We’re midway through the festival season here in Chicago and I’m willing to bet that you’ve already been to two or three. Whether they’re the small neighborhood fests or the larger City of Chicago-produced events, outdoor events are the lifeblood of Chicago culture. Walking around and eating food, listening to music, buying independent crafts and art, and just enjoying the fresh summer air – Chicago’s large and diverse neighborhoods celebrate their uniqueness by throwing large block parties that are open to all ages and provide endless amounts of fun for the entire family.
I feel like since we have so many of them, it becomes hard to understand and appreciate what goes on in the background to make the magic happen. It struck me while I was at Lakeview PrideFest last month with a friend.
It’s past 11:30pm on a Saturday night at Haymarket Pub & Brewery. You can hear Chicago house music blaring from the outside, and the inside is what you can imagine. People are standing around, some dancing, some just vibing, but they’re all having a great time.
When we wrote about Burnt City’s name change a few years back, craft beer was changing at a rapid pace — faster than many predicted. At the time, Burnt City was operating a brewpub along Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park as well as a full-scale production facility on the South Side in the Pullman neighborhood. Although well-intentioned, as time went on, it was becoming harder and harder to fully utilize both locations, especially as nearly 2,000 breweries opened across the country during those three years.
The business model had to change. So they did. Read More
There are cakes, and then there are CAKES. The 12 Layer German Chocolate Cake at Moody Tongue is the latter. Made with layers of dark chocolate cake, German chocolate filling, raw espresso cheesecake, and chocolate buttercream, this eye-popping dessert is made for sharing. So to commemorate National Chocolate Cake Day (yes, that’s a real thing), we spent a day with Pastry Chef, Shannon Morrison, to see what goes into making one of her delectable treats. Watch the video below and make your plans to visit the Tasting Room soon.
A tour of Michigan’s hop industry leads to the release of Founders wet hopped Harvest Ale.
BY JACK MULDOWNEY OF THE HOP REVIEW
According to a recent report from Hop Growers of America, your next craft beer is more likely than ever to contain Michigan hops. In Grand Rapids, Founders Brewing Co. is celebrating the rise of local state hops with this year’s release of Harvest Ale–a wet-hopped IPA–working around the clock to add the un-kilned hops into the brew within hours of harvest. The beer, an annual mainstay at the brewery since the early 2000s, showcases a recipe complete with 100% Michigan hops for just the second time, after last year’s batch.
We recently followed the Founders team around the Great Lakes state, as we visited the three hop farms that would supply the Cascade and Crystal hops for this year’s ale: Northern Michigan’s MI Local Hops, and Southwest Michigan’s Hop Head Farms and Pure Mitten Hops. Each of these three operations provided a unique scale and approach to their harvesting techniques, allowing us several perspectives into the beauty of American hops grown right in the brewery’s home state.
Well, it’s September which means it’s time for…Oktoberfest beers! And despite their name, Oktoberfest beers are not actually brewed in the fall. Say wha?!
That’s right, these beers are an outgrowth of the traditional, strong spring brews called March beers or Märzenbier in German. These beers were brewed in the springtime and then put aside in ice-filled caves or cellars to be stored and consumed over the summer. The leftover Märzen was usually finished off in the fall which is when a new season of brewing would begin after the late summer’s grain and hop harvest. So it was almost by default that Märzens became the official beer of Oktoberfest which made its debut in 1810 to celebrate a royal wedding in Munich.
Today’s Oktoberfest has morphed into an 18-day celebration that kicks off in September and includes parades, carnivals, music, art, and civic engagement. Want to celebrate here in the states? You can see all of our Märzen-style beers HERE.