House of Brews in Madison, Wisconsin and the Frankenmuth Brewery in Frankenmuth, Michigan have become the first out-of-state breweries to receive a Craft Brewers License from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and the right to self-distribute in this state.
We fell, by happenstance, into something rather interesting Wednesday morning. It looks like Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale is getting a new little sibling.
If there is one thing we here at Guys Drinking Beer are particularly fond of, it’s vertical tastings. We’ve done plenty in the past and enjoy the journey of compiling the beers almost as much as we do drinking them. Almost. So when we saw that Jerry’s in Andersonville is tapping three year’s worth of Half Acre Big Hugs on Thursday January 30th we felt compelled to trumpet the event. Not that we really need a reason to — it’s three years worth of Big Hugs, after all.
A few months ago we broke the news that Schlafly CEO Dan Kopman was visiting Chicago to tour potential sites in the North Center neighborhood for a proposed tap room in Chicago. Kopman talked openly about expanding to Chicago in December of 2012 but this was the first we heard of boots on the ground in the city to look at locations.
We followed up with Kopman via email to see how his visits to the city have been going, if he’s close to pinning down a location for the tap room and why Schlafly is available everywhere else in Illinois except Chicago. Continue reading
On Wednesday, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission gave the thumbs up to Anheuser-Busch’s sale of distributor City Beverage to the Hand Family Companies. The two sides are expected to close on the deal sometime next week effectively ending a years-long saga over the wholesaler.
We stumbled across something really, really interesting the other day while combing through the weekly rundown of new and renewed liquor licenses put out by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission because nerds: a Non-Resident Dealer’s License issued to SweetWater Brewing out of Atlanta, Georgia.
SweetWater is the largest craft brewer in Georgia and ranks 24th and 33rd respectively on the Brewers Association’s list of the Top 50 Craft Breweries and Top 50 Breweries of 2012, based on sales. Last year they churned out nearly 150-thousand barrels of beer, a 32-percent increase from the previous year, on the heels of a 19-million dollar expansion.
Members of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission are set to review the proposed buyout of distributor City Beverage by a Tennessee Family at the commission’s monthly meeting in Chicago this afternoon.
If you recall, Anheuser-Busch announced on October 31st that they were selling their 30-percent stake in the four wholesalers that make up City Beverage (Arlington Heights, Chicago, Markham and downstate Bloomington) to the Hand Family. Also announced, on the same day, the investment firm that owns the remaining 70-percent interest in City Beverage would be buying River North Sales and Service.
The plan: roll the two into one creating the largest Bud distributor in Illinois.
Moving forward, the mega distributor will be known as Lakeshore Beverage.
If you’re thinking I wrote the brewery name in the headline twice for SEO purposes, you’re only 25-percent correct. I was really going for a play on the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald duet “Let’s The Call the Whole Thing Off,” which features the line, “You like Tomat0, I like Tomahto.”
The whole point being that prior to a few months ago I had no idea how to pronounce the name of Jerry Nelson’s Belgian beer-inspired brewery. For a while I was saying Ooh-nee Annie, which then became Oohn Ah-nee before I finally settled on the correct pronunciation (with Karl’s help); Oohn, Ah-nay.
We were forwarded a few bottles of Jerry’s creations, compliments of the brewery and its distributor Wirtz Beverage, and can confidently report that — while the name may get a little lost in translation the quality of the beer certainly does not.
A meaty foreign-style stout, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is made with Colorado base malts, roasted barley, seven specialty malts, Styrian Goldings hops, and 25 pounds of freshly sliced and roasted bull testicles. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is an assertive, viscous stout with a rich brown/black color, a luscious mouthfeel and deep flavors of chocolate, espresso and nuts. The beer sports a savory, umami-like note and a roasty dry finish. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is 7.5% ABV and 3 BPBs. (That’s balls per barrel.)
Wynkoop Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
This review is long overdue, to which I have to apologize to my brother, Pete.
One of the benefits of having family that travels and lives in far-flung places is that sometimes they come home with new and interesting beers. It’s how I’ve learned to fall in love with the beers from Odell’s, and also that not all beers that hail from the Mile High state are worth falling all over yourself to get.
Also, sometimes, they’ll come home during Thanksgiving and slam down a 2-pack on the table and say with no lack of threatening tone in their voice, “Go ahead and try that.”
Thanks, Pete. Continue reading