I somehow missed this article from the Chicago Tribune titled "15 Most Important Chicago Beers Ever" and it doesn't seem like it popped up here. The premise is interesting in that its not looking at the 15 best beers but rather the 15 most important beers to the Chicago beer scene past and present. Thought the list was worth discussing here - whether you agree with it, or would replace the beers on the list with other beers. 1. Bourbon County Stout (Goose Island Beer Co.) Could there be any other option? The first imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels debuted at Goose Island's Clybourn Avenue brewpub in 1995. Some people were disturbed by its depth of boozy flavor. Others couldn't believe that their little local brewpub had concocted such liquid gold. Bourbon County Stout is now an annual release that generates lines around the nation while the practice of bourbon barrel aging has been copied the world over. 2. Alpha King (Three Floyds Brewing) Talk to the people who were paying attention to craft beer during the 1990s, and they'll tell you: This beer blew minds. Released when most American breweries were still attempting to mimic classic European styles, this hop-forward pale ale established an iconoclastic approach that made Three Floyds an industry legend. By the way: This beer continues to be much more satisfying than Zombie Dust. 3. Dark Lord (Three Floyds) Bourbon County Stout revolutionized stouts, but Dark Lord, first brewed in 2003, pushed matters one step further, adding coffee, Mexican vanilla and Indian sugar to the sludgy black brew. The beer's power became even more pronounced when Floyds had the good sense to create a holiday around the beer's annual release: Dark Lord Day, which this year is May 13. (Tickets go on sale at noon Saturday.) 4. Daisy Cutter (Half Acre Beer Co.) The Chicago beer scene had largely been Goose Island, Two Brothers and Three Floyds for years. Then came Daisy Cutter. As much as any one beer, Daisy Cutter proved that things were changing in Chicago and that a new beer culture was taking root. First released in 2009, Half Acre's Daisy Cutter was the right beer at the right time for Chicagoans learning both to love craft and to drink local. The bitter pale ale, tempered by notes of citrus and grainy malt, wasn't a cult beer, but that was the point. For exploratory beer drinkers, it became a new go-to. 5. Zombie Dust (Three Floyds) Three of the top five? Yes, Floyds has been that revolutionary. Munster, Ind.'s finest not only gets credit for first planting the flag on pale ales with Alpha King, it also gets credit for revolutionizing pale ales nearly 15 years later with Zombie Dust. First released in late 2010, Zombie Dust showcased the uber-fruity Citra hop and helped send an entire industry careening into the "juicy" place it now stands. Contemporary Zombie Dust doesn't taste much like it did during those early days, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the brewery's most popular beers. By the way, this beer is nowhere near as satisfying as Alpha King. 6. Ninja vs. Unicorn (Pipeworks Brewing) Much like Daisy Cutter, Ninja vs. Unicorn wasn't just about the beer — it was about what the beer meant. In this case, Pipeworks' flagship brew said that Chicago's craft scene could churn out a big, bright imperial IPA on par with the West Coast. Like Daisy Cutter, Ninja vs. Unicorn signaled a new and exciting era in local beer. 7. 312 Urban Wheat Ale (Goose Island) Goose Island was shaking off the rust of several down years when it released 312 Urban Wheat Ale in 2004, an approachable wheat beer that sold itself to a generation of bargoers — many of whom had previously been quite satisfied with Miller Lite — with its novel name, bright yellow motif and telephone tap handle. 312 gave Goose Island the sales volume it needed to solidify and grow its business. It's quite possible that without this beer, Goose Island's sale to Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2011 would never have happened. 8. Anti-Hero (Revolution Brewing) If Daisy Cutter made Chicago learn to love pale ales, and Ninja vs. Unicorn did the same for double IPAs, Revolution gets credit for changing the way Chicago forever will think about IPA. Anti-Hero was Chicago's first locally made, high-volume, citrus-forward contemporary IPA to be ubiquitous on taps and shelves. It's amazing no one had done it sooner. 9. Honker's Ale (Goose Island) One of the brewery's original beers upon opening in 1988, Honker's Ale was Chicago's most renowned craft beer for years. Its malt-forward style — extra special bitter — has fallen out of favor with modern drinkers, but that doesn't change the fact that Honker's was the fresh and local alternative to big beer for close to 20 years. 10. Domaine DuPage and Cane & Ebel (tie; Two Brothers Brewing) I couldn't pick between these two, so I went with these polar opposites from the Warrenville brewery that opened in 1996. First released in 1999, Domaine DuPage is a flawless take on the French biere de garde style and helped teach a city how beautiful and elegant beer could be. Cane & Ebel is something else entirely — a hoppy red ale made with rye and Thai palm sugar. Ho-hum, right? Not in 2002. That combination of flavors and ingredients, wrapped in a floral hop bomb, was miles, years and galaxies ahead of its time. (Always a year-round beer, Cane & Abel is moving to a fall seasonal.) 11. Gumballhead (Three Floyds) The "hoppy wheat beer" has faded a bit in the public consciousness but played a significant role in its time. Just as powerful as the beer itself was the character of Gumballhead on the label: a scowling, yellow, cigarette-smoking cat who holds an AK-47 while riding a lawn mower pushed by a robot. (There are a shocking number of Gumballhead tattoos out there.) As a Binny's beer buyer told me in 2012 when discussing Three Floyds' popularity: "I'm not trying to denigrate those guys. I love them. But I've got 2,000 fresh beers on the shelves, and if someone can't get Gumballhead, they'll walk out without buying anything else." 12. Matilda (Goose Island) Former Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall thought Pere Jacques, the brewery's take on a Belgian dubbel, would be the breakout star of the brewery's reserve line. But the people chose Matilda, a beer inspired by Belgian classic Orval, and one of the first large-scale beers to prominently feature the wonderful, persnickety Brettanomyces yeast. As a result, Matilda gets much of the credit for elevating our collective beer tastes. 13. Baderbrau Pilsener (Pavichevich Brewing) In 1988, Pavichevich Brewing founder Ken Pavichevich aspired to bring European beer culture to America — all the way down to the elevated glassware and doilies on which bartenders were ordered to place a freshly poured Baderbrau Pilsener. The high point might have been then-President George H.W. Bush requesting a case for his suite at the Hyatt Regency during a visit to Chicago in 1990. But Pavichevich Brewing went bankrupt in 1996, which led Goose Island to snag the brand and win a silver medal with it at the Great American Beer Festival in 1998. Most recently, Rob Sama, a fan of Baderbrau from the '90s, resurrected the brand as Baderbrau Brewing with a flagship, the crisp and rewarding Chicago Pilsener, which he says is a faithful re-creation of the original beer. 14. Troublesome (Off Color Brewing) Admit it: before Off Color had the audacious idea to make its flagship brew a gose — that tart, lightly briny and refreshing German ale — you had no idea what gose was. I didn't. That was 2012. Now goses are everywhere. But Off Color founders John Laffler and Dave Bleitner get credit not only for bringing a more esoteric version of craft beer to our taps and shelves, but for expanding our thinking about what the craft could be. 15. Big Shoulders Porter (Chicago Brewing Co.) Another gone-but-not-forgotten favorite from the 1990s, this was the beer that most excited many of Chicago's most discerning beer drinkers at the time. That included Hopleaf founder Michael Roper, who has said he preferred this beer to anything coming out of Goose Island at the time. Questionable business decisions doomed Chicago Brewing, but its flagship porter lingered in the memories of those who followed.