15 Most Important Chicago Beers Ever

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by FBarber, Mar 30, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (890) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Lol. So if Chicago is West of FFF and FFF is West of East Chicago , where is FFF?
    ericfoster83 and Jaycase like this.
  2. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (890) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Let us know what influential beer PW and OC contributed so I can shoot it down.
  3. tjk135

    tjk135 Initiate (145) Apr 23, 2013 Illinois

    With Troublesome they literally introduced a style to the Chicagoland area (and possibly the Great Lakes region) that was previously unheard of. Putting salt in a beer was done by nobody around here and you could argue they started a completely new wave of beers in the area with their line up. Just because they don't brew an IPA, doesn't mean they don't cater to the masses. They started out brewing great shit nobody else even tried around here.

    And Yuzu Fierce is crazy good.
    dvolovik and FBarber like this.
  4. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (890) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    See I'd be more apt to put Tooth and Claw in there since it was created as a beer for the Field Museum which broke down a barrier between the establishment and macros enabling the way for craft beer to go even more mainstream. When a stodgy old institution like a museum partners with you, that's huge.

    Gose's were around Chicago long before Troublesome. I'd be willing to bet GI was producing them in the pub well before Off Color was. Yes they were probably the first bottled local Gose, but I'm fairly certain I'd had a bunch of Gose's at craft beer bars in Chicago well before Laffler left GI for Off Color...so don't see that as influential on much.

    Edit: and not saying your wrong and I'm right, just sharing the 'ole opinion for discourse.
  5. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,057) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    LOVE that beer - one of the few examples of fruit added to a beer that I absolutely love.
  6. croush

    croush Champion (803) Mar 20, 2015 Illinois

    As I said before, I think it's a solid list. However, from my viewpoint/experience, if I had to single out one thing/beer/brewery as the biggest thing for Chicago's craft beer development, it is Goose Island as a whole. I moved here in my mid-20's, and it was always so noticeable how prevalent Goose Island was. Going to street festivals, I always remember seeing 312 and Honker's amongst all the big macro beers, and this was well before GI was bought by InBev. Their ability to become part of the mainstream beer culture in Chicago was huge. Throw in BCBS making this a craft beer "destination" with Black Friday, and it's just further proof.

    That's just one dude's opinion, though.
    GrumpyGas and FBarber like this.
  7. ivorycannon

    ivorycannon Zealot (545) Feb 21, 2013 Indiana

    LOL You mean Muntucky:stuck_out_tongue:
    ChiCubs78 likes this.
  8. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Meyvn (1,167) Feb 8, 2010 Illinois

    Wow, no Flossmoor Station love?

    OK, I get that they're irrelevant now, what the owners' perennial mismanagement of their beer program and running excellent brewers out of town (sometimes twice!), but they are far more historically significant than any Chicagoland brewer who has opened within the last ten years, both for being one of the earliest barrel-aging breweries in the nation and also for serving as a de-facto "finishing school" for many brewers who went on to do bigger things at other breweries. For starters:
    • Pullman Brown Ale (won LOTS of national awards in it's heyday)
    • Imperial Eclipse Stout (yeah, that one. A Flossmoor original)

    And yeah, you could name-check Wooden Hell, but I don't know how "historically significant" it is.
    zach60614, FBarber and kodt like this.
  9. ChiCubs78

    ChiCubs78 Aspirant (281) Jan 2, 2015 Illinois

    It's seems to me that several Indiana residents are protective of FFF and don't like it being considered a Chicago beer.
    I can totally understand that. FFF is in Munster Indiana, not Chicago Illinois.
    This whole discussion lends to Chicago basically claiming responsibility and credit for FFF and their success.
    That being said, FFF can be geographically considered a Chicagoland beer. Chicagoland meaning within "x" miles of the city.
    Indiana resident be proud that your Indiana brewery and their beers have had such an influence on Chicagoland beers.
  10. ericfoster83

    ericfoster83 Initiate (120) Sep 16, 2010 Indiana

    I grew up in Lansing, fled the property taxes to Indiana. When people from out of the area ask where I'm from, I say "The Indiana side of Chicago."

    That's our metropolitan area, imaginary lines be damned...I just can't bring my concealed carry gun that Indiana issues you when you buy a house here over those lines.
  11. ChangSing

    ChangSing Initiate (166) May 5, 2013 Illinois

    It wasn't until 4/5 years ago that I learned that Eclipse was a Flossmoor beer. I thought I read somewhere that the original brewer was heading back to Flossmoor a year ago or so..not sure if that ever happened.

