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Binny’s New Brew: Spiteful Alley Time Pale Ale

If you couldn’t already tell, we love to support local breweries. Just a couple years old and already one of our all time favorites, Spiteful Brewing has already made a huge impact in the Chicago beer scene. Customer service manager, Ben Morgan of Binny’s in Lakeview is a big fan of their latest release. Plus, it’s in cans.



What beer are you enjoying right now?
Spiteful Alley Time Pale Ale in 6 pack cans* for the great price of !
*More widely available in 22 oz bombers.


Why do you like it?
Big juicy hop flavors, citrus, pine, and apricot. It has a great balance and is very pleasant for a big hitting pale ale.


On a scale from 1-5, how would you rate it?
4. It has great complexity that you only get with a handful of pale ales. It is also a great sessionable unlike other hoppy pale ales. It’s amazing because it’s a single hopped pale ale using only Simcoe hops. Most beer geeks know Simcoe to generally give off a faint onion or garlic aroma and flavor, but you get none of that in this beer.


Is there a particular food you’d pair it with?
Thai, Indian, Mexican, a hearty stew or chili. Football watching food!


Yum, the best kind of food! What interests you the most in this industry?
I’m passionate about beer, but I never go wrong with a South American wine, a Spanish wine or even a really good gin and tonic. Also, I enjoy connecting with others in the beer scene through social media.

More after the jump!
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Binny’s New Brew: Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale

Remember Ken? He is the beer manager at Binny’s in Buffalo Grove, and shares with us why he can’t get enough of Point Brewing’s new pumpkin ale, Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale.


One word to describe this beer: Delicious!hog-9-13-2013


What makes it delicious?
This beer had a great nose full of pumpkin and cinnamon; plus the head had a gorgeous subtle orange hue to it. I missed out on it last year and later found out it took gold at the GABF 2012 for the pumpkin category. Anyone who loves pumpkin beers has got to pick a four pack up and give it a go, you will not be disappointed!


How does it taste?
The body has a creamy texture with all the right amounts of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice etc. that you’d expect with a well balanced pumpkin ale. This is the closest beer to compete against Southern Tier’s Pumking that I’ve ever come across!


Do you homebrew?
I plan to dabble with homebrewing in the future, but right now it’s hard enough to keep up with all the new beers coming into our market. To top that off, I have a hard time drinking more than two of the same beer, let alone 5 gallons of it.


What’s the oddball beer on your shelf that more people should try?
I have a soft spot for sour/lambic style beers. From what I’ve seen, this is a big grey area for most drinkers, but every day this style is gaining more and more popularity. If you see any sour put out by The Bruery, I highly suggest you pick it up.


What foods do you pair with your pumpkin ales?
The brown sugar and caramel notes pair well with the browned skin of a roasted turkey and who doesn’t love turkey around Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie is a no-brainer, but this also balances out a spicy dish with the malty sweetness and nutmeg that pumpkin ales are known for.


Do you have a preferred mode of transportation?
If it was summer year round, I would have to say hands down that I love riding my 2007 Yamaha R6. Riding a motorcycle in my eyes is the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground and I enjoy going out anytime I can. The last ride I did with some friends was a trip up to New Glarus Brewery and talk about gorgeous countryside and of course, great beer!


Summer all year round? That would be great! Thanks for the review, Ken! Join Ken and his beer team Saturday, October 5th for an epic Pumpkin Beer Tasting.


Binny’s New Brew: Theakston Old Peculier

Whether you’re new to imported beer or a big fan, you’ll enjoy Roger’s take on this London brew.


old_peculier_binnys_BNBWhich beer are you picking?
Theakston Old Peculier


How does it taste?
Old Ales are all about the malt profile. This one bursts with the flavors of toffee and molasses, and is accented by notes of dates, figs and plums. It finishes with an extremely subtle lactic tartness which helps keep the sweetness in balance.


On a scale from 1-5, how would you rate it and why?
Five. This is the quintessential English Old Ale. After a long hiatus it’s finally back in the US! It’s what the style should be and is an excellent value.


Is there a particular food you’d pair it with?
A rich blue cheese like Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue.


roger_BNB_BlogHow’d you start your career with Binny’s?
I wanted to build my knowledge of beer, wine and spirits and Binny’s was/is unsurpassed when it comes to selection and knowledgeable staff.


