Revolution Calls it Quits on Bottom Up Wit in Cans (UPDATED X1)

In Beer News by Karl

Say goodbye to this Revolution Brewing can on store shelves.

Bottom Up Wit

Tucked into a press release announcing a new year-round low-calorie session sour from Revolution Brewing today is news that one of Rev’s flagship canned offerings is being sidelined. Per the release,

“After the initial run, Freedom of Press will replace Bottom Up Wit on shelves. While no longer being sold in cans, Wit will still be brewed and available in kegs and at the Revolution Taproom and Brewpub.”

Bottom Up Wit was one of the very first beers that Rev canned starting in 2012 with the opening of their production facility, along with Eugene Porter and Anti-Hero IPA. Breweries sidelining beers that once served as flagships isn’t unheard of — Half Acre’s only remaining original main release is Daisy Cutter (though Over Ale and Gossamer do continue to see seasonal release on draft and in package) while Finch Beer famously got rid of all their initial beers to roll out a new line of offerings around the time they opened their Finch Kitchen brewpub.

Moreover, many breweries these days don’t have the luxury of a flagship brew, while Revolution has at least two remaining — Anti-Hero and Fist City (along with top tier beers like their canned barrel-aged options, releasing this weekend). These two flagships have both seen line expansions, from the Hero line of IPAs to the different incarnation of “Gene” porters, notably the return of their coffee porter.

Revolution remains the largest independent craft brewery in the state — per the 2017 Brewers Association numbers, Rev was the 40th-largest craft brewery in America, and also cracked the Top 50 overall. As part of the research for this Chicago Magazine piece, I also learned that Anti-Hero remains the brewery’s biggest product, representing roughly half of their output.

If you like your witbier locally produced and packaged by an independent craft brewery, get it while you can. We’ve reached out to the brewery to see exactly when they expect canned Bottom Up to be all gone and didn’t receive an update at press time; we’ll update if we learn more. UPDATE: Per Rev CFO Doug Veliky, “Bottom Up will no longer be packaged and we’re sold out at the Brewery.” Sounds like it’s about the end of the road for Bottom Up.

Alternately, if you like low-calorie fruited sours … well, life is good, huh?

Official press release follows:


Freedom Session Sours Now Year-Round From Revolution Brewing

CHICAGO, November 14, 2018–Revolution Brewing is encouraging drinkers to exercise their Freedom with a big change to its year-round lineup. Freedom of Press, a Session Sour made with black currants, will debut at bars, restaurants, and in six-packs at retailers this November. The new beer, alongside fan favorite Freedom of Speach (which debuted in summer 2018), will form the foundation of Revolution’s year-round commitment to a rotating series of Session Sours.

Freedom of Press is an easy-drinking, fruit-forward beer with a lightly tart character and dry finish. The brewers balanced black currants and natural souring to give the beer a refreshing, drinkable character and imbue its signature pink/purple hue. It comes in at 4.5% ABV and 120
calories, and perfectly balances sweet and tart for a uniquely bracing finish. The original recipe was created at the original Brewpub location in Logan Square and quickly became a favorite among Revolution’s patrons.

“We knew we had to bring this beer to a wider audience after seeing how our fans responded to it. The black currants add a really distinctive color along with their flavor – it brings one more angle to the sensory experience of enjoying a great beer.” said Josh Deth, Chairman of
Revolution Brewing. “It wasn’t until after we had brewed these sour beers that we realized they were only 120 calories. Our customers have asked for a low-calorie offering for a while and now we have a year-round option that fits that profile and is still full of flavor.”

After the initial run, Freedom of Press will replace Bottom Up Wit on shelves. While no longer being sold in cans, Wit will still be brewed and available in kegs and at the Revolution Taproom and Brewpub. The first batches of Freedom of Press will hit draft handles and store shelves in
November. Freedom of Speach will return in Spring 2019, and according to Deth, the door is open for an expanded lineup of Freedom in the future.

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Karl

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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, 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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