    I think Flossmoor doesn't get the recognition simply because they don't distribute and it's pretty far south. But I"ve always enjoyed going there (I had a friend who worked there for 4/5 years so I used to head down pretty frequently)
    FBarber likes this.
  12. kodt

    kodt Defender (630) Mar 6, 2013 Illinois

    Source on Gose's being around in Chicavo long before? It was pretty much a dead style for a while (even in Germany) and Off Color was one of the first to start its popularity among US craft brewers.
    tjk135, FBarber and puftdank like this.
  13. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,057) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I had no idea that Eclipse came out of Flossmoor ... Thats fascinating.
  14. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (890) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Unfortunately my memory doesn't store the footnotes, but I remember not rushing out to try Troublesome despite being excited for Off Color because I'd had plenty of Goses in town and wasn't rushing out to try more. How could GI Clybourn not have done one in their 20+ years? I know I had Gose's locally before OC. Whether that was at HopLeaf, GI, Small Bar, Map Room, etc. there were options that predated Troublesome. But since you want some hard evidence, I'm sure I had foreign ones here, but Local Option had their own a year before OC: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/16773/83711/
    zach60614 likes this.
  15. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,057) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I'd imagine that Off Color was the first to bottle and distribute a gose though since I don't remember GI ever bottling a gose and I don't think local option did either.
  16. prior2two

    prior2two Disciple (397) Oct 18, 2013 Illinois

    I don't know of any chicago breweries that were doing gose's, but as a style, they were around before troublesome, but not by much. I remember being super excited for troublesome, because I had recently tried a bunch of Gose that season/year, and was excited to have a new and local one.

    There was Westbrook, but obviously that doesnt make it here.

    I'm not sure when the Anderson Valley gose was released, but I think it was right around the same time.
    FBarber likes this.
  17. kodt

    kodt Defender (630) Mar 6, 2013 Illinois

    Yeah I wasnt trying to suggest the style was dead until Troublesome came around. The style was dead in the late 60s-70s.

    Off Color has to be one of the first to introduce a gose as their flagship/year round packaged beer. Im guessing most done before were draft only, or one offs.
  18. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (225) May 1, 2012 Illinois

    Super Bowl XLI, guess a lot of Bears fans decided to erase that one from their memories.
    GrumpyGas likes this.
  19. Chris_H_2

    Chris_H_2 Aspirant (266) Jan 3, 2013 Illinois

    So by some people's logic, Bells is not a Kalamazoo brewery because it's brewed in Comstock with a corporate headquarters in Galesburg. Got it.
    HouseofWortship and croush like this.
  20. puftdank

    puftdank Devotee (400) Sep 13, 2011 Illinois

    So what you had were imported Goses, and not CHICAGO-born Gose beers. And what the list is about, before it got derailed into a geography lesson, was what CHICAGO beers are important.
    Stop being the Beer Advocate Comic Book Guy.
  21. beergurujr

    beergurujr Initiate (131) Oct 27, 2003 Illinois

  22. beergurujr

    beergurujr Initiate (131) Oct 27, 2003 Illinois

    You gosh dang youngsters as usual, don't know what the H-E-double hockey sticks you're talking about.

    Baderbrau was a phenomenal beer at the time. It typically took three to five minutes to achieve a perfect draught pour; as a lager it was unparalleled. There was nothing else on the market from anywhere quite like it.

    IMO, Big Shoulders Porter was important not so much because of the style- Anchor Porter was a better more consistent beer- but the Chicago Brewing Company, opened by the Dinehart brothers, was an extremely friendly, approachable place to sample their beers. Daily tastings and tours, thorough explanations of the brewing process, taught many future brewers (and craft beer drinkers) to appreciate craft beer. It opened a window that heretofore had been largely shut. The Dinehart brothers should be in a Chicago Beer Hall Of Fame.

    I would add one more earlier brewery to an expanded list.

    * Golden Prairie Brewing Company, Maple Stout. Owner Ted Furman, currently a brewer at the far south side Argus Brewery, created a great moderately sweet stout, that I miss even today. Maybe the first craft beer in Chicago brewed without regard to the Reinheitsgebot. Ted if you read this, howdy buddy!

  23. thereal

    thereal Initiate (98) Apr 20, 2010 Illinois

    Ha, I admire the post's thesis statement! Pedants gonna pedant....
    CB_Michigan, GuyFawkes and FBarber like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.