One of the other highlights of our visit to 4 Paws Brewing last month — beyond the tour, talking shop, drinking tank beer and splitting a five-year vertical of Stone Imperial Russian Stout — was drinking this beer. And I couldn’t be any less excited about it.
One of the more scintillating things said by outgoing Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois President Bill Olson, in the second installment of our two-part interview with him, is that Rev Brew Owner Josh Deth told Olson he had plans to sell off the brewpub once they opened their production facility.
We were approached during the final negotiations on SB 754, it was brought to our attention that one brewpub in Chicago, Revolution Brewing, was in the process of creating a production brewery. Well, under the current law at that point in time, the Commission already said you cannot hold a brewpub license and a craft brewer’s license – or any brewer’s license. You can’t do it.
Their [Revolution’s] argument was, “we need time to transition from our brewpub to our production brewery” and gave us every indication that when they made that transition they were going to get rid of the brewpub.
There’s two sides to every story, so we reached out to Deth to get his take.
We pick up right where we left off in Part 1 of our exclusive sit-down with outgoing ABDI President Bill Olson.
In this installment, Olson claims he was mislead about Revolution Brewing’s plans for its production brewery and brewpub during the SB 754 talks, he also offers some insight into the HB 2606 negations, which forced Anheuser-Busch to sell its ownership interest in Illinois distributor City Beverage and the possibility of a “craft beer bubble,” in Illinois.
Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois President Bill Olson is stepping down at the end of the year ending a nearly 30-year run at one of the most powerful lobbies in the state. The man has seen a lot and done a lot and has been at the forefront of some of the most important pieces of legislation impacting the craft brewing industry in Illinois. And we wanted to hear all about it.
So, at the end of the first week of the legislature’s fall session I was granted unfettered access to Olson to talk about his time at the ABDI, the changes he’s seen in the distribution industry and Illinois politics and what really went on behind closed doors when those key bills were negotiated.
In an over hour-long conversation Olson talked quite candidly about the negotiations on SB 754 (self-distribution) and HB 2606 (prohibiting a brewer from owning a distributor). In the first of this two-part, Guys Drinking Beer exclusive, Olson looks back at his time under the statehouse dome, the changes he’s seen in Illinois politics and the distribution industry as well as a sneak-peek into the early negotiations into SB 754. We know this is going to come off a bit wonky and it’s not all about beer — but this does play into the bigger of picture of how beer legislation works in Illinois.
Guys Drinking Beer has learned Schlafly co-owner Dan Kopman is coming to Chicago this week to visit possible sites for a brewpub and to meet with local brewers. A brewery spokesman confirms Kopman will be here Tuesday and Wednesday.
The planned buyout of wholesalers City Beverage and River North Beer still have a hurdle or two to clear before the two can become one: including approval from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. On October 31st — one year after the Commission rendered the controversial decision allowing Anheuser-Busch to retain a minority interest in City Beverage — the Hand Family in Tennessee and BDT Capital Investments, based in Chicago, announced plans to buy City Beverage and River North. Anheuser-Busch gave the deal its blessing a few days later.
Beer labels approved, so far, during this partial government shutdown month of October from Big Muddy, Goose Island, Only Child & Penrose.
Is it just us, or has there been an influx of Wisconsin brewers making their way into the Chicago market this year? There was Furthermore and then O’so and now 3 Sheeps. We’re familiar with the former two but 3 Sheeps was new to us, so we reached out to owner Grant Pauly to find out more about his brewery, his beers and what separates 3 Sheeps from all the other beers you see on store shelves — Wisconsin brewed or otherwise.
Widmer Brothers says:
We’re turning things deliciously upside down with this aggressively hopped, cold-fermented brew that brings together the clean, crisp finish of a lager with the hoppy aroma and character of an IPA. Hopside Down is our take on an India Pale Lager — or IPL. This second release in our Rotator IPA Series in 2013 offers a big floral hop aroma and a refreshing dry, mildly bitter finish perfect for the warmer summer months. Prost! to turning convention on its head.
*This beer was provided by the brewer for the purpose of a review.
Did you know the India Pale Lager is a thing now? Draft Magazine published a top ten for the style recently, which was news to me because I couldn’t come close to naming 10 different IPL’s. In fact, I can only name two: Metropolitan’s one-off IPL from a couple of years ago and this beer. Despite my lack of institutional knowledge on the IPL craze, they’re out there in the wild — ready to be consumed. Is this one worth your time?
Last year we told you about a surprisingly obscure style of beer brewed by a little known west Michigan brewery. The beer is Schmohz 120 brewed by, you guessed it, Schmohz. And it’s kind of a big deal. Retailers couldn’t keep it on store shelves and the brewery could hardly keep up with production. And just as fast as it appeared it disappeared.
It turns out the 120′s absence was temporary as it has reappeared around the Mitten state.
Oh, and did we mention it’s a non-alcoholic beer?
Beer labels approved so far this month from Bent River, Church Street, Finch’s, Half Acre, JT Walker’s, Lake Bluff, Metropolitan, Off Color, Only Child, Revolution and Two Brothers. Continue reading
Headquarters Beercade (2833 N Sheffield Ave) turns one this week and is throwing one hell of a party on Friday October 11th to celebrate.
Updated at 11:25 A.M. to reflect the Illinois Liquor Control Commission rules and regulations regarding labeling.
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We’ve read a lot lately about the government shutdown and what agencies it does and does not impact. We’ve also read quite a bit about the shutdown’s impact on craft brewers; particularly with the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau and U.S. Small Business Administration shutting down the majority of their operations. Today, we hope to cut through some of the generalities and look at exactly how this shutdown impacts craft brewers.
Representatives from the three-tiers (manufacturer, distributor and retailer) will be on hand at this morning’s Illinois Liquor Control Commission hearing for what one insider is calling “HB 2606 101.” Continue reading
For the second year in a row a national beverage magazine has singled out Chicago distributor Louis Glunz Beer Inc for its commitment to craft and import brands.
If you have been to any event where Church Street Brewing Company is pouring you’ve likely seen Brand Manager Chet Brett. Maybe you haven’t talked to him, but you’ve certainly seen him. You see Chet’s tall. Like, really tall. And he’s kind of hard to miss, whether he’s behind a row of tape handles or weaving through a crowd.
His height, however, is matched by his personality and his devotion to all things Church Street. The man loves Church Street’s beer and once you take a sip or two you’ll see why. The brewery is churning out approachable, true-to-style European beers that will appease a longtime craft beer drinker without frightening someone looking to expand their palate.
After meeting Chet and working our way through Church Street’s offerings at Beer Under Glass a few months ago we had to know more about the Itasca brewery and its ever-expanding footprint in the Chicago area. So slide on down the pew and take in a homily on Church Street Brewing Company.
A pair of Illinois wholesalers have been nominated for the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award.
It looks like Wirtz Beverage is taking this craft beer thing seriously.
In the last two years the wholesaler, who was previously tied to just wine and spirits, built a fancy, state-of-the-art warehouse in Cicero, landed the distribution rights to Ballast Point, BuckleDown, Deschutes, Greenbush and entered into a partnership with Belgian beer importer Vanberg and DeWulf.
This summer the distributor extended its footprint into central Illinois announcing plans to open a downstate distribution hub that will eventually replace a pair of satellite offices and streamline Wirtz’s distribution efforts.