Come mid-August, Binny’s will receive a beer brewed with an ingredient never before seen in a beer on our shelves: yeast cultivated from someones beard.
Yup, we said beard.
That someone is John Maier, brewmaster at Rogue Ales. The yeast in question is a previously unknown strain of wild yeast that spontaneously decided to settle in and call Johns’ beard home. The new strain was discovered while John was working with White Labs in California. We haven’t yet had a chance to sample Beard Beer ourselves, but we are confident that the beer will not taste like a beard. In fact, we actually heard that it tastes pretty good. So if you are feeling experimental like Rogue did when they brewed this beer, stop by in a few weeks and give it a try.
Punchline first: Crafthouse Cocktails let you enjoy handcrafted cocktails from Chicago mixology star Charles Joly in your own home. And they’re at Binny’s now.
Now the setup: Have you heard of Charles Joly? He has an impressive bio: Chicago native rises to prominence at culinary hotspots like The Drawing Room and Aviary, wins Tales of the Cocktail 2013 American Bartender of the Year, becomes all-around cocktail badass. Where to go from there? Crafthouse, bottled versions of Joly’s unique twist on classic cocktails.
Pedigree aside, these are great drinks. The project has been in the works for over a year – finding the perfect fresh, all-natural ingredients took time. The cocktails are then meticulously mixed in small batches. All you have to do is open the bottle and pour over ice. We have Southside and Moscow Mule on our shelves now, and we’re already looking forward to the next Crafthouse release, Paloma, which should arrive soon.
“The history of this cocktail is a bit spotty, like so many others. It is purported to have been popularized at New York’s 21 Club, and legends tie it to prohibition era Chicago and the up and coming mob world. There is not strong evidence to stand behind this. The cocktail itself presents a wonderful balance of premium gin, accentuating the citrus notes in the complex spirit. The citrus show a vibrant and refreshing cocktail while the mint lends a beautiful aromatic. Even those folks who normally don’t touch gin will love this cocktail – perfect for the seasoned cocktail veteran or newcomer to the game.” – Producer
Crafthouse Moscow Mule
“This post-prohibition classic is experiencing a massive resurgence, quickly becoming one of the most popular vodka cocktails again. As one of the cocktails that drove the original vodka craze, it owns a spotlight in the modern history of the spirit. The simple, refreshing and bright flavors of the cocktail make it extremely versatile. The key is a high quality ginger beer, with real spice and a little kick that has nothing to do with the syrupy and cloying ginger ale the modern drinker has become accustomed to. Serve over ice, garnish with fresh mint sprig or lime wheel. If you have a copper mug handy, it is the traditional vessel for this tipple.” – Producer
I was recently in Scotland on vacation with my girlfriend Kimberly, and we were able to visit a few distilleries. We started off in Edinburgh where we visited a place called the Scotch Whisky Experience. They have a fun interactive tour that shows you how whisky is made. After the tour they bring out samples of whiskies from Speyside, the Highlands, the Lowlands and the Islands to show the difference in taste between these regions. Then they bring you to a room that holds the largest Scotch Whisky collection in the world. This collection was built by whisky connoisseur Claive Vidiz. It took over 35 years to build and holds 3384 bottles of Scotch Whisky. Needless to say, this puts my collection to shame. Then we finished the tour in the tasting room where they have the largest bottle of whisky on display. This bottle stands 4 feet 9 inches and holds 105.3 liters (about 150 bottles).
Our next stop was in the Scotch Whisky capital of the world, Dufftown. First stop Aberlour. We tried samples of the Aberlour a’bunadh, Aberlour 12 year and Aberlour 16 year. The 16 year in particular stands out for me. This was well rounded and has a nice complexity from both the ex-bourbon and sherry casks.
Stacy Huntsha, receiver at Binny’s in Bolingbrook shares her latest favorite new brew. Stacy is an adventurous and energetic beer lover, so it makes perfect sense as to why she picked Laughing Panda, Two Brothers latest tea hopped concoction!
We saw that Ratebeer.com gave this brew a 95 rating, so we believe it’s good! What did you like the most about it?
I love citrus IPAs and thought the tea aspect was interesting and delicious. It’s not too heavy and is perfect to drink on a summer day.
How does it taste?
The tea flavor is not overpowering, but lingering. It works well with the bitterness of the beer, and a mild sweetness is present.
Yum! What’s your history with Binny’s?
I’ve been with Binny’s for about a year and a half and have had the opportunity to learn so much about beer, wine and spirits, and continue to learn more daily.
