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Strongest Beers in the World Coming to Binny’s

Brewdog is unleashing two of the highest alcohol beers in the world upon our stores.  Since these beers have many times the alcohol of almost every other beer found on our shelves, we would have to recommend enjoying these beers as if you were sipping an elegant whiskey.

The first beer that Brewdog is bringing to the states is Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a 32% ABV imperial stout.  Part of the reason Brewdog can get the ABV so high is because the beer is initially aged in Scottish Whiskey casks for 14 months.  It is then frozen a number of times, as ice processing technology and the ability to age the beer at freezing temperatures for months are a direct result of higher alcohol.  When Tactical Nuclear Penguin was first brewed, it was the strongest beer in the world.  That title was only held briefly until a German brewery, who has since become Brewdog’s nemesis, claimed the title of the strongest beer in the world.

Not wanting to be upstaged by their German foes 40% ABV beer, Brewdog fired back with a quadruple IPA called Sink the Bismarck, clocking in at a staggering 41% ABV.  Like Tactical Nuclear Penguin, Sink the Bismarck is frozen four times.  Among many things, Sink the Bismarck is kettle hopped, dry hopped, and freeze hopped in an effort to make it the strongest beer in the world.

Only a handful of our stores will experiment with Brewdog’s experimental beers.   If you want help tracking down one of these extreme beers, or have any beer questions, email


What is the highest alcohol beer you have ever tried?

Bell’s Batch 10,000 on the Way

Bells Batch 10,000 is the tenth and final beer of a series that has commemorated every thousandth batch produced by the Kalamazoo based brewery.  Bells went all out with this brew, probing the catalogs of every malt and hop supplier they could find.  Bells used over 100 malts, grains, and other fermentables followed up with a blend of 60 different hop varietals.  The end result is a 9.4% ABV, deep brown colored beer with roasted and caramel malt flavors.  The brew is piercingly bitter with an aggressive hop presence. Like the previous beers in the series, Batch 10,000 is vintage capable and can withstand many years of aging in your cellar.


Bells Batch 10,000 will start hitting our stores by the middle of next week.  It should be available at the majority of Binnys by the end of next week, while a few of our outlying stores may have to wait an additional week or two before they receive it.  And you guessed itthe brew will be limited.  Check with your local Binnys next week if you want to get your hands on some.  Dont miss your chance to experience Bell’s monumental series for the last time.

2010 Beaujolais Nouveau

   The big news every year right about this time is the release of the vintage’s Beaujolais Nouveau. Always a great wine to pair with your Thanksgiving feast, this first release of the year is all about freshness and fun.

   Here are the quick details:

   The 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau will be released this Thursday, November 18th. Binny’s will offer several perennial favorites, including Duboeuf, Drouhin, Cambon, Dupeuble, and more. We’ll have special sale pricing (with your Binny’s Card, of course) on all Nouveau brands, so there’s even more to reason to celebrate.

   Be sure to keep an eye on your email inbox for more information on the day of the release.


   update 11/18/10: Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Day! You can find a complete list of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau and special pricing right here.

Gift Idea: Drink Deck

   Here’s a fun and unique gift idea that pretty much sells itself. It’s one of those things you kick yourself for not thinking of first. Basically, the Drink Deck is a combination of a travel guide and a coupon book in the form of a deck of cards.


For thirty bucks (er, $29.95) you get a deck of 52 playing cards. Each card is a $10 gift certificate good at a different Chicago watering hole. You take the card in, they tear off the corner and give the card back.


You can check out the complete list of bars here; as you can see, there’s a good variety of places spread across something like twenty neighborhoods. I was surprised to see some of my favorites on the list.


The package is pretty slick. A deck missing some corners might screw up your game of Go Fish, but it would be pretty cool to do a magic trick where you point out that not only is the card they picked the six of hearts, but also that it’s Sheffield’s.


I’ve heard that some people are using the deck to organize pub crawls (always drink responsibly). For a guy like me, it might get me out of my neighborhood to discover some cool new spots I’d never have known about otherwise.


The Drink Deck is available at any of the four big city Binny’s locations (Downtown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park and South Loop) up by the cash registers. For more info, check out the Drink Deck website or mentions in Time Out Chicago and Hop Cast.

