Baseball is underway, temps are above freezing on the regular and hope is in the air. Yes, patio drinking season is upon us. Here’s a lineup of righteous options you should seek out this Spring.
The official beer of the German Biergarten, this silky, traditional classic is really the original hazy beer. It’s a quintessential changing of seasons experience. Timeless, there’s nothing quite like the lemony, spicy, elegance of Hefe-Weizen. Picturesque can artwork features a Bavarian landscape complete with vintage steins and dirndl outfits.
Established in 1634, Paulaner beers can be found in no less than 240 locations in Chicagoland. One of the most popular beer styles ever produced, the highly carbonated wheat ale has been celebrated by the largest breweries in the Midwest. Oberon (Bells) 312 (Goose Island) Unfiltered Wheat Beer (Boulevard) have all ranked near the top of in annual sales for those breweries for over a decade. This Munich Wheat Beer reminds us all of the origin for countless new world interpretations from some of our all time favorite American breweries.
Goose Island/ Phase Three If You’re a Bird..Im A Bird
It’s the first mixed two pack in the history of Chicago’s oldest brewery. The Goose Island, Phase Three love affair began when P3 Brewmaster, Shaun Berns almost accepted an internship with Goose back before opting for RAM Schaumburg instead.
Things got more serious three years ago when P3 became the first ever guest draft option at the Goose production brewery taproom. The two heavyweights decided on an imperial stout that was a mingling of Bourbon County Stout and P3’s Curvature. Cocoa Nibs were added to that base beer for both, Goose finish theirs on strawberry, P3 opted for coconut.
The moment included some very fancy and a 8.5 oz stemless flute style stout glasses to commemorate the collab. The Goose varietal is still on draft at Fulton, the combo pack is worth seeking out in a trade on secondary.
Mikerphone Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Out in the sleepy northwest suburban town of Elk Grove Village Mikerphone is a fan favorite known for colorful, unique adjunct forward offerings and collabs all year long. Cranking out three new batches a week they’re lineup is relentless with it’s number of options in rotation on draft and in packaging over each month.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s is an excellent beginners course into they type of beers they offer. This Berliner Wess with Blueberry and Maple Syrup is hands down my favorite annual release from this crew. Easy, balanced, and visually appealing with a lovely purple hue.
Rhinegeist Brewery Mathlete
Let’s be honest here, we’ve been drinking at home nonstop for a year..so most you folks are drinking more. Beers like this in the past made the mistake of being watered down versions of the the style instead of just being small. Mathlete doesn’t suffer from that identity crisis and just delivers a clean, fruity, crisp, floral tiny IPA experience.
This was my favorite of the mixed sixer sent over from the second largest brewer in Ohio, Rhinegeist. A 115 calorie, 4% teeny weeny, itsy bitsy IPA that’s well executed and readily available from the 25th largest brewery in the U.S.
Revolution Brewing Freedom Session Sours Variety Pack
These beers were released in a 16oz format over the last few summers. The tall boy 4pks were fine but not always a go to option for those with commitment issues. This time around the Revolution offers a mixed 12 banger so this beer takes its rightful place as a complimentary addition to every aspect of your life. Breakfast beer, sidecar and partner with every dining experience.
Peach (Freedom of Speach), Strawberry Rhubarb (Freedom of Expression), Blueberry Ginger (Freedom of Assembly), Black Currant (Freedom of Press) are the flavors. During our visit to Rev Kedzie, the employee draft options included a station with three taps to blend flavors for a mind bending rapid whirl around the flavor wheel.
Metropolitan Brewing Seipp Extra Pale and Columbia Bock
Doug Hurst, Tracy Hurst and the legendary Metropolitan Brewing in Avondale have been making traditional lager styles long before it was cool. Doug’s interpretation of these Conrad Seipp recipes are both an excellent way to stay true to the beers he loves, while helping us all get closer to what the hell was going on in this town just after The Great Chicago Fire.
Columbia World’s Fair Bock was launched on Chicago’s birthday last month on March 4th. The beer originally brewed for Columbian Exposition – The World’s Fair of 1893 down in Jackson Park. Locally there have been these types of recreations or revivals focused on prominent brewers from the past, (Champagne Velvet, Baderbrau) but none of those are as good as these Metro releases. Conrad Seipp Brewing was located just south of the fire that destroyed most of Chicago’s breweries back in 1871. He ended up being one of the largest brewers in the country between then and Prohibition.
While most breweries focused on serving the local market, Conrad was shipping beer via refrigerated train cars west to the frontier. Historians will tell you Conrad Seipp did more for the men on the frontier expanding this country than anyone else because he was sending them beer…they likely only had whiskey to drink at the time.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery Harold’s ’83 Honey Ale
Chicago pride on full display here as Haymarket Brewing presents Harold’s Honey Ale. The project began when concerned beer citizen Chicago Bars hinted to the iconic West Loop brewery they should participate in a groundbreaking idea that brings awareness to the local political climate. From there co creators, Sam Ross and Jay Westbrook took the wheel and payed tribute to Chicago’s First Black Mayor, Harold Washington and a mythical location of the Chicago cult classic, Harold’s Chicken.
Harold’s is Chicago as it gets Sweet Beginnings LLC, through their apiary program BeeLoveBuzz was sourced for local honey. The 5.5% crusher is balanced by the addition of Zuper Saazer Hops and Clover Honey. Harold’s offers lovely, rich, flower honey notes without overpowering residual sugars. Be sure to checkout Sam’s Pass The Drink Podcast. Mayor Harold Washington was elected in 1983. There are a lack of black owned businesses in the city. When you don’t have a seat at the table….create your own.