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

Coconuts

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

FoBAB Illustration: From Barrel to Glass

FoBAB 2016: Good Weather, Better Signage, Best Beers

The Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer (FoBAB), put on by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild is among my favorite beer events of the year. Featuring a collection of some of the country’s rarest beers in existence, this fest full of fermentation feats conjures up a level of anticipation akin to Christmas morning. Traditionally, beer is made with four main ingredients: water, barley, hops, … Continue reading FoBAB 2016: Good Weather, Better Signage, Best Beers

Quick Draw: Fresh IIPA by Hubbard’s Cave

It’s no surprise that a former architect and native Chicagoan would choose to name the second arm of his brewery after a piece of Chicago’s structural anatomy. Really only known by locals, “Hubbard’s Cave” is a colloquialism that refers to the section of highway sheltered by Hubbard Street as it passes from East to West over I-90 and I-94, just northwest of the Chicago Loop … Continue reading Quick Draw: Fresh IIPA by Hubbard’s Cave

Goose Island Stout Fest

Goose Island Stout Fest 2016

Goose Island Stout Fest, held at GI Clybourn Pub, should be on every Chicagoan’s (or every stout-lover’s, for that matter) “Must-Fest List.” Holdup … you don’t have a “Must-Fest List?” Well then, drop everything! Start making a list right now and put this annual Stout Fest way up at the top! Sheesh!   Being a first-time attendee myself, I was impressed by the following: The … Continue reading Goose Island Stout Fest 2016

Quick Draw: Off Color Space Tiger

Off Color Brewing, known for their quirky black & white illustrated labels and packaging (and their delicious beers, too!) recently added a small retail space inside their brewery located at 3925 W. Dickens Avenue in Chicago. The brewery sold $1 tickets to their opening party back in February, and donated all of these proceeds to local organization Wright Way Rescue. As the mother of an … Continue reading Quick Draw: Off Color Space Tiger

Quick Draw: Black Tuna IIPA

Folks, I’m trying a new post format I’m calling “Quick Draw.” This will be a post where I choose a beer based on nothing in particular and describe it very simply with the parameters of aroma, appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel, and then draw what I taste. I won’t include any information about the style or its history–this segment will be focused more on drawing what I’ve experienced in a … Continue reading Quick Draw: Black Tuna IIPA

When Cookie Met Beer, It Was Love at First Bite

On Monday, March 25th, on an early Spring* Monday in Chicago, I attended the Barley’s Angels “Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing” event at the Fountainhead in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood. Fountainhead’s Chef Cleetus Freidman introduced his chorus of five Girl Scout cookie-based bites, each paired with a beer that either complimented or contrasted with his cookie creation. When Chef Cleetus said, “I looked at the Trefoil … Continue reading When Cookie Met Beer, It Was Love at First Bite

Off-Flavor Fun

Back in mid-March, Matt and I took the Cicerone Off-Flavor course at their Chicago-based Certification Program offices. I’d previously only read about the six off-flavors we studied that day (there are more than six–it was a brief course), and I will say that you truly can’t know what they taste like…well…until you taste them! I took the class to further my skills in off-flavor identification as a home … Continue reading Off-Flavor Fun