Any favorite memories thus far?
I went on a trip with Binny’s to a few Michigan breweries and we had the opportunity to brew our own beer at Saugatuck!
How’d you get started working in the beer/beverage industry?
I got a seasonal job at Binny’s in Lincoln Park, but I have worked in restaurants since I was 16.
What’s your go-to beer?
For the time being- Two Brothers Sidekick and Lagunitas A Lil Sumpin’.
Any special talents?
I guess riding dirt bikes and a motorcycle could be a talent…
That’s awesome! What do you like most about working in the beverage industry?
The opportunity to learn about, try, and recommend the newest beers!
Check out her pick here on binnys.com and if you want to follow up with Stacy on her selection, email her here.
Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell is coming to Binny’s South Loop to sign bottles of ultra premium tequila Maestro Dobel Tequila. The brainchild of Juan Domingo Beckmann Legoretta, heir to the Jose Cuervo empire, Maestro Dobel is a double distilled Reopsado aged in Hungarian White Oak and filtered for clarity, and one of the fastest growing tequilas in the world. Perry Farrell is an iconic musician and world renowned concert promoter whom is also passionate about fine tequila. Well, you should know who Perry Farrell is.
Thursday, August 1st, 4-6pm
South Loop Tasting Room
at Binny’s South Loop
No music CD’s or rock memorabilia will be signed.
We’re doing it again! We just announced that our Lincoln Park store is expanding. The construction crew is going to be busy, because we’re expanding our Glencoe location is as well.
If you’ve shopped our Binny’s in Glencoe before, you know that it’s on the smaller side. Relative to Binny’s, we mean. With this expansion, Glencoe will grow from about 2400 square feet to a whopping 8400 square feet.
Yes, Glencoe. More beer, more wine, more spirits.
Construction begins in the fall and should finish early next year. Needless to say, we’re excited!
Come join host Chauncey Nizol of Espn’s Chauncey’s Great Outdoors this Saturday, July 20th from 12am-2pm at our St. Charles location. Chauncey will be promoting his Gone Fishing program where you can enter to win prizes such as a trip for you and a guest to go fishing with Chauncey on Lake Michigan, plus other great stuff.
There will also be a Labatt Blue tasting, and 12-packs of Labatt Blue will be on sale for $8.99 just at this location. Don’t miss your chance to get a 12-pack signed by Chauncey & have your picture taken with him!
We love beer as much as you do and that’s why we want you to join us at the South Loop Tasting Room for these hoppy events! With many to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
Happy hour with Kurt Widmer
Wednesday, July 17th, 4-6 pm
Hang with Kurt Widmer, owner of Widmer Brothers at the South Loop Tasting Room. Widmer Brothers has been on the brewing scene since 1984 when brothers Kurt and Rob turned their hobby of brewing into an industry defining career.
Black Butte XXV and XXIV Tapping
Thursday, July 18th, VI-VIII pm
Deschutes is releasing one of their most anticipated beers. Come celebrate this momentous release with the Binny’s crew. This event will fill up so call soon to reserve your spot: 312.768.4400.
Meet and greet with Fred Bueltmann
Friday, July 19, 4-6 pm
Co-owner of the New Holland Brewing Company and author of Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy, Fred Bueltmann will join us at the Binny’s South Loop. Get your signed copy of Fred’s book and grab one of his tasty brews.
Here is a question we are asked frequently at the Binny’s Mailbag:
I like sweet wines. I’ve had had Sauternes, ice wine and moscato that I like a lot. Are there any sweet red wines you can suggest?
Hi P, thanks for the question.
We have a ton that you’ll enjoy. Here are just a few.
Marenco Pineto is from the Brachetto grape of Northern Italy. It shows sweet red berry fruit, and remains floral and balanced – not cloyingly sweet. The style is increasing in popularity and has earned its reputation as the “Red Moscato.”
For something similar but a little less expensive, give Serena a try. This Italian blend is a little lighter, fresher and very easy to drink.
For a fuller bodied red, check out Adesso. It’s one of our top sellers in the sweet red category. 100% Refosco from Emilia Romagna, just south of Venice, Italy. It has an inviting character of red berry, black raspberry and touch of spice. Food-friendly or great by itself.
Of course, that’s just the start. You’ll find tons more sweet red wines at your favorite Binny’s location. Stop by, check out what’s on hand, and ask your local wine consultant about their favorite sweet reds, too.