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Beer Buzz: Half Acre Expands Distribution

This announcement has been a long time coming: We are proud to report that Half Acre beers are now available at all Chicagoland Binny’s locations.  For years, thirsty beer drinking Binny’s shoppers in Orland Park, Willowbrook, Algonquin, McHenry, Naperville, St. Charles, Glen Ellyn, Plainfield, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, and Evergreen Park have been deprived of delicious offerings such as Over Ale and Gossamer.  But the suburban Half Acre drought is now over, and in our opinion there is no better way to celebrate than with a cold 16oz can of Daisy Cutter.

Half Acre at Binny's


Off Color Brewing to Debut Next Week

Off Color Brewing will be the latest local brewery featured at Binny’s upon making their debut next week. Off Color’s founding fathers are Goose Island alum John Laffler and Two Brothers alum Dave Bleitner. That is some serious brewing pedigree, and we are seriously excited for their new beers. Bleitner was a brewer at Two Brothers, and Laffler was pretty much in charge of Bourbon County Stout while working at Goose Island. Need we say more?

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Prost to Oktoberfest!

Get your lederhosen out… Oktoberfest begins today, September 21st! A 16 day span of unlimited sauerkraut, würstl and of course, German beer. Give our Oktoberfest favorites a try, and let us know what you think. *clink, clink*
atom-9-13-2013Two Brothers Atom Smasher
“I’m not someone who goes crazy over the Octoberfest style. I feel like it’s a style that only allows for subtle differences and if you’ve tried one you’ve tried most. With that in mind Two Brothers in Warrenville is one brewery that’s doing something different with their version called Atom Smasher. It’s your traditional Marzen with its roasted malt character, but then it’s aged in Oak foudres. The aging doesn’t add your usual vanilla notes but more so balances the brew and brings out a smooth caramel flavor. Overall it’s a very tasty beer that is unique among it’s peers.” – Matt Burger, Binny’s Arlington Heights


Weihenstephaner Festbier
“Burnished gold in color with a big fluffy white head, Weihenstephaner’s Oktoberfest often perplexes American drinkers. The Marzen/Oktoberfest style here in the US is mostly populated by dark amber brews that burst with big bready aromas and rich caramel flavors. While Weinhenstephaner is lighter in color, it’s every bit as flavorful and its rich honeyed sweetness and a subtle earthy noble hop character offers a refreshing alternative to many American examples of the style. Paired with a knockwurst on pumpernickel smothered with bacon fried onions, es ist wunderbar!” – Roger Adamson, Binny’s Willowbrook


revolution-9-13-2013Revolution Oktoberfest
“This is my favorite American Oktoberfest! It has a really nice toasted malt note, and is very well balanced. It’s a simple, easy drinker!” – Jimmy Wallwin, Binny’s Downers Grove


“Revolution Oktoberfest is an excellent combination of an American and traditional German Oktoberfest beer. It has a great malt presence like the American styles to go along with the hoppiness of German styles, which cuts through the sweetness. A well balanced beer that fans of either style can enjoy. And it’s in a can, so it’s perfect for those fall bonfires!” – Adam Brate, Binny’s McHenry


Great Lakes Oktoberfest
“Great Lakes Oktoberfest has a rich amber color and a malty-sweet aroma of caramel and toffee. The mouthfeel is smooth with balanced maltiness up-front followed by a slightly dry finish accented with mild Noble hops. This is a great beer to enjoy at an Oktoberfest celebration or to drink with friends on a cool autumn day.” – Scott Lasky, Binny’s Lake Zurich


metro-9-13-2013Metropolitan Afterburner Oktoberfest
“This time of year is always fun cause I get to see what new Oktoberfest beers are brought to the table. Now I’m not shying away from the classics but one brewery in my opinion stood out and definitely wowed me. I’m talking about Chicago’s own Metropolitans’ Afterburner. It sits at a nice 5.5% abv, is caramelized, bready, and has just enough spice. It is also very drinkable. Now typically I wouldn’t consider myself an Oktoberfest guy, but I’ll definitely try to get my hands on as much of this brew as I can. Unfortunately it’s limited so get out there and get it while you can.” – Jason Battersby, Binny’s Des Plaines


Central Waters Octoberfest
“With an enticing, bready maltiness characteristic of traditional Marzen-style lagers, Octoberfest is a radient amber-colored brew that finishes crisp and clean. Enjoy this fall seasonal as summer turns to autumn and the colors of the Northwoods are ablaze.” – Producer


Samuel Adams Octoberfest
“An excellent brew, very malty and very flavorful…Tastes like a smaller version of Samuel Adams Double Bock.  A fall seasonal that is a must buy.” – Beer Advocate


Binny’s New Brew: Pumpkin Beer Edition

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, especially pumpkin brews. In light of the season, we picked some of our favorites for you to try. Enjoy!
Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
“This pumpkin lager has strong aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose, which continues onto the palate. The spices are followed up with a balanced pumpkin flavor, and the beer finishes with a touch of malt sweetness. A must try for fans of pumpkin beers.” – Peter Sorgatz, Binny’s Glen Ellyn


