myself, some nationally distributed brands that I promised a mention for. Let me try to break my writer’s block by writing up a beer that I just had not 30 minutes... Read more »

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...
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Stopping by the South Loop's Square One

Stopping by the South Loop's Square One
So, while everyone else has gone to the Great American Beer Festival, I'm holding the fort down here in Chicago. No, that doesn't sound very plausible, does it? Okay, then. What happened is I had an interview downtown this week, and thought I'd cap it off by visiting one of several places to which I've been invited as a beer writer. Square One (1400 S. Michigan Ave.) is a new combination of neighborhood bar and "light bites" place in the South Loop. Since, as a suburbanite, anything between Roosevelt and the Sox Park Red Line stop is Terra Incognita. This is the area, though, that planners want to link with the redevelopment in Bronzeville to create an avenue of retail and dining all the way north from McCormick Place, a few blocks west of where the Daleys lived for a while. This is where Square One has set up as a public space for residents...

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 »

Craft Beer Preview: Newcastle Summer Ale

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If you’ve been following my little beer videos, you’ve likely noticed that  the US agency for Newcastle Brown Ale has been sending me their seasonals to talk about. So we are now ready to taste out their current offering, Newcastle Summer Ale. This is another specialty beer made under the Newcastle label by fellow Heineken property, Caledonian,... Read more »
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Bargain Beers: Boatswain H.L.V. Ale from Tader Joe's

Bargain Beers: Boatswain H.L.V. Ale from Tader Joe's
The economy still has turned around for me, and I’ll bet for more of you out there. So I’m going to try, for awhile popping the cap on some cheaper beers to see if they’re worthwhile. Besides, Most of these beers will be coming from Trader Joe’s, a place with its own fans that I... Read more »
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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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