Stay-At-Home Beer Reviews for Quarantine Drinking

In Beer Reviews by Karl

A view from the furloughed: Scarfed up for safety while out on a quick hike on Broadway, maintaining social distance from Dolly Parton (and everyone else).

This is hard, y’all.

You would have thought that the order to stay inside for like 6 weeks would be great for a bunch of writer introverts but it means that I feel guilty about leaving the house, even if it’s to pick up beers from breweries we support — and that means that lately I’ve been nursing one bourbon through the evening in the paranoid hope that a couple drinks a night won’t suppress our immune system too badly.

Yes, somehow I’m actually drinking less during this whole global debacle.

I’m also drinking more thoughtfully — rather than grabbing whatever catches my eye at a craft-friendly beer store or just at the grocery, I’m making a point to go to the source wherever possible. You may have seen this on a quick run to Begyle, Dovetail and Spiteful, or on our visit to Lakeview’s The Green Lady.

So here’s a quick look at some of the beers a couple of us have cracked into lately as we sit on the couch, do puzzles, play videogames, rediscover our ability to play guitar and delve into other various time killing hobbies:

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Quarantine Drinking Begyle Brewing Flannel Pajamas

I grabbed a few things from Begyle but I had forgotten how comforting their original Flannel Pajamas beer is. Given the well-deserved attention given to their BA Imperial Pajamas it’s easy to bypass how well-balanced, delicious, easy-drinking and somehow soothing this beer is. And it looks great too. (Their dry Irish-style stout is also a wonder — did I miss that, maybe?) ~ Karl Klockars

Quarantine Drinking Dovetail Brewing Czech Dark Lager

I’d been looking forward to trying Dovetail’s Czech dark lager since I learned it was a thing. So when I saw that they had popped it into cans I headed right over and snagged a 4-pack. I love dark lagers and I’ve found that most of the ones that make it over here from places like, well, Czechoslovakia suffer the ravages of travel and time — they’re good, but you can tell they’re a bit faded and tired. But this one? Definitely avoided all of the perils of similar beers while retaining a little bit of extra caramel punch and sparkle that I can’t remember having in other beers of this kind. Can’t wait to try the Baltic Porter. ~KK

St. Patrick’s Day 2019 introduced us to Goose Island’s Shamrock Stout – the classic Bourbon County Brand Stout infused with thin mint-like goodness. Earlier this year we were lucky enough to snag a few crowlers just before the lockdown began.‬ ~ Steve Patterson

Half Acre Tome Quarantine Drinking

This. Was. So. Good.

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Even though Half Acre is always putting out new beers in their taprooms, I think it’s notable any time they bring out something for wide, year-round release — for example, their Bodem IPA. This, however — this is a step beyond that. It’s almost style-less. It’s a pale ale. It’s a hazy IPA. It’s also got this a witbier-like softness on the palate and a yeast-forward complexity that goes beyond your normal hazebomb.

Can’t wait for this to come to 12oz. cans and 12packs. It’s a new fridge staple. If we ever get a summer, it’s gonna be a big time griller, big time chiller.

As part of their efforts to encourage people to #supportlocal, The Open Bottle in Tinley Park is regularly putting hard-to-find beer on tap for crowler fills. (Those crowlers have now turned into howlers as the nationwide crowler shortage continues.) We were lucky enough to snag a Maine Dinner for the first time, a dry, hoppy wonder. Missed out on Perennial Abraxas, but more to come‬. ~ SP

We’re going to be hunkered down for a while … so expect us to pop up with a couple more of these here and there. But if this goes on for too long, future posts might just read “bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon.” Stay safe out there, friends.

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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, AskMen and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers. If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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