Spring is here and that means it’s time for Saisons or farmhouse ales. These effervescent, spicy, earthy beers were traditionally made on farms during springtime for consumption by farm owners and their saisonniers (seasonal workers). Today, Saisons have become staples with food pairings due to their versatility in taste and high carbonation — both of which complement a wide range of dishes. Read More
Since its inception in 1983 as the Kalamazoo Brewing Company, a then home-brew supply store, Bell’s Brewery has become synonymous with American craft beer. They’ve set the bar for innovation by making beers like Oberon in 1992 and Two Hearted Ale in 1997. Today, Bell’s is the 7th largest craft brewer by the Brewer’s Association standards, producing over 400,000 barrels of beer in 2016.
And lucky for us Chicagoans, the brewery is only a two-and-a-half-hour drive (or train ride) from the Loop. We went up to Kalamazoo for the day and sat down with newly appointed Bell’s CEO, Laura Bell, to hear why she loves calling West Michigan home. Read More
For the first four years of their existence, 3 Sheeps Brewing had been producing world-class beers for Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota on a 10 barrel system in the back of a sock factory. Not exactly glamorous. But as demand for their beers rose, they eventually outgrew the space and last year opened a new facility in a former Coca-cola bottling plant — more than doubling their previous brewing capacity. Read More
Over ten years ago, Upland Brewing Company made one of the best trades of their life: two cases of their beer for four oak wine barrels from nearby Oliver Winery. At the time they were curious about Lambic and old-world Belgian styles of beer; nothing like that was really being made in the United States back then. Little did they know they were embarking upon a completely new brand: Upland Sours. Read More
Last night we had the pleasure of attending Virtue Cider’s 3rd Annual Stone Fence Cocktail Competition at the beautiful Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. A dozen bartenders and mixologists from some of Chicago’s most esteemed beverage programs competed to create their take on a classic cider cocktail, the Stone Fence. According to Virtue Cider founder, Greg Hall, the origin of the Stone Fence goes back to the American Revolution, when cider and rum (the cocktail’s two ingredients) were plentiful. Read More