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Beer Buzz: Top Ten Chicagoland Craft Beer Favorites

You’ve probably seen those Buzzfeed type lists going around. You know, like this one, this one or even this one. They’re great, but they are usually pretty hard to obtain. Check out our list of top ten Chicago beers that you actually can get your hands on.

 

Destihl Abbey's Single

Top ten beers after the jump…
 

Goose Island Matilda

$10.99 – 4/12oz bottles Goose Island Matilda
Do we even have to introduce Matilda? Goose Island’s famous Belgian-style pale is spicy and fruity with a little nuttiness and a good funk that comes along with brettanomyces. Strong in flavor (and in alcohol) but always fresh and quenching.

 

Krankshaft

$9.99 – 6/12oz bottles
We love Krankshaft. Medium in body, bitter but not too assertive, dry and a little grainy with a hint of sweetness. It’s all about refreshment. We can seriously drink, like, a hundred of them. The inclusion of Santiam hops, a hybrid of different German hops grown in the US. The BA bros scored this one a 90, a feat considering it isn’t an imperial coffee stout barrel-aged in outer space.

 

Off Color Troublesome

$9.99 – 6/12oz cansOff Color Troublesome
Off Color Brewing is the brainchild of our buddy John Laffler, formerly in the barrel room at Goose, plus Dave Bleitner, formerly of Two Brothers… But enough about what they used to do. What matters now is that Off Color pumps out tremendously delicious and esoteric beers, including Troublesome. Technically a gose – think Berlinerweiss with a pinch of salt: hazy, light bodied, slightly tart. Beer geek’s beer.

 

Ten Ninety Imperial Porter

$8.69 – 25.4oz bottle
An unsung hero, Ten Ninety makes this huge Baltic Porter with a secret: it has some burn to it. We aren’t always about the spiced beers, but this one is totally drinkable. It’s spiced with cayenne pepper, which is balanced with pomegranate juice. And at 13.1% abv, it’s a monster.

 

Two Brothers Sidekick

$9.99 – 6/12oz cansTwo Brothers Sidekick
One of our favorites from Two Brothers. From Tom B. at Binny’s Highland Park: “There comes a point where every beer nerd needs a break from the boozy onslaught of barrel aged stouts and tongue-thrashing bitterness of imperial IPA’s. Sometimes you just want to drink a beer (or three). SideKick is a subtle, sessionable option – it practically drinks itself!”

 

Revolution Anti Hero

$9.99 – 6/12oz cans
The perfect IPA. It’s our #1 selling craft beer. It comes in cans. It features Citra hops. What else is there to say? You’ve already tasted it… right?

 

5 Lizard 5 Rabbit

$9.99 – 6/12oz bottles5 Rabbit 5 Lizard
“Latin-Style Witbier?” Indeed. They start with a classic Belgian wit, then add fresh lime peel instead of orange, plus passionfruit puree. The result? An amazingly refreshing beer that begs for food: shrimp, fish tacos, tamales…

 

Destihl Abbey’s Single

$9.99 – 6/12oz cans
Another unsung hero. Belgian style single in six pack cans? Hailing from Normal, Illinois, Destihl has you covered. That’s a whacky thing to put in a can, which is a refreshing sight. Also try their Hoperation Overload. A Double IPA with a hop pun for a name? No shortage of those, but taste this one, it stands out.

 

Pipeworks… Some Kind of Ninja, or a Ninja vs. Something

Various prices in 22oz bottlesCitra Ninja
As of press time, there were 95 different beers by Pipeworks in our system. Of those 95, Citra Ninja is at the top for us. It’s a 9.2% citra-hopped bottle of rad. But because of their model of producing so many different batches at seemingly random intervals, you can’t always find it on our shelves. But you can always find something amazing from these guys.

 

Lagunitas Dogtown Pale

$8.99 – 6/12oz bottles
Maybe the single most underrated beer on our shelves. This hidden gem gets overshadowed by Lagunitas’s bigger, hoppier beers – A Little Sumpin’, IPA, Hop Stoopid – but Dogtown brings all the fresh Simcoe hop profile in a lighter, sessionable body. Well, sessionable by Lagunitas standards. Welcome to Chicago, guys.

 



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