Beer Under Glass 2024 at Union Station

Beer Under Glass 2024: We Came, We Saw, We Drank. Here’s Our Recap

In Events by The Guys

Words: Eric Krol (@eakrol)
Photos: Jaime Hernandez (@jaimelikesbeer)

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild kicked off this year’s Craft Beer Week on Friday night with Beer Under Glass, a well-organized event with enough of a crowd to feel like a happening but not so much of a crowd you were elbow-to-elbow.

We like this beer fest because you actually have a great chance of leaving under your own power. Barrel-aged stouts make up a much smaller percentage of beers than FOBAB, the Guild’s other yearly signature event. That said, the first documented sound of a glass shattering on the marbled floor in the Great Hall at Union Station came at 5:28 p.m., with just two minutes left in the VIP hour.

There were sights to be seen. A cell-phone toting monk roamed the floor repping North Aurora’s Brother Chimp Brewing gold-medal winning Vienna lager (though it wasn’t on tap at BUG). A few drinkers still wore pretzel necklaces. Phase Three Brewing, which is about to mark five years, had bottles from their fantastic barrel-aged series available for pours. We saw Strawberry Arabesque and Minutiae.

Let’s get to the highlights:

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Longest Line:

Brothership Brewing’s BA Space Debris Coconut, which was also the best beer we had all night. Just a ton of great-tasting chocolate and coconut. There’s a reason this Mokena brewery still draws lines each time they release a BA bottle.

Second-Longest Line:

More Brewing‘s Milaana Blend No. 3. This was a combo of BA stout, barleywine and imperial porter. This had a lot of barrel and was our runner-up. Others swore by More’s Soggy Dutchman, an imperial tiki ale aged in Jamaican rum barrels. It gave us heartburn but had great flavor.

Kitchen Sink Award:

Hop Butcher‘s BA Slumbering Giant Cookie had a lot going on, and all of it was sweet. Stouts and barleywines aged in bourbon and banana mead barrels, with coconut and vanilla added.

Adjunct Not Needed:

We were excited to see Penrose Brewing out of Geneva brought a BA dark barleywine. Not as excited for all the vanilla in it.

Beer 3:16 Says:

We thought we’d found another wrestling-themed beer in Walls of Jericho, but turns out Burning Bush’s offerings have Bible-themed names (Red Sea was the other). Next door, Buffalo Creek Brewing poured Half Nelson, which definitely had a wrestling-related name.

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Fruit Twist:

Moor’s Brewing out of Chicago added fruit to their beers to provide a kick. The session ale advertised a “smooth lemongrass finish” and the pilsner had “just a pinch of Anjou pear.”

Award Winning:

Evanston’s Double Clutch touted their World Beer Cup bronze-winning altbier. We see why it won.

Double Duty:

Piece, known for its pizza, scored with The Weight, a fine example of the pale ale form with nice hop flavor and a dry finish.

Pivot!

Cruz Blanca’s chelada was a refreshing change of pace, as were Go Brewing’s NA offerings.

Pucker Up:

We had the Destihl pickle beer, and … it tastes like pickle juice. Malort-face-inducing pickle juice. The gent slinging it said it’s been two and a half years since they started brewing it, and it still sells.

Dankness:

The best hazy we had was Half Acre’s Fountain Mountain, a double with standout hop flavor. 

Hoppy Pilsners FTW:

Roaring Table out of Lake Zurich offered Melts Into Air, a California-style pilsner that we drank with a bacon sausage from Big Fork Brands. They were in the distillery room, which was a popular place to hang.

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Up and Comer:

We chased down a hot tip from a beer scenester that Knack Brewing was offering a great haze. The Kankakee nanobrewery scored with the dank PRYEvate Idaho, which featured Citra, Mosaic Cryo and Idaho hops.


As always, thanks to the ICBG for putting on the festival and allowing us to crash it year after year. See you next time.

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Written by many, compiled by one, this is a collaborative post with contributions from at least two writers at Guys Drinking Beer.

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