The Great Chicago Brew Review
Chicago’s craft beers just keep getting better. With so many to sample we asked Erin Lowder, general manager of Solemn Oath Brewery, to tell us which local brews are tantalizing her tastebuds…
The Chicago beer scene is booming. As well as having an original, collaborative and free-thinking craft brewing community, there are plenty of incredible bars and restaurants supporting the city’s good beer movement.
If you’re looking to sample some local brews while propping up the bar then head to Map Room, Hopleaf, Emporium Arcade Bar, or Simone’s. If a decent drink with your dinner is more your thing, then book a table at Au Cheval, Publican, Trenchermen, or Girl & the Goat.
But to sip the finest Chicago has to offer at your leisure, then these beers are hard to beat…
“It's like a bunch of citrus fruit was just thrown in your face. In a good way. You get so much grapefruit, pineapple and mango from the hops used in this one. Medium-bodied with assertive bitterness, this is my summertime go-to IPA. Perfect for that picnic you've been meaning to take.” 6.5% ABV.
“This hybrid offers Belgian yeast, a big citrus bite and the aroma that only American hops can give. It's quite refreshing and goes down easy. It pours a nice deep golden color and at 6.8% ABV, is strong enough to pack a punch. Belgian/American hybrids are one of my favorites and this is a great example of the fusion of styles.” 6.8% ABV.
“A delicious wheat beer with added funk, this beauty gets its tartness from Lactobacillus. You can expect some subtle lemon and lip-licking saltiness. Oh, and there's some coriander in there. Super sessionable and great any time of day.” 4.3% ABV and only 10 IBU.
“Feeling a bit under the weather? This herbal Belgian-inspired Black Ale will perk you right up. A bit chocolatey, a bit toasty, a lot awesome. Dark in color and it transforms from sweet to bitter (just like when Grandma pinches your cheeks a bit too hard).” Real smooth and 6% ABV.
“To anyone who can think of nothing better than sitting in their pajamas by an enormous fireplace on a chilly day – this beer is your new best friend. This roasty lager is loaded with Dark Munich malt and is an exceptional example of this German style.” Medium-bodied and 6% ABV.
“So crisp and refreshing, Half Acre's take on this pale lager goes down easy and at 5.8% ABV. It also has a lovely earthiness and a floral aroma. Half Acre was the one of the first Chicago craft breweries to introduce cans into the market and are yet to release a beer I don’t like.” 5.8% ABV
“A moderately bitter American Pale that is good anytime, anywhere. Juicy and delicious. Yes, technically Three Floyds is in Indiana, but this beer is so damn good and Munster is so damn close (only half an hour from Chicago) that I included it anyway. Deal with it.“ 6% ABV