How has your experience been with Binny’s? What interests you the most in this industry?
Binny’s is a fun place to work. I’ve made some great friends from the people I work with and I get to share my passion for beer and spirits with customers on a daily basis. While I tend to focus on beer and spirits more than wine, I am very passionate about dessert wines. Madeira is one of the most underrated items we carry.


Hypothetical question: you’re stranded on an island and you can only drink one beer, which is it?
Duvel. This classic Belgian ale has literally defined a style. While often imitated, no one has conquered the original. It’s deceptively drinkable ale considering its strength and is truly a Belgian masterpiece.


What would you consider to be a perk of working in the industry?
Meeting the producers. Brewing is a mix of art and science and I love meeting the people who create the products I enjoy.


Any favorite producer you’ve visited?
Shorts, Founders & Greenbush.


What is the most underrated beer on the shelves of Binny’s?
Boulevard’s The Sixth Glass. Belgian Quadrupels are one of my favorite beer styles. Their complexity is hard to surpass. The Sixth Glass is a tremendous value. I think it’s the best American interpretation of the style and it’s every bit as good as many of its Belgian counterparts. Plus the story behind its name is pretty awesome. Give The Watchman of the Tower by Hans Christian Andersen a read.


Can you recommend a beer cocktail?
Dunkelweizen and cola. This combo is often referred to as a Diesel because it resembles diesel fuel. My favorite is Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel and RC.


Any special talents?
I love to cook Cajun and creole cuisine for family and friends.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The manager of a hotel in Hawaii. It only made sense because I watched a lot of Magnum P.I.


Special thanks to Roger for picking the Binny’s New Brew this week! Which London beers do you enjoy the most? Share with us on Twitter.

Binny’s New Brew: Two Brothers Laughing Panda

laughingpandablogStacy 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 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 and if you want to follow up with Stacy on her selection, email her here.

Binny’s New Brew: Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale

Kyle Fornek, Assistant Beer Buyer and Internet Beer Specialist for Binny’s breaks down why he picked Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale and why he loves beer so much.


What’s this Pale Ale all about?BNB BLOG 8BIT
It is not over the top hoppy, and clocks in at only 5.2% ABV, meaning you can drink several at a time while it is 90+degrees outside without having to worry about having your pallet annihilated or passing out from hop induced heat exhaustion. Also it is Galaxy hopped; Galaxy hops have rapidly become one of the favorites among craft beer lovers.


*It also has a great looking video game inspired can, one that used to command a high trade value among beer can collectors when Tallgrass had limited production and distribution several years ago. The video clip Tallgrass made featuring this beer is also pretty funny.


Is there anything special about this brewery?
It is the first Brewery that Binny’s is carrying from the state of Kansas. All of their beers come in the 4-pack, 16oz can format, which just so happens to be a great package for the summer. Binny’s has a market exclusive on two of their beers, Buffalo Sweat and Oasis.


That’s fantastic! What food would you recommend pairing with this beer?
I am not at all picky when it comes to food and beer pairings—meaning I think a solid beer like 8-bit can pair well with just about anything, from pizza to spicy Indian food.

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Binny’s New Brew: Speakeasy Tallulah Extra Pale Ale

Mark Janes has dedicated himself to learning all there is about the beer industry after joining Binny’s this year as a beer consultant in Bloomington. His motivation and experience are just part of why Binny’s is great.



What’s your brew?
Hard to pick. I certainly recommend the Boulevard Love Child #3 to any lover of sours, but I think I’ll choose the Speakeasy Tallulah Extra Pale Ale because of the style’s broader appeal. Four brews from Speakeasy came in two weeks ago and it’s brand new to our Binny’s line-up.


What do you love about it?
I’m always intrigued by the “extra pale ale” designation and have to try those breweries with that unofficial sub-style. Always makes me wonder, what’s so ‘extra’ special about this pale ale?


Tell us, what is “extra” special about this one?
As expected, it’s hoppier than most pale ales, less so than most IPA’s, and well balanced. Dry-hopped with Calypso and El Dorado, the nose of tropical fruit and a hint of sweetness meld well with the expected mild hop bite. At 5.6% ABV, it’s also more sessionable than most domestic pale ales.


Sounds delicious! So… How’d you get started with Binny’s?
I’m a native of Decatur IL, but haven’t lived there since 1987. I spent the past 15 years in New Orleans, where I entered the beer business world two years ago. Craft beers have been a passion and avocation for the past decade (triggered by two key events). So when my government consulting gig concluded, I decided to turn avocation into vocation. Just before coming to Binny’s, I handled all facets of craft and import beers for an independent bottle store in New Orleans. I moved to Bloomington in October to help open that Binny’s location. After 15 years of living in New Orleans, while the craft beer scene is growing, it’s still no Chicago and the available beers are completely different.

