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9th Annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest Winners Recognized


Wow – where do we begin?! This year, we accepted 45 entries and the top 12 were judged by beer legend and Boston Beer co-founder, Jim Koch. We were blown away by the incredible homebrew entries and had a blast drinking some delicious Sam Adams beers with Jim Koch. Congratulations to First Place Winner Tommy Crawford for brewing a professional quality Black IPA that won him two tickets to the sold out Great American Beer Festival and to all of the homebrewers who placed or took the time to handcraft and homebrew their entries for the 9th Annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest sponsored by Samuel Adams. Winners and photos below. See you next year!


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9th Annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest Sponsored by Samuel Adams


UPDATED 08/23/16 — The following entries have advanced to the final round in the Binny’s Homebrew contest! Winners will be announced Wednesday, August 24th at Binny’s Lincoln Park during the final event. Entrants must be present at Final Judging Event no later than 8:00 pm on August 24th to claim tasting evaluation sheets and any prizes.

Final Round Homebrewers:
Tommy Crawford
Matt Dillinger
Matt Emling
Darren Fuller
Mike Goddard
Sean Leheney
Kyle Lindsey
Mark Roberts
Andy Siekmeier
Jon & Val Weaver
James Wright
Adam Young

Binny's Homebrew Contest


We have been doing the Binny’s Homebrew Contest for nine years… can you believe it? We have another great contest lined up for you this year. Once again, we’re excited to host guest judge Jim Koch. Best known as Samuel Adams Founder, Jim Koch will pick the winner this year, and award the coveted first prize: a trip for two to the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Read on for more details.


Binny's Homebrew Contest Samuel Adams


Homebrew Contest Drop Off
Binny’s Lincoln Park
Sunday, August 21st


Here’s the deal. We start entries on Sunday, August 21st, as soon as the doors open at Binny’s Chicago – Lincoln Park at 11:00 am. Drop off your entry, complete with a filled entry form. We’re accepting just 75 entries. Contest entry is free. The contest will likely fill up fast; keep an eye on our Twitter and we will announce when the contest is full. Binny’s beer experts will judge the 75 entries and narrow them down to the top 10. We’ll announce the top 10 HERE the day before the final event on August 24th.


Homebrew Contest Final Judging
Binny’s Lincoln Park Tasting Room
Wednesday, August 24th


Join us at the Binny’s Lincoln Park Tasting Room on Wednesday, August 24th, for a special celebrity judging featuring Samuel Adams Founder, Jim Koch. Koch will judge the remaining top 10 homebrews and pick the winner. This event will feature samples of Sam Adams beers, plus we’ll have several limited release beers will on draft. Winners will be announced around 7.


The first place homebrewer will win a trip for two to the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, including tickets, airfare and hotel. Several runners up will also win valuable prizes, to be announced. A label is not required, but we do love cool labels. We’ll pick one “Best Label” winner, who will receive a $50 Binny’s Gift Card. All participating brewers will receive beer evaluation sheets with judges comments.


– Each household may enter one beer.
– Entrants must drop off three 12oz bottles or two 22oz bottles of their beer, plus a completed entry form rubber banded around the bottles. Click here to download entry form.
– Entrants must be present at Final Judging Event no later than 8:00 pm on August 24th to claim tasting evaluation sheets and any prizes.


Questions? Leave a comment here on the Binny’s Blog, or email us at Best of luck to everyone!

Binny’s Logan Square: Now Open!


Huzzah! Create your shopping list and head to Diversey & Pulaski to visit our newest Binny’s location! There is a lot of parking, a wide variety of wine, spirits, beer and cigars, and of course, excellent service and everyday low prices. Scroll down for information on our first big Weekend at Binny’s Tasting!

Binny's Logan Square


Binny’s Logan Square
3934 W. Diversey
Chicago, IL 60647

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Beer Buzz Hits the Road: Maplewood Brewery & Distillery


Maplewood founders Ari Megalis and Adam Cieslak are trailblazers. While the number of craft breweries and distilleries in Chicago continues to grow, Maplewood Beer and Spirits is the first to brew and distill all under one roof. We needed to check it out for ourselves, so we headed to Logan Square to have a look at our new neighbor’s facility (in case you haven’t heard, we just opened our doors in Logan Square)! Here are two solid new brews from Maplewood as well as a tried and true favorite that is not to be missed.


Maplewood Brewing Binny's

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Confessions of a Mixologist: Mezcal Negroni


We’re mixing things up with this classic gin cocktail. Instead of gin, we’re adding mezcal. It adds a smokey flavor that blends magically with the sweet and bitter flavors in the cocktail. If you’re not familiar with the Negroni, it is widely known as an aperitif but most certainly can be enjoyed as a cocktail at any time. The drink’s origins are pretty much unknown but what we do know is how it got its name. A Count by the name of Camillo Negroni asked his bartender at a small cafe in Italy in the early 1900s to make a few alterations to the already existing drink, such as gin in place of soda water and an orange garnish instead of lemon. Shortly after the drink grew in popularity, the Negroni family opened their own distillery and started creating a ready-made version of this classic cocktail.


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Beer Classics: American Pale Ale


As interest in craft beer continues to grow, throngs of thirsty craft converts continue to fall in love with IPA.  Looking to get your hop fix without the boozy heft of an IPA?  Brewers responded by creating the “Session IPA”; but what about the good old American pale ale? Perhaps that’s just it, they seem too old fashioned. We contest that a well-crafted American pale ale is a timeless classic that deserves more love.  Here are a few must try examples of the beer style that birthed the American craft beer revolution.


American Pale Ale

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Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky


In another Whiskey Hotline first, we’re proud to announce our handpicked casks of Caribou Crossing. When this single barrel Canadian whisky debuted a few years back, it quickly became one of our favorites in the category. A Canadian whisky for the bourbon drinker, slightly fuller bodied than others with firm rye spice notes and a heavy dose of vanilla. Our single casks bring out the best of these flavors. Both are delicate and elegant, easy drinking and well structured, quality Canadian whiskies.


Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Whisky

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