South of 80 2.0 Snapshot: DESTIHL

In Events by Karl

photo courtesy the Bloomington Pantagraph

photo courtesy the Bloomington Pantagraph

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 most well known brewpubs in downstate Illinois: DESTIHL.

If we’re being honest, there was a long time where DESTIHL, a brewpub in downstate Normal with a second location in Champaign, was the only brewing operation I was aware of outside the Chicagoland area.

Of course we now have an amazing array of options throughout the state that grow by the month. But somehow, DESTIHL has managed to be able to cut through the noise and continue to establish themselves among the most recognizable breweries in the state, Chicago included.

Much of that has to do with a single word: Sours.

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In fact, describing the brewery as “recognizable” may be actually doing them a disservice. In this Chicago Tribune piece about DESTIHL’s response at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, Josh Noel goes so far as to say that owner Matt Potts has given birth to “a legend.” That legend began after they poured 6 different sours at that year’s GABF, which was followed by a Bronze Medal the following year for their Strawberry Blonde Ale.

DESTIHL will be joining us at South of 80, their beers pouring from taps in Chicago for the first time outside a festival setting. Take note, if you’ve ever sipped your way through a three ounce pour of one of DESTIHL’s beers at a festival and wished you could have had a full pour – now’s your chance. Plus, you can be on hand to see the first DESTIHL tap handles lined up behind a Chicago bar – but definitely not the last. Now that their production brewery is coming online, an expansion to Chicago is one step closer to becoming a reality.

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In case that isn’t enough of a tease, here’s a photo from their Facebook page showing all their barrels:

destihl barrels

Additionally, we took a look at their production efforts last November here, and let you know that they’re already distributing in Wisconsin here (in case you feel like making the drive north before the event).

We’ll be making the DESTIHL offerings public in a few days, but rest assured, sours are on the list. You’re going to want to check these guys out.

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



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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