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Binny’s New Brew: Goose Island’s 25th Anniversary Ale

Binny’s Beverage Depot would like congratulate Goose Island on a fantastic 25 years! We’re celebrating by picking Goose’s 25th Anniversary Ale as our Binny’s New Brew. Adam Vavrick, Beer Manager at Lincoln Park gives us his insight on why the brew is something to celebrate.




What type of beer is it?
Goose Island 25th Anniversary is an Extra Special Bitter based on an obscure pub recipe called Honker’s Deluxe, which was basically double Honkers. The final recipe is a collaboration of three minds: Brett Porter, the current Brewmaster, Greg Hall, the former Brewmaster, and Nick Barron, the pub Brewmaster.



Why an ESB?
It harkens back to the original roots of Goose Island, namely founder John Hall’s trips to England where he fell in love with the those classic styles that inspired him to open Goose.


Where is it brewed?
Right here in Chicago…in fact, there are two variations: the one brewed at Fulton available in six packs on our shelves and the batch Nick brewed at the pub, which is available on cask (!!!!!!) for the month of May.


What’s it like?
It’s a lovely, stylistically accurate ESB. It pours a russet orange/amber with a fluffy bone white head. The nose is toasted grain and green, floral hops, with a hint of sweet orange peel. It has a medium body with an onrush of toasted white bread, which melds into a honey on biscotti kind of flavor, finishing quick with snappy, herbaceous hops.


What kind of food would you enjoy it with?
This is just begging for a herb crusted pork loin with asparagus, but if you want to go traditional, shepherd’s pie.


Drooling… thanks Adam! You can stop by Binny’s in Lincoln Park on Saturday for a Chicago Craft Beer Week event with Goose Island. Current Brewmaster Brett Porter, Former Brewmaster Greg Hall and Pub Brewmaster Nick Barron will be on hand to talk everything Goose Island and sample some of Goose’s award winning beers. We will sample two special beers as well, Bourbon County Baudonia & Sofie Paradisi.


Be sure to check out all of the Chicago Craft Beer Week festivities going throughout the week, including our very own.

Binny’s New Brew: Sculpin IPA

We are excited about this week’s new brew. Pat Brophy, assistant buyer for specialty spirits and beer, as well as The Whiskey Hotline representative, puts our curiosity to rest about Ballast Point and the future of the beer industry.


BP_Blog_BNBTell us about Sculpin.
I think it’s one of the best examples of the West Coast style IPA on the shelves. Nice malt balance, sticky and resinous hop profile and extremely bitter finish. The 7% ABV is barely detectable. It’s a world class IPA, expensive, but it’s in bombers too and is worth every penny.



How do you think Ballast Point will do in the Chicago market?
I think it’ll take off with a bang and then settle down after a couple of months. We see that with all new-to-market breweries. It adds to a growing list of powerhouse west coast breweries in Chicago. There are a lot of highly regarded, highly rated, sought after breweries from California that we don’t see in Illinois. People have been clamoring for Ballast Point for years and their beer is outstanding across the board, so I don’t see this as a brewery people will try once and not return to.


What’s your history with Binny’s?
Well, I started at the Buffalo Grove store about 4 1/2 years ago as a Customer Service Manager. A little less than a year later I went to the Schaumburg store as the Assistant Manager, then I went to Downers Grove for a few months after that in the same role. After a few months at Downers Grove I took over the St. Charles store as the General Manager, and then a little less than a year after that I joined the corporate buying team handling beer and specialty spirits. And the Whiskey Hotline of course!


Where do you see the beer industry in 5 years?
I see it getting more and more localized. We’re at a point where we have so many breweries, they are becoming hyper local. People in the towns and sometimes even neighborhoods with breweries are very loyal to their local beer, but everyone still likes to explore. That’s the real beauty of craft beer. We all have our favorites, I’m a particular homer about Chicago breweries, but there is always something new to experience in addition to the local favorites.
I also think breweries will have to continually innovate in a landscape that is now so full of breweries. It used to be you could open a brewery and make a pale ale, an IPA, an amber ale, and a Scotch ale or a stout and have fairly predictable success. But there are a TON of those styles that are great and readily available. The more breweries we have, the more they have to be different from the ground up.
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Binny’s New Brew: Revolution Galaxy Hero

Galaxy Hero from Revolution is the Binny’s New Brew of the week, selected by Arlington Heights Beer Consultant, Matt Burger! Just receiving Galaxy Hero in a few weeks ago, it still is creating a buzz and has beer drinkers everywhere intrigued!

