Entrenched IPA

Found this image on Pinterest. Thanks, Pinterest.

More hazy IPAs people, it’s the wave of the future.  Entrenched IPA from Alarmist Brewing Company, 4055 West Peterson Avenue, Chicago, IL, is a deep gold IPA with a lacey, fluffy head that leaves patterns reminiscent of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave” on the sides of your official Alarmist glassware.  Pine and malt greet the olfactory nerves as part of a clean smelling bouquet that hides its citrus notes like a 5th grade reprobate named Billy hides a bad report card from his mother.  Entrenched has a full mouthfeel but it’s not heavy, and it carries a punch-in-the-chops of hops.  Bitterness is not overplayed, but prominent for sure.  This is a very satisfying beer from a Chicago brewery.

Be sure to visit the taproom at Alarmist.  Some of the nicest bartenders you’ll meet, too.  The atmosphere is very inviting, and your dog is welcome.  This taproom is not overdone and doesn’t try too hard to appear super hip or trendy, it’s just a solid brewery and taproom with solid products.  I wish I lived closer, but never-the-less, I’ve managed to get there twice in two months and look forward to my next visit!

Drink local, don’t give AB InBev any of your hard-earned dough.

South Side Pride

south side

Image courtesy of Baderbrau Brewing Company

Yep, I’ve got it.  You can’t grow up at 149th and Hamlin and not have it.  South Side Pride.  What am I proud of, specifically?  None of your damn business is what.  But South Side Pride beer-flavored beer from Baderbrau Brewing Company, Chicago, IL is a nice representation of what south siders might consider pride-worthy.  This 4.8% Munich Helles Lager is light gold and decently carbonated. The less-than-luxuriant head lasts a surprisingly long time.  South Side Pride is mildly sweet, but notable for its grainy qualities and it’s generous use of light malts.  The taste is grainy and malty, a touch dry, a touch bitter.  There’s a lot going on here, more than meets the eye.  But the beer, like we south siders, is not vainglorious.  It’s Polish, it’s Irish, it’s German and it’s us.  It knows what it is.  It’s a good, hard-working, fun-loving beer that would love the opportunity to kick Old Style’s ass back north.

Go Sox!

Belt and Suspenders India Pale Ale

Image courtesy of beer syndicate.com

Image courtesy of beer syndicate.com

Good packaging design sells.  It attracts attention and stirs interest.  Buckledown Brewing of Lyons, IL knows that, and when good packaging design and great beer get together, you get Belt and Suspenderts India Pale Ale.  I was attracted by the label, saw that a local brewery was responsible for it and I was sold.  Belt & Suspenders is a beauty;  amber with a generous, frothy head and super-sticky lacing.  This 7% ABV (you can smell it) IPA has low carbonation but that doesn’t stop it from being bright and lively on the tongue.  The bouquet is piney and malty, and the alcohol again makes it presence known.  There’s a little hint of earthiness and maybe rust, too.  In a good way.  Belt and Suspenders is full-bodied but not heavy, with a smooth round mouthfeel.  It’s a substantial beer, but don’t be intimidated.  The sweetness of the malt helps balance the hoppiness, but let’s face it, the hops should and do win here.  The finish is gut-warming and a bit dry, and there’s a vibe, something I can’t quite put my finger on, that reminds me of long-defunct Chicago Brewing Company’s Legacy Lager, the beer that made me fall in love with local craft brew.

Well done Buckledown, I look forward to visiting your taproom  soon.  Who’s in?

Generator Doppelbock

In my little world the time of the IPA and Golden Lager is over and the time of the Barleywine, Black Lager and Doppelbock is here.  And make them strong and warming please.  Generator Doppelbock, from Metropolitan Brewing Company, Chicago, IL, fits nicely in my current seasonal arsenal of brews.  It pours kind of a light Pepsi brown with average carbonation, a long-lasting head and minimal lacing.  Generator has a lovely bouquet:  nutty, earthy and toasty, all built on a firm foundation of rich caramel malt.  Generator has a lush mouthfeel and contains elements of bread dough, sweet caramel and roasted nuts in the flavor profile.  The long-lasting aftertaste is sweet and rich with just a touch of bitterness, but just a touch.  The 8% ABV will get you noticing it by the time you’ve had a few mouthfuls.  Generator is delicious, and it’s brewed in Chicago, two good reasons to go out and get some now!

90/100 doppelbock

BeersGeneratorLabelDrink local, f**k AB InBev