Christmas & Winter Beer Style Guide

We are happily swamped with winter and Christmas seasonal beers, and most of these beers share one thing in common:  they will be sold out by Christmas time.  If you want some holiday inspired beer for the holidays, your best bet is to get them now before they are gone for the year.


There is something for everyone when it comes to Christmas and winter beer, but with so many seasonal selections, it can be hard for everyone to know what they are getting when they buy holiday inspired beer. Below is a style guide to the most popular Christmas beers we carry; the majority of them are already available at our stores.  (Yes there are more, but the ones left out are only available at a very limited number of stores). Look for the below beers to be on sale in the coming weeks during our holiday beer sale.


Winter Warmer
Hoppin Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale, Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Anchor Our Special Ale, Breckenridge Christmas Ale, Blue Moon Winter Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer, Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome, Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, Point St. Benedicts Winter Ale, Anheuser- Busch Winters Bourbon Cask Ale, Avery Old Jubilation, Lakefront Holiday Spice, Boulder Never Summer Ale, Redhook Winterhook

Brown Ale
New Holland Cabin Fever, Lost Coast Winterbraun, Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown, Abita Christmas Ale, Goose Island Christmas Ale, Ridgeway Warm Welcome

Pale Ale / IPA
Ska Euphoria Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Ridgeway Bad Elf, Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

New Belgium 2 Below

Barleywine / Olde Ale
HeBrew Jewbelation 14, Dogfish Head Olde School, Great Divide Hibernation Ale, Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Southern Tier Old Man Winter, Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf, Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, Brooklyn Monster Ale, Boulder Killer Penguin

English Strong Ale
Ridgeway Insanely Bad Elf, Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf

Mendocino Oatmeal Stout, Barley Island Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Ridgeway Lump of Coal

Imperial Stout
Port Brewing Santas Little Helper, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Two Brothers Northwind, Bells Expedition Stout, Leinenkugel Big Eddy

Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, Ridgeway Santas Butt

Scottish Ale
Bells Christmas Ale, Brooklyn Winter Ale

Belgian Dark Ale (Brewed in Belgium)
Delirium Noel, St Bernardus Christmas Ale, Gulden Draak Vintage Ale, Petrus Winterbier, Gouden Carolus Noel, Corsendonk Christmas Ale, Nice Chouffe, Affligem Noel

Belgian Style Dark Ale (Brewed in the USA)
Grand Teton Coming Home, The Bruery 3 French Hens, Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi, Ommegang Adoration

Eel River Climax Noel

Helles Lager
Southern Tier Krampus, Eggenberg Samichlaus Helles

Bells Winter White, Blue Moon Grand Cru

Shiner Holiday Cheer

Amber Lager
Capital Winter Skal

Amber Ale
Rogue Santas Private Reserve Ale, Big Sky Powder Hound Winter Ale

Magic Hat Howl

Rye Beer
Goose Island Mild Winter

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Altenmunster Winterbier, Eggenberg Samichlaus

Fruit Beer
New Belgium Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale, OFallon Cherry Chocolate Beer



If you have any further questions about any of the above listed beers, or any beer questions in general, email  Which Christmas or winter beer is atop your list?

He’Brew Releases Vertical of Jewbelation

Looking for a great gift for the beer lover in your life?  They will undoubtedly be as excited as we were when HeBrew Vertical Jewbelation gift packs showed up at our door.


A little background on HeBrew Jewbelation:  Every year, the Schmaltz Brewing Company releases a beer called Jewbelation to commemorate the anniversary of their brewery.  The beer changes though, because an additional malt and hop variety are added each year, and the beer is 1% higher in alcohol.  The number of malts, hops, and the alcohol percentage correlate with the anniversary year of the brewery, meaning that this years Jewbelation is brewed with 14 hops, 14 malts, and is 14% alcohol to commemorate the 14th anniversary of Schmaltz Brewing.


So back to those Vertical Jewbelation gift packs.  They include the previous 7 vintages of Jewbelation, starting with the 8 hop/malt/ABV Jewbelation all the way up to 14 hop/malt/ABV Jewbelation.  But the gem of the gift set is a bottle of all seven recipes of Jewbelation blended together and aged in Sazerac Rye Whiskey Barrels.  Also included in the set is a HeBrew glass, instructions on how to make a beer menorah, and candles and a bottle to help you accomplish this feat.


