Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers

FOBAB 2017: 15 Superlatives from the 15th Annual Fest of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beers

From November 11-12th, 2017 FoBAB (the Festival of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer) celebrated its 15th year here in Chicago at the UIC Forum. I was able to attend the early admission Saturday session on November 12th from 12-5pm with a magical media pass in hand … er ’round neck. 15 years of FoBAB have come and gone, but as this was my fourth time attending … Continue reading FOBAB 2017: 15 Superlatives from the 15th Annual Fest of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beers

Style Study: Bière de Garde

The BJCP provides a fairly simple description of this complex and varied beer style, describing it as “traditional artisanal ale from Northern France brewed in early spring and kept in cold cellars for consumption in warmer weather.” However, if you really want to get beer-nerdy and dive into the full histoire of this storied French contribution to craft beer, you must consume Phil Markowski’s Farmhouse Ales: Culture and … Continue reading Style Study: Bière de Garde

Great American Beer Fest 2017: Illinois Medals All Hail from Chicagoland

On October 5-7th, I attended the Great American Beer Festival for the second time. Having covered the fest last year, I feel less compelled to provide a massive, detailed recap of every experience I had, and am more inclined to brush broad strokes. This Fest Is The Huge-est @hoppypoppy24 isn’t wrong (see image above) … there are a whole lot of people at the Great … Continue reading Great American Beer Fest 2017: Illinois Medals All Hail from Chicagoland

Oak Park Micro Brew Review 2017

On Saturday, August 19th, the familiar buzz of bagpipes began to blare promptly at 3pm, and the jockey box taps began to flow – another Oak Park Micro Brew Review was officially underway!   As former residents of Oak Park, Matt and I used to live within walking distance of this beer fest which meant A) we looked very much forward to it, oh so much each … Continue reading Oak Park Micro Brew Review 2017


Ingredient Study: Coconut

“Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?” – Monty Python and the Holy Grail No of course not. But they have managed to find their way into quite a few modern-day craft beers! Some of them taste like sunscreen juice (not naming names here) and some of them taste like a tropical breeze that wafted through your head holes, touched down on your tongue and gave … Continue reading Ingredient Study: Coconut

Beer Under Glass 2017

Held at the Garfield Park Conservatory in a curated jungle of beautiful plants, flowers, maze-like hothouses, pretty ponds, and the occasional curly tube slide that you just happen to find while you are wandering through said jungle in search of brewery booths, Beer Under Glass is a craft beer treasure hunt. “BUG,” kicks off Chicago fest season as the first major event of Chicago Craft … Continue reading Beer Under Glass 2017

Upland Sours: Blended Works of Art

A couple of weeks ago I went on a beer blogger road trip. That’s right! A few of us including Nik White of Chicago Beer Pass and Nick Costa of The Hop Review jumped in a minivan and rode down to Bloomington, Indiana. Bloomington houses the wellspring of Indiana University pride, and the source of some of the country’s most delicious sour beers, Upland Brewing … Continue reading Upland Sours: Blended Works of Art

Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia Cinnamon

Ingredient Study: Cinnamon

“People who live where the bird comes from say that there exists a cinnamon bird which brings the cinnamon from some unknown localities, and builds its nest out of it; it builds on high trees on the slender top branches. They say that the inhabitants attach leaden weights to the tips of their arrows and therewith bring down the nests, and from the intertexture collect … Continue reading Ingredient Study: Cinnamon

Quick Draw: Firestone Walker Bretta Rosé

“Why can’t all American Sours be like this?” – Matthew J. Johnsen Happy New Year’s Eve from Chicagoland! On this festive day, Matt and I pulled what we guessed was our most champagne-like beer our of our cellar, and if I may say so, we nailed it. (Booyah!)   According to the Firestone Walker website, Bretta Rosé is “A low-alcohol Berliner Weisse style ale, acidified and … Continue reading Quick Draw: Firestone Walker Bretta Rosé

Quick Draw: Dovetail Holiday Bock

This past Saturday, December 18th, I participated as a vendor at Dovetail Brewery’s first annual Holiday Market held at their taproom location in Chicago’s Ravenswood Corridor. It was a charming and cozy event featuring artists and creatives from the area, and it also highlighted the recent release of a delicious seasonal beer, their Holiday Bock. (If you missed it, be on the lookout for another market, and hopefully another special beer, this coming … Continue reading Quick Draw: Dovetail Holiday Bock