In the days leading up to our second South of 80 event during Chicago Craft Beer Week, we wanted to make you a little more familiar with our featured breweries, since we know that news from downstate doesn’t tend to get a lot of play up here. Today we take a look at a brewery that saw such overwhelming support from craft beer drinkers during last year’s South of 80 they began distributing their beers to Chicago full-time after the event: Six Row Brewing Company.
With as much going on in the St. Louis craft beer scene, it’s a little surprising to us that we don’t see more beers from that region here in Chicago.
Certainly the biggest fish in that Missouri barrel is Schlafly (at least for the moment) who has been pretty up front about their lack of intent to distribute to Chicago, although they have noted the possibility of opening a tap room in the city.
Also worth mentioning is Urban Chestnut, unavailable here for now though poised to take over as STL’s biggest player in the craft beer game once their recently announced expansion takes place. We’ll have more about them in just a bit.
All the more reason we’re quite pleased to have Six Row Brewing Company rejoining us for this years South of 80. It was just after last years event that they decided to join the Chicago scene full-time and distribute to the area through our event distributor, Chicago Beverage Systems.
Perhaps you’ve seen their Whale, a wheat pale ale, or their underrated DIPA (that you may recall we had on tap and on cask last year) in their golden-yellow labels on shelves around Chicago? We’re proud to have been the catalyst for that, and we’re equally proud to have Six Row back once again for this year’s event.
BeerAdvocate raters call the brewery ‘Exceptional,’ the Riverfront Times says they’re one of the best brewpubs in St. Louis, and in 2011 they even earned a nod from the New York Times.
Also close to our heart: They brew porter year-round, seasons be damned. Ranging from a whiskey barrel porter (a “gotta have it beer” according to Sauce Magazine), a vanilla porter (why isn’t this a more popular style?) and they even have a bacon porter that you can find on cask later this week if you choose to visit their brewpub in Midtown, St. Louis. Did we mention that we love porters?
We’ll release the full draft list later this week, but allow us to tease you a little further with this offering to be available at South of 80 2.0 and for the first time in Chicago: Six Row’s Strawberry Honey Weizen.
From the brewery’s tasting notes:
Strawberry Honey Weizen ABV: 5.2%
With summertime rapidly approaching we offer you a slightly sweeter offering with this beer. Light on the palette and in color, our Strawberry Honey Weizen is designed to give you just a hint of fruit followed by our traditional German wheat beer breadiness.
We had heard about this last year and we were crossing our fingers that it’d be available once Chicago Craft Beer Week came around again – and here it is.
Will we see you at South of 80 for this and many more fun Six Row brews? If so, “Like” us on Facebook – we’ll be releasing the tap list there FIRST later this week.
A reminder: While many Chicago Craft Beer Week events require tickets for admission, South of 80 2.0 is free to attend: just show up, drink the beer and enjoy. It’s our pleasure to help facilitate new and interesting brewers to come to Chicago; all we ask is that you join us to enjoy their efforts.
South of 80 2.0 takes place Tuesday, May 21st starting at 7 p.m. at The Green Lady in Lakeview. Beers from multiple downstate and St. Louis breweries will be on hand, many available in Chicago for the first time.
While there are many events taking place throughout the week, we do hope you’ll join us for a beer and help us raise a toast to the under-appreciated and under-recognized brewers that exist South of 80.