Dont miss your opportunity of having someone else do all of the cellaring for a monumental vertical tasting for you.  Also available from Schmaltz is the Hebrew Jewbelation 14 in 22oz bottles, a steal at $5.99.  How long do you think HeBrew can keep up the tradition of adding a malt, hop, and 1% to the ABV of the beer each year?

Firestone Walker Coming in the Next Couple Weeks

It has been confirmed!  Within the next couple weeks, the highly acclaimed Firestone Walker Brewery will debut at Binny’s.  Accolades for Firestone Walker include being the three-time champion at the World Beer Cup (no other brewery has taken this title more than once), and the two time winner of the Mid-size Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.  Part of the reason for Firestone Walker has had so much success is that are one of two breweries in the world they still employ primary fermentation in wood barrels (Marston’s).  Below is a list of what will be available from Firestone Walker at Binny’s in the coming weeks. 


Red Nectar – Boasting a ruby hue and an exquisite floral aroma, Red Nectar is a robust yet elegant brew with distinctive accents of toasted malt, caramel, spice and residual sweetness. The beer that started it allRed Nectar was considered a strange bird when it was first released in 1987. After all, where did a robust, handcrafted all-natural amber ale fit into the massive flock of American industrial lagers? Answer: it didnt. So it blazed its own trail, helping set the pace for the craft brew revolution. Enjoy Red Nectar for its dazzling reddish copper hue, original flavors and caramel spice accents.


Nectar IPA – Our IPA is created from a base of Pale and Crystal malts and is aggressively hopped throughout the brewing process with a final hop addition in the conditioning vessel. A beautiful flowery hop aroma will greet you as you dive into this hop lovers dream.  A middle caramel malt presence balances high hop bitterness with hop flavor end to end learn to love hops!


Hemp Ale – Born in Humboldt County, this classic, hand-crafted brown ale is a legend in the craft beer world. Premium malts, choice hops and the addition of sterilized hemp seeds create complex and rich earthy flavors.  Hemp Ale is the original green beer.


Binny’s will also be featuring Firestone Walker’s reserve line in the form of Double Jack Double IPA, Walkers Reserve Porter, and 14 Anniversary Ale.  14 Anniversary ale is a 12.5% ABV strong ale will never be brewed again, so keep an eye out if you are looking for something truly special.  Are you as excited about Firestone Walker coming to Binny’s as we are?

Uinta Brewing Company: First Beer From Utah Available at Binny’s

Uinta Brewing Company is the latest in a growing line of breweries to debut at Binny’s.  Uinta became the first Utah based brewery on our shelves when it arrived at our stores this week, seventeen years since their inaugural batch of beer was brewed in the garage of a Utah mechanic.  Uinta has sent us the following beers:  Detour Double IPA, Tilted Smile Imperial Pilsner, Cockeyed Cooper Barleywine, and Labyrinth Black Ale.

What is interesting about the four beers on our shelves from Uinta is not a single one of them is part of their everyday lineup.  Furthermore, not one of the four beers they sent us are even listed or described on Uinta’s website, while sixteen other beers are represented.  One of the other newest breweries on our shelves, Grand Teton, recently used the same strategy.   Perhaps Uinta and Grand Teton are aiming for a memorable first impression.

If the aforementioned beers from Uinta are not already acquirable at your local Binny’s, they should be by next week.  You may want to act soon, as these beers will not be around forever.  Have you tried any of the Uinta brews yet?

Rare Bourbon County Coming to Binny’s Lincoln Park on Black Friday

Goose Island will unveil their Rare Bourbon County Stout at all retail locations on November 30th, with the exception of one lucky store.  That fortunate store is Binnys in Lincoln Park, which will have bottles of Rare Bourbon County available for purchase on Black Friday, November 26th.  There will not be an unlimited supply, so you might want to think about getting to the store early; the doors open at 9am.


Rare Bourbon County will never be brewed again.  It was aged for two years in Pappy Van Winkle barrels, which are used to age the hundred dollars and above Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon.  These are the finest barrels Goose Island has ever used to age a beer in.


In addition to the Rare Bourbon County, Binnys in Lincoln Park will have some special beers from Goose Island not usually on retail shelves on hand for purchase.  Will we see you at Binnys in Lincoln Park on Black Friday?

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