Local Beer: Hopewell Lil Buddy

Local Beer: Hopewell Lil Buddy
Hopewell lil buddy lager in 8 oz. cans

Hey, time for another local beer that can be easily picked up for carryout, or ordered for curbside or delivery.

Hopewell Brewing is a packaging brewer at 2760 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. In more public times, they’d have a taproom with no kitchen, but deliveries available from nearby restaurants, and scheduled brewery tours. Their main focus has been on lagers, pale ales, and sour beers. And they got some publicity with a beer that goes “smaller” instead of “bigger.”

lil buddy is a helles lager, advertised as “a snack,” as it’s packaged in 8 oz. cans. These “stubby cans” were no doubt first offered for canned cocktails, and Hopewell went on the try them for a lighter beer (4.7% abv).

I got my .2 liter lager flute glass, the only one in which 8 oz. of pour wouldn’t get lost. The narrow glass made the pale straw color look even more pale, with a big white foamy head. There’s a nose of very light malt and noble hop pepper, and possibly some corn adjunct to add alcohol but lighten the color. The taste is what you’d remember as your “dad” beer—and I’ve claimed the American light lager style owes more to the Helles/Dortmunder than the Czech Pilsener. This is light in the malts, with a little sting from hop. There’s a slight note of Pils style soft water chloride, which can be to style.

As you can expect, this bit o’fluff was here and gone quickly, leaving a familiar, slightly bitter hop aftertaste. One day, the weather will stay warm, and we’ll appreciate this all the more.

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