South of 80 2.0 Snapshot: Rolling Meadows Brewery

In Events by Karl

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 one of the more popular attendees from last year’s South of 80: Rolling Meadows.

When we wrote about these guys last year, we started rollingmeadowsby noting that there’s something uniquely Midwestern about the beers created by Rolling Meadows, right down to the minimalist and even Prairie-style labels on their bottles. Another brewery that we were made aware of during the “Save the Craft” campaign, we’ve revisited the brewery a few times over the past 12 months or so, always with good results.

For starters, you’ll recall that after the passing of SB 754, Rolling Meadows was the first brewery to apply for the then-brand-new Craft Brewer’s license.

Since last year:

They were one of 13 breweries from across the nation to be awarded a Good Food Award in San Francisco back in January. So recognized for their “tasty, authentic and responsibly produced” Abe’s Ale, the brewery viewed it (and rightfully so) as a strong acknowledgement of their quality product created in a sustainable manner – using water from their own artisanal well near the Sangamon river and products grown organically on their own farm.

Started pouring that award-winning Abe’s Ale at While Foods – Lincoln Park, their first draft offering in the city since South of 80. Shortly thereafter they were pouring at DOSE Market as well.

We reviewed the Lincoln’s Logger, a unique coffee and cocoa-y schwarzbier, as well as their barrel-aged Abe’s Ale. The brewery took the maple syrup brown ale and set it aside in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel, making a concoction which Ryan said may already be his favorite beer of the year.

bloodorangeAllow us to announce the first of many special, unique and interesting draft beers to appear at this years South of 80: Rolling Meadows has promised to provide one of their most creative beers to date, a blood-orange hefeweizen.

We can’t wait.

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.

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About the Author


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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, comes out in early 2017, and if you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.