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8th annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest sponsored by Samuel Adams


The homebrewers below have moved on to the second round. The winner will be announced at 7pm on Thursday, August 27th at our Lincoln Park Tasting Room:
Keith Bosker
Michael Casmer
John Comastro
Jason Deal
Matt Emilino
Larry Gualano
Nick Gualano
Dave Hellwege
Ken Kaczmarek
Ian Kalmes & Tom Monahan
Jeff and Jackie Kopala
Daniel Morgan
Michael Pastore
Brandon Simak
Gregg Stark
Jon Weaver
Jim Williams


The Binny’s Homebrew Contest is back! This year, we’re excited to host guest judge Jim Koch. That’s right, Samuel Adams Founder Jim Koch will pick our winner this year, and award the coveted first prize: a trip for two to the 2015 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Details below.


Binny's Homebrew Contest

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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

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

Take 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


FullersIn 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.
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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.