Why Galaxy Hero?
It’s only around temporarily and it’s a great beer customers should try while they can.


Good point! How is it?
It’s a balanced IPA that I think most people would enjoy. It definitely has a strong citrus flavor from the hops, but the malt character helps it maintain its balance.


Sounds delicious! So how’d you get your start in the beer industry?
I’ve been with Binny’s for about four years, give or take. Long before working for Binny’s, I used to go out of my way to stop at the Skokie store to find new and interesting beers. After getting a job with Binny’s, it just seemed like an obvious move to join the beer department.


Of course, the beer department is arguably one of the best departments… or so we’ve heard. What’s your go-to beer on a random night?
I’ll have to go with something that’s conveniently on tap everywhere, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’.


Lagunitas is always on point! If you had to pick one favorite aspect of working in the beer industry, what would it be?
The diversity, just when you think they can’t come up with something new, they do.


Have more questions for Matt? Shoot him an email here:

Binny’s New Brewery Bonanza

Binny’s is excited to announce the planned debut of ten nine breweries at our stores in the very near future—yes you heard us right – a whopping ten nine new breweries.


Gigantic-Brewing-CoGigantic (in select stores now)
At a recent beer show, Gigantic Brewing had a gigantic line at their table, bigger than any of the other 30+ breweries at the event. Three different bomber bottles from the Portland, Oregon based brewery began hitting select Binny’s today: Meddle Vienna Lager, The Royale Belgian Pale Ale, and Whole in the Head Imperial IPA. There isn’t much of these to go around; stop into your local Binny’s later this week for your best chance to score some.


Prairie (next week)
Prairie is an Oklahoma based brewery. If we had to compare them to any other brewery in the world, it would probably be Stillwater. Prairie features funky saisons, lots of different & new releases, and limited availability on a lot of their stuff. Almost all of our stores will be featuring Prairie Standard in 6-packs, which is a hopped up saison with detailed picture instructions on the label about how to noodle a catfish. Some of our stores will be featuring large format bottles from Prairie.


speakeasySpeakeasy (next week)
Speakeasy is a San Francisco brewery. Binny’s will be featuring two year round six-packs from Speakeasy (Big Daddy IPA & Prohibition Ale) as well as Tallulah, which is a pale ale and Speakeasy’s summer seasonal offering. Select Binny’s stores will also be featuring some limited release large format bottles from Speakeasy.


Greenbush (next week)
Greenbush is currently a tiny brewery with plans for a rapid & massive expansion. They are located less than an hour and a half from Chicago in Sawyer, Michigan. Off the bat Binny’s will be featuring four different 6-packs: Anger Black IPA, Closure Pale Ale, Dunegras IPA, and Sunspot Hefeweizen. Brother Benjamin is a specialty release 4-pack that will also be available. This is an imperial IPA brewed with honey, which we found to be very similar to Bell’s Hopslam.


Furthermore-StarFurthermore (next week)
Futhermore beer from Spring Green, Wisconsin has just arrived at our distributor and we expect the following to hit many our stores by next week: Knot Stock (American Pale Ale), Proper (English-style Pale Ale), and Oscura. Oscura was the highlight of Furthermore’s portfolio for us. It is a super drinkable coffee lager, which is a pretty unique style to say the least. A few other beers from Furthermore, including Fatty Boombalatty, are set to debut at a later date.


Ballast Point (May 8th)
Join us on Wednesday, May 8th in our Binny’s South Loop tasting room as we celebrate Ballast Point’s arrival at Binny’s. Several rarities will be on tap from the San Diego based brewery, as well as everyday favorites such as Sculpin, which is one of the highest rated IPA’s in the world. A plethora of Ballast Point packaged goods will be available for the first time ever at every Binny’s on May 8th.


PotosiPotosi (early May)
Check out this recent post on the Binny’s blog for all the information you need on Potosi.

Flesk (?)
This small Lombard, IL based brewery reached out to us yesterday, and we couldn’t be more excited to meet with them in the very near future. We expect them to be in our stores sooner rather than later.


Tallgrass (early June)
In early June Tallgrass Brewing from the state of Kansas will be rolling into Binny’s. Three different beers will be available, all in four-pack 16oz can formats: 8 Bit Pale Ale, Velvet Rooster Triple, and Ethos IPA.

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