Schlafly-9-13-2013Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
“Hands down, there is nothing more appealing on a cool Indian Summer night than Shlafly’s famed Pumpkin Ale- that is unless you can manage to hold onto this gem throughout the remainder of fall. The build of this beer holds a firm amber-malt toastiness complimented by the clean crisp sweetness it provides. Minimal hop presence allows for the pumpkin base to shine through, harmonized fantastically with a variety of spices. Nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice, and vanilla are some of the more notable characteristics. Toasted malt and a buttery graham cracker flavor provide a seductive dessert-like beer perfect for any occasion. Unlike most pumpkin ales I’ve had the opportunity to try, Shlafly’s provides a well rounded body big enough to match the array of spices packed into this top notch brew. Pour it, adore it.”
– John Hedges, Binny’s Champaign
*Note: Schlafly beers are only available in our Champaign and Bloomington locations.


Big Muddy Pumpkin Smasher
“I am not a big fan of Pumpkin beers, however, Big Muddy Pumpkin Smasher is a pumpkin beer I had recently that I could drink quite a bit of. The beer is brewed with real pumpkins and savory pumpkin pie spices; natural cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are peppered throughout. The blend of American hops balanced with Pale/Caramel malts creates a full-bodied taste and fantastic flavor. This is pumpkin pie in a bottle!” – Nick Gallichio, Binny’s Bolingbrook


hog-9-13-2013Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
“The nose is softer that the boldness of my other favorite pumpkin beer, Southern Tier Pumking, but this one sure delivers in large amounts on the palate. Huge notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and pumpkin which all balance wonderfully. Point Whole Hog also took Gold at the GABF 2012 for the pumpkin category. This is the closest beer I’ve tasted to Pumking to date and any pumpkin beer fan should absolutely give this one a try. ” – Ken Habenicht, Binny’s Buffalo Grove


Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
“Don’t confuse this with Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale; Smashed Pumpkin packs over twice the ABV (9%) and a boat load of more flavor than its counterpart. Smashed Pumpkin was top dog at a recent blind tasting of ours that included 8 pumpkin ales. It is spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a plethora of other fall spice flavors, to go along with a perfect amount of pumpkin flavor.” – Kyle Fornek, Binny’s Willowbrook


Fan of Pinterest? Check out these brewtastic holiday crafts.


Coming Soon: Ommegang/Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout

Takt the BlackBrewery Ommegang has once again collaborated with television network HBO to create a beer around one of the most watched shows in HBO’s history, Game of Thrones. Take the Black Stout is the second such collaboration, following in the footsteps of the incredibly popular Iron Throne.


For fans Game of Thrones, the picture on the label of Take the Black Stout shows the Weirwood tree where Jon Snow recited the oath before joining the Night’s Watch.


For fans of the beer, the description on the label of the beer is as follows: “Take the Black Stout is a 7.00% ABV stout brewed with chocolate malt, Midnight Wheat and roasted barley, hopped with Northern Brewer and Columbus hops, and spiced with licorice root and star anise.”


Want to try Ommegangs’ latest concoction? A keg of Take the Black Stout is being tapped at our South Loop tasting room later today. Bottles have popped up at a few Binny’s locations already, with most stores scheduled to receive their allotment later next week.

Fuller’s Introducing Historical IPA to Binny’s

In a few weeks Binny’s will introduce several new offerings from Fuller’s Brewery of London, England including Honeydew & the return of 1845. But the one that caught our eye is Bengal Lancer, an India Pale Ale.  Bengal Lancer stood out because it isn’t just any old IPA – it is one of the first IPA’s ever made.


By now most people know the history of the IPA, how the beers were heavily hopped as a preservative measure to survive the journey from Britan to the Indian subcontinent. During the long & arduous journey the beer went around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa before landing in the hands of thirsty British soldiers.


Bengal Lancer is as much a part of history as it is a delicious beer, as it was one of a handful of beers that actually made this grueling journey. Beers like this are the inspiration for the heavily hopped IPA’s and double IPA’s that beer geeks are guzzling at a record rate in today’s world.


Also on its way to Binny’s from Fuller’s is London Black Cab Stout, which will be available in 16.9oz bottles as well as on nitrogen pour at our South Loop Tasting Room.





Iron Maiden Trooper to Debut Next Week

TrooperThe day has finally come for fans of beer and heavy metal.


Trooper, the collaboration between Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery, will begin hitting our stores next week. Here is how the beer is being described:


“Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hopes dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon. Alc. 4.7% Vol. 500ml bottle.”


Given Iron Maiden’s reputation as one of the most hardcore metal bands of all time, we were expecting an ale with some pretty extreme ingredients. It looks like the collaboration will be more on the traditional side though. Whatever the case, we can’t wait to give it a shot!

Coming Soon: Beard Beer

Beard BeerCome 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.

Chauncey’s Great Outdoors Coming to Binny’s in St. Charles This Saturday

chauncey_300 (3)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!

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