40 Reasons to Love Chicago

Because after a long, slow boil, the local craft beer scene is cooking—and the competition is friendly

When we asked Chicago’s brewing elite to name a local beer that had inspired them, we could barely keep a tap on the love fest that poured forth.

REVOLUTION (est. 2010)
“Jim [Cibak, Revolution’s head brewer] and I always talk about how great Goose Island’s Baderbräu was. It was a classic pilsner, all malt—not like Bud, which is corn and rice. But of all of Goose Island’s beers, Bourbon County stout really stands out. It was the first wood-aged beer in a long time. Props to Greg Hall.”

GOOSE ISLAND (est. 1988)
“I keep coming back to the Workingman Mild at Revolution. It’s a really nice food beer, always my first pint there. There’s been such an explosion in big, dynamic beers, and that’s great, but it’s refreshing to see a brewer take a traditional style and do it so well.”

TWO BROTHERS (est. 1997)
“The old Goose Island IPA on nitrogen tap, back in 1998 or ’99. You got so much of the hop character coming through, with texture of the nitro to soften it. It wasn’t all about bitterness. It was beautiful. It made me want to explore hops.”

METROPOLITAN (est. 2009)
“I’m a fan of most beers in Chicago, but one that really influenced me is Two Brothers’ Dog Days, a Dortmunder-style lager. It’s really refreshing, and it’s inspiring since we make German-style lagers, too, and there aren’t that many of us around.”

HALF ACRE (est. 2007)
“Piece’s Golden Arm [a German-style Kölsch] certainly blew my hair back. Cutler really nails session beers. But Three Floyds’ Gumballhead [a wheat ale] is one of the first beers that got me pumped about local beer and local beer culture. When it came out, people were looking for adjectives to describe it. I wasn’t used to hearing people talk that way about beer.”

PIECE (est. 2001)
“Three Floyds is the wind beneath my wings. Everyone knows them for their big, gnarly, hoppy beers, but they make some of the best lagers in the Midwest: Gorch Fock, Jinx Proof, Munster Fest—delicate, clean lagers that fly even under the beer geeks’ radar.”

THREE FLOYDS (est. 1996)
“Piece’s Golden Arm. It’s a user-friendly go-to beer that you can always rely on—but, really, it’s more about the brewmaster. He just makes good beer. We exchange yeasts, and I wouldn’t do that with just anyone. And he’s got some of the most creative names, like Camel Toe [a double IPA].”

Check back frequently for more reasons to love Chicago.




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